Points to observe in Tai Chi Practise

Posture and Alignment

  1. Keep your head suspended upward and your neck relaxed
  2. The tailbone must be gently pulled forward and upward with the mind
  3. The back should remain straight at all times. There should feel a pull up from the top of the head and down from the coccyx
  4. The spine operates as a unit. The nose generally stays in line with the navel
  5. Relax the chest and shoulders. Arch the back slightly
  6. Sink the elbows
  7. Relax the waist and the juncture of the thighs and pelvis
  8. The knees should be aligned in the same direction as the toes
  9. In forward stances the front knee should never project beyond the toes
  10. The sole of the foot should sink and attach comfortably to the ground
  11. The joints should remain open and relaxed. Never lock or over extend a joint
  12. Each part of the body should be connected to every other part
  13. Use the mind not physical strength
  14. Your posture should always be proportionate
  15. Breathing should be relaxed, soft and continuous. Breathe in and out through the nose
  16. Place the tip of the tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind the front teeth
  17. The face should be calm and relaxed. Eyes follow the movement and display focus and attention in the moment
  18. The mind must be clear and calm


  1. Once you begin to move, the entire body must be light and limber. The entire body should coordinate into one complete unit
  2. No part of the body moves in isolation
  3. The form should be smooth with no unevenness and continuous allowing no interruptions
  4. Power or Qi roots at the feet then transfers through the legs and is controlled from the waist, moving eventually through the back and outward through the arms and hands
  5. Your body should move like the rhythmic flow of water on a river or the rolling waves of the ocean
  6. Do not collapse the ribcage on one side
  7. Your movements should be constantly changing from the substantial to the insubstantial
  8. Sink your Qi down to the dan tian
  9. Stepping should be light and agile. When you step it should touch the floor with no weight as though you were stepping onto ice to see whether it would take your weight. Then transfer the weight.
  10. Be aware of the centre line. Hands often line up or pass through the centre line.
  11. Movement should appear to be light, agile, rooted, effortless and well balanced
  12. When performing the forms, you should be like the eagle which glides serenely on the wind, but which can swoop instantly to pluck a rabbit from the ground