Are you thinking of learning Tai Chi from the comfort of your home?
You are most likely searching the internet for videos on YouTube. Maybe you bought or rented a DVD and are following along with the instructor. I feel this is not the best way to learn Tai Chi. Just because you can follow along with a video doesn't mean you are doing Tai Chi. In fact you are probably just following along the movements of the instructor. A Tai Chi form learned at home in this way will be missing most of the health benefits. As someone practicing Tai Chi for thirty years I have tried to learn different forms from video. Yes I was able to learn a dance like Tai Chi form, but it was missing the essence of Tai Chi Chuan. A Tai Chi form should be pressure tested. Your teacher should be making sure your alignment is correct. The teacher will have to see you, and align your body correctly. Even if your teacher corrects your posture and alignment, you must feel what it is like to neutralize and ground the incoming force. Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art and a way to be aware of your whole body. Each Tai Chi posture is a martial qigong application. From beginning of the movement to the end you have to allow the energy to flow through your body unblocked. Each Tai Chi posture flows together to look like one movement. That is the way you maximize the health benefits. When I learned Push Hands, I began to understand the importance of having my Tai Chi form pressure tested and proper alignment.
I think video or online Tai Chi instruction has a lot to offer. For example, if you are already a Tai Chi student and want to supplement your training with your teacher. Or if you find a qualified Tai Chi instructor with an online Tai Chi course available. Nothing beats in person Tai Chi instruction. As a last resort, if you do not have a local Tai Chi school with a qualified Tai Chi instructor in your area, Tai Chi training at home may be an option.
If you want to experience the benefit of Tai Chi at home and do not have access to a qualified teacher, I suggest learning simple Qigong exercises from free videos online or a DVD. You can teach yourself simple Qigong from a video in the comfort of your home without an in person teacher.
In conclusion, an in person qualified Tai Chi or Qigong teacher is always the best option. If you want to begin Tai Chi at home and do not have an in person teacher, simple Qigong from video may be a better option for you.
Click here for my Tai Chi tips for a Tai Chi beginner.