5 Ways Tai Chi Kicks Yoga’s Butt. ~ Marie Overfors

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5 ways tai chi kicks yogas butt

Tai Chi Offers a Mind-Body Magic That Can Enrich Your Life.

After that headline, you’ve got to know that I love yoga. Seriously. I have a regular yoga practice. I do at least a few poses every single day. And I’m a certified yoga teacher.

As wonderful as yoga is, here’s a shocker: Yoga is not the Be All and End All that it’s cracked up to be. Man/Woman cannot live on yoga alone. 

Well, maybe you can. 

I did.

I was a serious mat rat for years. But my steady diet of yoga left me craving… something more.

Apples, for example, are yummy and help keep the doctor away, but wouldn’t it be nice to eat oranges, too? 

The fact is, tai chi offers its own brand of body-mind magic that yoga simply can’t.

Let’s start with key elements that tai chi and yoga share. Both are moving meditations and good for your health. Both focus on the breath, teach mindfulness and can be deeply spiritual experiences and ways of life. Both tai chi and yoga are practiced by millions, many of whom are deeply, seriously, even insanely passionate about them.

Here, coming at you from someone who loves yoga, are five ways that tai chi kicks yoga’s butt:

Tai chi is a martial art.

You can use it to frickin’ defend yourself (or your kid, cat or cream puff) with tai chi if you need to. Tai chi chuan means “supreme ultimate fist” or “supreme ultimate boxing.” I’m not a rough and tough kind of gal, but I like the cool factor of practicing an ancient martial art.

No matter how graceful and gentle and flowing it appears, each tai chi posture can be deadly. It’s a martial art, remember?

Yoga can certainly make you strong, flexible and calm. It can give you awesome posture. It might make you a better person. But yoga doesn’t teach you how to ward off an attack or deal with a bar-room brawl.

(Yikes! Here’s to hoping that none of us has to deal with attacks or brawls.)

Tai chi teaches you how to move through the space around you.

When you practice yoga, you’re on your mat. Your mat is your space, your world. There’s power and comfort in that. Your mat can be a retreat, a refuge, a safe place to regroup. I love this about yoga!

Tai chi is different. There’s no mat to mark your boundary. Rather, you learn how to move across physical space with strength, fluidity and ease. You learn how to stay grounded and balanced when you move.

Just as tai chi helps you move in the physical realm, it also helps to help you pass through mental and emotional barriers.

Tai chi is flowing, slow, continuous movements.

Flowing slowly and continuously in tai chi feels good. It develops tremendous small muscle control, which contributes to your sense of balance. I find flowing a great way to be mindful.

Are there versions of yoga that emphasize continuous, slow flowing movements? None that I’m aware of. You can certainly flow in vinyasa (synchronized breath-movement) or power yoga. But there’s not the focus on continuous, slow flow like you find in tai chi.

Tai chi gets you—gasp!—touching other people.

“Pushing hands” is a two-person exercise in tai chi. Pushing hands teaches you sensitivity to others and the world beyond. You are “listening” to your partner with your hands, not your ears. It teaches you how to stay tuned in, balanced and relaxed regardless of what the world tosses your way.

You might argue that there’s touch in yoga, too. There are hands-on instructor adjustments. The occasional soothing touch from an instructor during savasana (corpse pose). Or the accidental touching of hands of yogis during full locust or a twist. But these touches don’t teach the give-take, back-forth sensitivity of Pushing Hands in tai chi.

Tai chi is more about connecting (and talking) with other people.

When you experiment with applications in tai chi class, or when you do Pushing Hands, you’re talking with your partner.

Communicating with your partner is both natural and essential. For example, you might say, “I’m going to push your shoulder, then you turn your waist.” Or “How did that feel?” “Did that move work for you?” “Am I ‘getting’ this posture?”

It’s different with yoga. In my experience, yoga is something of a sacred space, a sanctuary. The sign on the door says, “Please observe silence in the yoga room.”

In other words, be quiet. Turn inward. Focus on breath and postures.

As much as I love this aspect of yoga, it also left a void within me. I definitely don’t want to chit-chat or talk with others during yoga class, but I wanted more connections with people.

I craved social interaction. I yearned to develop lasting friendships with more like-minded folks. This just wasn’t happening in my yoga journey.

Tai chi is proving different. 

I’m finding tai chi incredibly conducive to building connections with others.

Sure, we turn inward, focusing on the mind-body experience when we do a tai chi form (set sequence of flowing postures). But we talk with our partners during applications and Pushing Hands. We ask questions. We give feedback. We laugh. We connect… and I’m thankful for it. Connecting with others makes me feel good—contented, if you will.

Yoga’s wonderful, but it’s not the Be All and End All (nor should it have to be). Tai chi offers its own brand of mind-body magic that’s well worth exploring. 

Whether you are a hard-core yoga devotee, just strike the occasional yoga pose or have never done yoga, promise me this: give tai chi a try. Be open. Be patient. You might find your mind-body and life all the richer for it!

I’d like to hear from you: What’s the top reason you might try tai chi? Or wouldn’t you? Please leave a comment below.

 

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

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anonymous Aug 12, 2015 10:49am

One another point I forgot to mention is that in Indian philosophy there is no concept of enemy or an opponent who could harm us as its a non-dualistic system of philosopy (enemy and you are one). This passivity is intrinsic in Indian psyche. Hence with no enemies to defend yourself, martial arts have died out in India or found sanctuary in other places such as Shaolin .Only the spiritual practice of yoga survived the test of time.

anonymous Aug 12, 2015 10:44am

There are many kinds and lvels of Yoga which Tai Chi does not. Yoga was originally meant to be practiced by Brahmins – the elite class – only because of its complexity. The yoga mentioned here in this article is called Hatha Yoga – meaning body yoga . Beyong Hatha Yoga there is Prana yoga (Pranayamam), Kriya Yoga (cleansing our speech and action) finally Raja Yoga (related to mind and its conditioning) and then there are many in between addressing many substrata of yoga's. Yo-ga means union or to being the mind , body and spirit into a harmonious union to be able to receive the ultimate knowledge – Samadhi or enlightenment. Tai chi and Yoga both start their work on body-breath-mind trichotomy, however, Yoga goes beyond and addresses self-realization which Tai-Chi does not.

    anonymous Oct 16, 2015 11:19am

    Complete wrong. Yoga was developed by Kshatriya and that is why it called Raja Yoga. All great yogis were Kshatriya and follower of warrior Dharma. All forms of yoga are part of Raja Yoga. Yogis were casteless people. Brahmins never practised asanas or raja yoga. Brahmins were only concerned with Gyana Yoga.

    anonymous Nov 9, 2015 2:33am

    You're right about Yoga but that is not giving Tai Chi enough credit.
    Tai Chi is a physical expression of the philosophy of Yin and Yang. When those two are in harmony you have a state of Tai Chi.
    However Tai Chi as is commonly known is actually only a part of a very deep path. It's intimately linked with Nei Gong and Nei Dan, the Taoist practices of Internal Alchemy. Tai Chi or Tai Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan in Pinyin) is the fist form expression of much deeper principles.
    When looked at as a whole art it's integrated with Traditional Chinese Medicine which has parallels to Ayurveda as well as being infused with the power and principles of Nei Gong.
    Look up Daoyin and Nei Dan.

    The goal of these practices is to cultivate vital energy (Qi) transmute vital energy into vital essence (Jing), vital essence into spirit (shen) and return spirit to void, achieving harmony with the universe and being at one with Heaven and Earth.

    All of those different Yoga's mentioned have parallels within the pathways of Daoist internal martial arts.
    I can't say everything is parallel because my knowledge of Yoga is rather limited but I can say that each of the ones explicitly mentioned are.

    Look into the Wudang tradition for some really interesting insights into Taijiquan and other Neijiquan (internal martial arts)

    Bagua is based out of the Yi Jing, and the same philosophical root as Feng Shui; the Yi Jing or Book of Changes. It's a medicine wheel in physicalized form as a martial art and moving meditation.

    Xingyi is literally translated as Heart and Mind Boxing and corresponds with the 5 elements theory of TCM. There's a fist for each element.

anonymous Jun 27, 2015 4:52am

Hi Marie,

It is a decently old post and I happen to come across this as there are some differences in opinion with the World Yoga Day, right here in India itself. Borders in the name of religion seem to have increased.

Anyways, I workout in Gym and meditate very often. Have tried tai chi from some tutorials and yes it is indeed great.

However, even though Yoga is focused on Moksha, yet the exercises are beneficial for health. Asanas as Mayurasana is known to bring immunity to venom and snakebite poison. If that sound inbelievable to u, it cures almost all digestion problems and there are hundred asanas. Vajrasana is good for digestion even right after heavy meal. Usual yoga meditation with any of the 8 mudras bring in different results and can enhance the internal organd as well.

Vibrations that heal organs, mind and soul. Vibrations that can connect, not to one but millions, plants and animals or the GOD of ur understanding.

anonymous Apr 28, 2015 5:39am

I have been doing tai chi and yoga for many years and I find both are very beneficial. However I have some aches and pains which are related to yoga, With Tai Chi I do not experience any side effects or aches and pains afterwards. I have noticed that some tai chi practitioners are very fat and do not place too much importance on lifestyle. So I think it is important to combine tai chi with good eating habits and not allow oneself to become a fat slob.

anonymous Aug 28, 2014 4:21pm

I love both arts as well, but the truth is tai chi embraces motion in a very unique way that I don't see mirrored in yoga. As a mystic tai chi is more empowering and gives me opportunities to engage with the earth and my own center and then challenge those states through continuous motion. Still like aikido tai chi takes a long time to really learn to fight with unless you practice another martial art alongside it. Just the same I love tai chi and often write about the philosophy of joining with the Tao and surrendering to the moment myself. Great Post!

    anonymous Sep 3, 2014 3:59pm

    I agree, Wesley: Tai chi embraces motion in a very unique way. Enjoy!

anonymous Aug 11, 2014 8:48am

Hi Tai chi in China – I love that expression: "It takes 10 years for you to leave the training hall." Very cool imagery. Illustrates the work, experience and transformation involved. 🙂

I practice Yang style and am intrigued with Chen style. FYI.

    anonymous Nov 9, 2015 2:13am

    As it's been explained to me, Chen style makes the spiraling coiling movements more obvious and easier to grasp, yet all that internal spiraling coiling power is present in good Taiji of any lineage.
    At the school I train at it starts with Yang 37, then Wudang 64 and Chen style Xinjia Yi Lu (89 posture Beijing lineage)
    Some of my favorite videos for either are Tian Liyang's Wudang 64 and Chen Yu's Xinjia Yi Lu.
    I'm halfway through the Wudang form right now and really loving it

anonymous Aug 11, 2014 8:16am

Great fun article – I've been toying with the idea of Tai Chi for a while now and this might just be the article that takes me into my first class 😉 Thanks!

anonymous Aug 10, 2014 4:52pm

At the early stages of Tai Chi you're almost certainly not going to learn taiji for actual combat. It can take a very long time for Tai Chi to be useful in real combat. There is a saying that it takes 10 years for you to leave the training hall, simply meaning it takes an awful long time for it to be useful as a martial art. You can do it quicker of course and numerous people have. You can get other benefits from the training almost immediately though and taiji when taught for combat can be brutal as well, though it's fairly hard to find people really teaching tai chi for combat it seems. One misconception though is Chen tai chi is the only system that focuses on combat. In fact, all tai chi systems can be taught with a focus on combat.

anonymous Aug 10, 2014 3:38pm

Hi. I live in Mexico. I've been doing tai chi for more than ten years (both chen and yang styles) and I started with yoga a year ago, with an indian teacher. Yoga class is not always quiet, but certainly it is more quiet then tai chi class. I practice tui shou, pushing hands, and I enjoy it a lot. I agree totally with your comments. Thank you. Engracia V.

    anonymous Aug 11, 2014 8:44am

    Engracia, great to hear from you! I'd like to study more Chen style tai chi. Very intriguing to me. I wonder if I can do those low stances! Any advice on that?

    All the best to you.

anonymous Aug 9, 2014 1:54pm

Great article, Marie. I am also a practitioner of both yoga and tai chi. I agree with you on many of the points you mention. I've read a book recently that defines the evolution of modern yoga and how the practice actually has roots in hindu marital arts. The book is called "Yoga. Benefits and Risks" ( I think )… Yoga used to be passed down from master to apprentice. It was a 1 on 1 relationship. Today, in the Western World we practice in a classroom following the instructor much like a martial arts training. There are quite a few martial arts poses in the yoga world. The warrior poses being the most obvious. As to what style of yoga involves fluid movement and martial arts influence, there is a style called Shadow Yoga. Then there is also Daoist Yoga which is also called Yin Yoga… Having practiced martial arts for many years I find myself telling people " you don't wanna f with a yogi"… With all the element which encompass yoga practice, I believe a yogi has some serious power to f someone up if the need arises. Grant it, a little bit of self defense training would significantly increase a yogis ability to defend themselves.

    anonymous Aug 10, 2014 3:54pm

    Good points, iambluemonk. I'm going to check out Shadow Yoga… sounds good. I do Yin Yoga now and then. It's wonderful for really loosening up the connective tissues.

    What style of yoga do you practice?

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 6:40pm

I'll be honest, I've glanced and breezed over Tai Chi before thinking it an exercise for the "more mature," but recognizing it for the powerful martial art that it is makes me want to take a second look! Thanks Marie – love your "voice," by the way!

    anonymous Aug 7, 2014 7:20am

    Hi Sabrina – You've got lots of company: Because tai chi is especially beneficial for older adults, many people think of it as an "older adult" thing. Tai chi is awesome as a moving meditation and a martial art. I hope you give it a try someday… and, if you do, be patient with it.

    anonymous Nov 9, 2015 2:40am

    Taiji Quan translates literally as Supreme Ultimate Fist. It's also the first of harmonizing Yin and Yang.
    Check out Chen style or the stories of Yang Lu Chan or Chen Fake and Lei Tai 🙂
    I partial to Wudang forms myself.
    Check out Wudang Taiyi Five Elements Firm by Master Bing or look up the documentary Mind, Void, Tao

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 6:10pm

I have been practicing T'ai Chi for more than 17 years, (teaching since 2009) and practicing hot yoga for the past five years. Yoga is a nice complement to my T'ai Chi and Qigong practice, but I believe the true benefits come from T'ai Chi. Learning to be relaxed and present while doing slow movements allows one to have more clarity and focus outside of practicing–taking it to our daily life.
Our Sifu (who is also red-belt in Wing Chun Kung Fu) has us practice push-hands every week, as you know, the sensitivity drill is more about listening with our body, not our mind (non-thinking). Which is easier said than done, so we continue to practice…
Also, I have recently begun teaching T'ai Chi/Qigong at the Huntsman Cancer Wellness Center to staff and patients. I love how functional medicine is beginning to see the benefits of the Eastern Arts.

    anonymous Aug 7, 2014 7:10am

    Toni, I'm a fellow "hottie," too. (As in hot yoga practitioner, for those who may wonder what I mean.) Thanks for your comment and all the best to you, especially with teaching cancer staff and patients.

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 11:07am

I’ve dabbled in yoga and have been practicing taichi for years. I find taichi extremely satisfying as a health maintanence body system. In addition it is extremely effective as a self defense system but you must take lessons from someone who can teach you that aspect. Push hands within taichi is the most effective way I have found to defend yourself. You can learn how to move to neutralized attacks and then strike at the same time using your attackers momentum against them. I have trained in bagua, hsing i , shoshin ryu, jujitsu and praying mantis kung fu. Tai chi tops them all as a fighting system in my opinion. Plus the slow movement establishes strength and control and balance as well as an awareness of your body and surroundings.

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 3:32pm

    Which brings us to the sixth way tai chi is better than yoga… you can test it. People make all sorts of claims in the yoga world and there's no real way to put many of those claims to the test. Hard to objectively prove how "spiritual" a practice makes you. In tai chi there is a concrete expectation that good training brings martial skill, and martial skill can be objectively tested.

      anonymous Aug 7, 2014 7:12am

      John, do you think yoga or tai chi is better when it comes to flexibility?

        anonymous Aug 7, 2014 2:37pm

        Yoga.

        If you're doing contemporary display tai chi there's a lot of stretching needed to get the high kicks and low swoops (jumping into front splits in small frame chen form, any one?), and "going low" has been part of the style for a good while, and requires flexibility. At even a basic level tai chi is probably better for achilles flexibility than yoga. That said, realistic, practical, applications don't require all that much flexibility. Yoga involves similar flexibility to the kicks and swoops – and back bends, binds, a world of flexibility just not needed for a martial art with no ground work. Some aspects of tai chi build shoulder flexibility but many do not, it's a standard part of yoga practice. Overall – for flexibility, strength, integration, even breath work, yoga comes out ahead…

          anonymous Aug 9, 2014 9:15am

          John, I agree with much of what you say here, but I question whether yoga is better at integration. Care to elaborate?

            anonymous Aug 9, 2014 4:15pm

            If you are doing either yoga or tai chi for physical benefits only, you are doing neither properly.

            anonymous Aug 11, 2014 3:19pm

            Tai chi does have the advantage of testing your structure in push hands and learning to maintain it under that pressure, which helps with integration, and also of extending beyond the body with weapons, but yoga has a much wider range of positions to integrate the body in, and stresses it in so many more directions at so many more angles, that I think yoga wins on this score. Maybe an art with a fully integrated ground game as well as the standing stuff central to tai chi would offer more than yoga? I don't know, I've never trained one.

    anonymous Aug 7, 2014 7:13am

    You sound quite deadly, bryan! 🙂

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 9:21am

I love it, Rob: Tai-meta-yoga-tation! Bring it on!

anonymous Aug 6, 2014 6:15am

Reading your article re; Taiji and Yoga, I found it ironic that my practice of both occurred in the opposite sequence. Two years after starting taiji, I discovered a yoga routine that dovetailed perfectly with my taiji routine. At the same time a meditation routine manifested; and coupled with my metaphysical background, all fell into place as a beautiful daily routine I fondly refer to as Tai-meta-yoga-tation. Powerful stuff, indeed!

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 11:54pm

I found Marie's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhT178k0FhA#t=99 VERY helpful for reducing my stress and brining me some peace of mind. I know it's also a marital art, and I've studied for many years but I find Tai Chi a beautiful balance between the art of war and the art of peace.

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 9:20am

    Glad you found the video helpful, Lisa. All the best to you.

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 8:54pm

I certainly takes more than 200 hours to be "registered" in Tai Chi. That makes it more legit than Westernized yoga.

    anonymous Aug 6, 2014 6:42am

    Being registered and what makes an instructor "legit." That's a big discussion right there, yogibattle.

      anonymous Nov 9, 2015 1:42am

      I asked my Tai Chi teacher what it would take to teach Tai Chi at his school. He said "keep training and practice everyday for 10 years then go off and teach another 10"
      He really wasn't kidding either.
      My other teacher spent 8 years in China, 4 of which was as a full time resident of a mountain temple.
      Yet another spent 15 years directly under the Grandmaster of his lineage as a secretary/personal assistant. At his school the program is 3 years full time residential training and typically one only teaches after being formally adopted into the lineage as a disciple, Chinese name and all.

      I'm not sure how it works elsewhere, but gaining blessings to teach in the Tai Chi tradition seems something of a daunting task.

      I also asked my Sifu if there was anything comparable to Yoga teacher training in the Tai Chi world and he said it could probably be done with some of the Qi Gong forms, but to really get the deep essence of the whole art would be too complicated to fast track.

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 7:48pm

I love social interaction and, as much as I love working from home and plan my travel, I crave social interaction too. Thanks for this article, Marie!

anonymous Aug 5, 2014 8:49am

I love the flowing, POWERFUL, relaxing movements of Tai Chi – it IS different than yoga – and can provide you will some very different benefits. Love!

    anonymous Aug 5, 2014 10:23am

    I hope more people give tai chi a try, Sara. Very different benefits so worth checking out tai chi. 🙂

anonymous Aug 4, 2014 10:24pm

Both can be very useful for people. Tai Chi can definitely be refreshing after a lot of yoga! It's fun to be able to interact with people and play gently with the martial arts aspects 🙂

anonymous Aug 4, 2014 7:44pm

As for forms of yoga that emphasize slow flowing movements, take a look at Zhander Remete's Shadow Yoga.

And if connection with other people in various ways is what you're after, acroyoga is all about that.

I would love to practice taijiquan, but I get a lot out of yoga, and I just don't have the time to maintain two different systems of body cultivation.

    anonymous Aug 5, 2014 12:53am

    From a tai chi perspective, all the Shadow yoga I've done just feels like bad tai chi (albeit a more vigorous workout than the average tai chi class, hence my comment above). Yes, there are plenty of slow, flowing, movement yoga classes but try some good tai chi and you'll immediately see what's missing from the yoga. It is time consuming to do both at first but once you begin to grasp both you find that both disciplines are really just different expressions of the same movement principles and they compliment each other to the point where maintaining both is not too demanding any more.

    Acroyoga… yes, it builds a connection, better than tai chi, but acrobatics… that builds connections far better than either.

    anonymous Aug 5, 2014 4:41am

    Erich, thanks for the tips about ZR's shadow yoga and also acroyoga. (Is the latter acrobatic yoga???) Maybe in time you'll have time to practice taijiquan. In any case: enjoy your mind-body cultivation of choice!

      anonymous Aug 13, 2014 12:33pm

      Acroyoga is a fusion of yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage. The "flying" part, where one person supports another up in the air, can be done in either an acrobatic way or in a therapeutic way, where the base tractions, twists, and massages the flyer.

      There are acroyoga groups all over the world – a web search for "acroyoga" plus your city name should find one near you. And the vast majority of them don't require you to bring a partner with you.

anonymous Aug 4, 2014 3:55pm

Practiced tai chi (yang and chen) for years (well over a decade) alongside yoga, with a daily chi kung practice and a committed forms/drills practice before gradually switching in bagua for the tai chi. Agree about the partner work, and the self defence aspect though, if we're honest, very, very, few tai chi practitioners could fight their way out of a paper bag. A tiny minority are phenomenal but the vast majority would probably find some one with a reasonable shadow yoga practice too much to handle; still, the possibility is there. Yoga is significantly more varied (which is better for the body), and offers much more of a workout, though.

    anonymous Aug 4, 2014 4:19pm

    Hi John – Good thing I'm not surrounded by evil paper bags because I doubt that I could fight my way out of one, also. 🙂 I can attest to yoga being an awesome workout… but can't tai chi be highly vigorous as well?

      anonymous Aug 5, 2014 1:15am

      Tai chi… there's no question it requires effort – if you're doing the large frame chen style long form two hours a day as recommended, for example, you're going to strengthen your legs, loosen much of your body, and burn a few calories. If you do very traditional training (and I don't know any one who does) then you're doing standing practice, squats, rolling big rocks around for strength, seated meditation and ligament strengthening, body conditioning, some breaking, weapons drills, push hands, sparring… sure it's definitely vigorous but the comparative yoga would be doing an Ana Forrest intensive or Dharma Mittra Maha Sadhana or Astanga series 1,2,&3 every day plus extended pranayama and meditation… No question the yoga would involve a wider range of movements and work more of the body more – still being a better workout. You only have to compare two people at roughly the same level in the two different disciplines to see yoga does more workout wise (even with the trend for modern "dance" tai chi). No, I'd thoroughly recommend every one try both disciplines and I love tai chi but I'd have to concede that, if forced to chose, yoga is the more rounded and versatile of the two on a physical level.

        anonymous Aug 8, 2014 2:39pm

        I'm getting you a big rock to roll around, John. Sounds like you don't have one! (heh heh) All the best….

      anonymous Aug 7, 2014 12:56am

      Too many people don't understand the Qi Gong they're told to practice because when you start adding that to every move in your form, the workout becomes incredible, and your fighting skills become completely energized. You won't be worried about your skills at all once you know the Chi is working in your body. Pranayama gives you some of that as well, but it's like comparing apples and oranges. It just depends on what you like. If you like both, either one can be used to compliment the other. Just enjoy the ride.

        anonymous Aug 8, 2014 2:37pm

        I'm with you, Charles! Enjoy the ride, whether that's qigong or pranayama. 🙂

Carol Galat Aug 9, 2018 3:18pm

I forgot to add: I had a great instructor for the first ten years, who taught the martial arts aspects, and have enjoyed tai chi at home for the past five years. I created a cane form, using the short tai chi yang form as a basis, then taught it to others. Demonstrated the cane form on World Tai Chi Day, in Medina, Ohio. It's been a lot of fun, poking at an imaginary opponent. Really relieves stress.

Carol Galat Aug 9, 2018 3:13pm

It's all about the chi/energy. I have noticed that there are personalities that prefer one over the other--tai chi vs yoga. I started tai chi 15 years ago, when I retired at age 65, having tried yoga for a while and not enjoying the stillness, needed to move. But that's just me. You'll know what fits you best.

Carol Galat Aug 9, 2018 3:08pm

CHI, it's all about the chi/energy. Senior tai chi practitioner here, 15 years, the first 10 with a great teacher. Started with yoga, and couldn't sit still. Felt stifled. Needed to move. Yoga vs tai chi--it all in the individual's personality--you choose, but do choose. And do it!

Matt Ganley May 29, 2018 10:13pm

Very interesting

Ron Pfeiffer Sep 2, 2017 2:43pm

Marie, Very nice article, clearly outlining some of the important distinctions between these health-giving Arts. Very useful in recent Facebook postings where people seek to find which one is better. Yoga is certainly better for some people and taichi certainly fits the bill for others.

Johan Wildschut Aug 12, 2017 10:37am

Ik ben het zeker eens met het betere sociale aspect van Tai Chi t.o.v. Yoga.

Zhang Master May 23, 2016 2:03am

Hi, Welcome to Dragon Mountain Martial Arts Academy!!! www.learnchinesekungfu.com

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Marie Overfors

Marie Overfors is a tai chi and yoga instructor. She suspects the self-defense side of tai chi may come in handy after legions of previously calm yogis and yoginis read this post and track her down.

Marie is passionate about helping you feel and look your best—strong, balanced, flexible, relaxed—at any age. Please visit her blog (and grab a free copy of 7 Juicy Secrets to Health, Vitality and Joy) at her website. Or say hello on Facebook.