Yoga and Tai Chi have become popular worldwide. They appear in commercials and are taught in many fitness and community centers. Seniors and the sedentary are persuaded that Yoga and Tai Chi are ideal for their health. In addition, Tai Chi is described as being very easy to learn and practice. Not as many people are familiar with Qigong, a mind, body, breathing discipline which originated in China thousands of years ago.
These arts have become westernized, commercialized and altered from their original purposes and forms. The following information will encourage you to study, learn and research about the history, theory, safety and true purposes of these arts before choosing one of these disciplines to study.
There are hardly any Yoga teachers that teach Yoga for its originally intended purpose. Yoga had no connection with health, but was just a spiritual discipline; you could not pay for true Yoga lessons – see “What is Yoga? Yoga therapy?” at
Be careful in practicing Yoga poses, especially seniors and the sedentary; don’t believe the so-called experts. See its dangers at
Unfortunately, Tai Chi is following the same path as Yoga. Originally Tai Chi was a martial art and had over 100 postures. This main, solo long form required about 5 to six years of dedicated practice to learn correctly. In addition, there were 2- men forms for self-defense.
Nowadays, there are very few teachers that know the 2-men, self-defense forms. Even those that teach Tai Chi for health don’t rigorously follow the principles and claim that the form they teach ( 1- 37 postures or more, but usually less than the long form) has the same benefits as the long form. Logic tells you that 37 postures will not give the same exercise and energy flow as over a hundred.– see “Are You Really Practicing Tai Chi and Is It Effective for Stress?” at
Even teaching the Chen Man Ching short form for health correctly is difficult. The student must have the dedication of a ballet dancer and realize constant daily practice is required. After teaching 100’s of students, less than 1% can even learn this short form.
Prospective Tai Chi students should be informed of the true scope of this art. Most don’t have any idea of the complexities of Tai Chi and are just interested in improving their health. These should be persuaded to study a simple form of Qigong for health. My experience is that nearly 100% of students can learn the Six Healing Sounds. See “Which Should Study Tai Chi or Qigong? at
Seniors and the sedentary, especially if only interested in improving or maintaining their health, should learn and practice Qigong for health rather than Yoga or Tai Chi. Qigong is non-strenuous and easier to learn and practice than Yoga or Tai Chi. Qigong has the added advantage that it is effective in helping about 200 diseases.