How to Prepare For Your First Tai Chi Class

Consider these tips to enjoy and benefit from your new Tai Chi class.

Before: Prepare to Succeed

  • Double-check the studio address, start date and time.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. No short skirts or tight jeans.
  • Street shoes are not allowed on our wood practice floor. You may bring cloth slippers, socks, or practice barefoot. You may also wear non-marking athletic shoes which are dedicated to indoor Tai Chi practice, and never used outdoors.
  • Set reasonable expectations for yourself. Tai Chi is a feat of balance, memory, strength, and coordination. These skills and attributes are developed slowly over time. Nobody can perform Tai Chi well after their first class, or even their first month.
  • See also: Tai Chi and the Myth of Relaxation

During: Empty Your Cup

  • Identify an opportunity for positive change, and an exercise that will allow you to realize that change. This should be your goal in the first class, and in every subsequent class.
  • Discount your own common-sense assumptions about the practice and principles of Tai Chi. This is not a common-sense discipline. Ask questions, even if that reveals to everyone that you don’t know the answer.
  • If something hurts, stop doing it, and request assistance from the teacher. They may be able to provide a regression, or a modified version of the exercise.
  • Compare yourself to other students. Observe what they are doing well, and copy their good example.

After: Guard Your Investment

  • Record and remember what you have learned. Use paper, voice dictation or video.
  • Join our private Facebook discussion group for students only. Share achievements, questions and enthusiasm with your classmates. Support each other, and hold each other accountable.
  • Practice at home, three to six days per week. Be consistent. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 150 minutes weekly exercise.
  • Take advantage of the student resources library. It contains the names of every posture, and video demonstration of every movement.
  • Ensure adequate sleep and good nutrition. These are the foundation of health. They will either help or hinder your progress in learning Tai Chi.
  • Bring your specific challenges and concerns, successes and improvements to the next classroom session.