Tai Chi Mentality: The Five Mental Requirements for Practicing Tai Chi

tai chi mentality

What is Tai Chi mentality? It refers to the right mindset you need in order to practice Tai Chi well.  There are a few mental requirements for a student of Tai Chi:

Full concentration:

When you are ready to practice Ta Chi Chuan, a full concentration is required. Leave everything behind, detach from all things, and cherish your precious time with Tai Chi. If your mind starts to wander, you should start again to re-focus. Otherwise, you will not have good results from practice. We call Tai Chi “moving meditation” because it involves full concentration, awareness of energy center, awareness of self, as well as cleanse of the body.

Find Your Energy Center:

Once you have full concentration, you can easily find your energy center, and then other parts of the body will just follow your energy center. The energy center is in the lower abdomen, we call it “Dan Tian”. It is adjacent to your hips. Therefore, it is important to know how to move your hip properly. Be aware, you may move the hips the wrong way misleading the other parts of the body. If this happens, you will feel uncomfortable or tight, you need to readjust your posture to correct this, and when that happen you feel much more comfortable. If this still happens, you can ask your instructor to find out why and how to correct it.   Asking questions is an important part of learning.

Total Relaxation:

Your body and mind must be relaxed with no tension in any part of your body. Tai Chi is a simple, yet sophisticated relaxation exercise. During the practice, you let go of the tension in muscles, let go of the tension/worry in the mind, let go of all negative thoughts. This allows energy in the body to flow smoothly and obtain total relaxation response. If you feel tight in any part of the body, you need to stop and start again with complete relaxation. Don’t be afraid to stop and start again.


Competition is not part of Tai Chi mentality. There is no need for you to compare your skill to others.   Tai Chi is for health maintenance, disease prevention, and to build inner strength, to build inner peace, to delay aging process, and to heal the body and the mind. You only compete with yourself to improve day to day, not with other people.   There are no belts in Tai Chi practice. The real belt is measured by how you have improved over a period of time, how you have  improved in relaxation, coordination, physical/mental well-being, stress management skill, harmony in your life .

Learning with modesty:

Learning Tai Chi is not an easy journey and learning is on going. I have been studying all my life and I still learn each year. Once you begin your Tai Chi journey, you learn so much even year. Tai Chi involves meditation, martial art, healing, disease prevention, Taoist philosophy, Chinese medicine, life wisdom and the most importantly, you learn to win without fighting.

Keep practicing Tai Chi with these 5 requirements in mind. Your Tai Chi mentality will develop and grow strong each time you practice.

If you are a beginner of Tai Chi, I highly recommend Tai Chi Basics.  The slow, beautiful movements and controlled breathing harmonize energy flow in the body. The martial application can also be used for self-defense in urgent situations. Tai Chi Basics helps people to learn Tai Chi more efficiently and easily, and provide the foundation for all forms of Tai Chi.