Would you like to try your hand at tai chi but are not ready to do it in public yet? Don’t worry – there are plenty of tai chi YouTube videos available to stream to introduce you to the gentle movement practice.
Chinese martial arts is a form of exercise that consists of postures that flow from one to the next and is ideal when you are feeling stressed, stiff, or just need new energy. “Tai Chi helps a person become more aware of the connection between their body, emotions, and thoughts,” Sifu Love, MA, certified qigong and spiritual martial arts teacher, told Bustle. “Each movement is a way of checking that the three are in alignment and providing a structure to exercise so that you are able to balance the three.”
Practicing tai chi regularly will bring you a number of physical and mental benefits. In terms of fitness, it is gentle (i.e. gentle on the joints), promotes your mobility and improves your balance skills. In terms of emotional wellbeing, tai chi acts as a stress relieving movement meditation that promotes mindfulness and puts you in a better mood.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking for a new fitness method to add to your current routine, check out some of the different options below. A professional tip? When practicing tai chi, remember to take care of yourself and be patient, says Love, especially if you are new. “It will take some time to go through the movements, but once someone is able to do so, they will see tremendous health benefits.”
Follow instructor Helen Liang as she guides you through this 15 minute beginner program. You’ll learn how to stand, breathe, and move – so don’t worry if it’s your first time. It also explains how to feel the chi or “living energy in all living things” between your hands. Even if you don’t do it “perfectly”, you will end up feeling centered and relaxed.
15-minute daily exercise
With no speaking at all (just relaxing music), this 15-minute flow of Shaolin Qigong offers eight basic tai chi movements to help you loosen up and feel centered. It should be noted that practicing this qigong set or coordinated postures will help balance your energies and strengthen your mindset – practice it in the morning or afternoon as a quick exercise.
Follow instructor Judy K. Young as she walks you through a super relaxing 20 minute routine while birds chirp in the background. You begin with deep breaths and a gentle warm up before moving on to eight poses including arm swinging, overhead stretches, and a toe and heel jump.
20 minute lesson
Instructor Jake Mace makes this tai chi session easy by flashing quick explanations across the screen, so it’s especially helpful for beginners. You will learn postures like cloud hands, which means inhaling as you raise your arms and exhaling as your arms float down, thinking of your hands as branches and your feet as roots.
5 minute flow
You only have five minutes? Try this video in which you flow “like waves in the ocean”. Instructor Leia Cohen recommends exercising a little each day for optimal health, so this is an easy exercise for desk breaks.
Tai Chi basics
Dr. Daniel Hoover integrates elements of traditional Chinese medicine into this practice. You start by swinging your arms, warming up your knees, and pressing on pressure points (acupressure!) To improve blood circulation.
Simple tai chi exercises
Listen to relaxed music as you move through traditional tai chi poses, including hand circles, rollbacks, brush knees, and “carrying the kettle”. Instructor David Wong also includes brief on-screen descriptions so you know exactly what is going on.
Relaxation before bed
Move through this 10 minute flow of Kseny before you hit the hay. The combination of breathing exercises and gentle tai chi movements help you relax, and the mindful practice focuses on turning off a racing mind so you can drift straight to sleep.
Daily tai chi practice
In this 14-minute video, Master Wong shares tips on how to nail the tai chi form, along with instructions on how to balance your body and shift your weight, two common elements of the practice. Try these out regularly to become more familiar with the modality.
Sifu DeVante Love, MA, certified qigong and spiritual martial arts teacher