I always say that almost everything said about Yoga is also true of Tai chi. That is, aside from Tai chi being Chinese, Yoga being Indian and a few obvious differences (You don’t need a mat to do Tai chi).
I say they are in many ways the same for a couple of reasons: First, they are in all the meaningful ways that relate to a finished product of health, including strength, flexibility, posture, how to move, relaxation, calm, concentration and ease. Second, though, is that the Yoga people are just so much better at talking about all of these things. Their language is easy; their focus is on the positive. And they paint such cool mental pictures. Those who write about Tai chi… not so much (to be kind). My teacher being the exception of course (Here is his latest book The Tai Chi Bible, FYI.)
Here is an article that seems so exclusively Yoga-ish. But, almost to a tee, what is said here could be said about Tai chi – and for all the same reasons. This author shares my view of how to approach teaching and progressions – that’s why I share it with you.
Don’t get me wrong. In the end I think Tai chi is the single best system of exercise and self defense on the planet. And I fully understand all that sets it apart from Yoga (not least of which is that self defense aspect). And while it’s true that not all Yoga is high quality – there are many Yoga teachers today who still do not grasp the basics (of progressions mostly like all the fitness folks). There are risks, more actually with Yoga than Tai Chi, a fact made known not long ago with this book. Still Yoga is much more accessible, more easily copied, and generally a safer choice if you have to just pick a teacher out of the crowd.
For Tai chi instruction in Everett, WA you can check out this site.