May 3, 2005 at 2:24 am #5296
If you had to choose between yoga and tai chi, what would you pick? And dont say taoist yoga (qigong) because that includes everything.May 3, 2005 at 11:03 am #5297
Yoga – Self Realization. I think that is a broad term for it.
Hatha Yoga – Physical exercises are what most people define as Yoga. (at least in my experience in the USA.
I am no Yoga expert in either practice, or lore.
Tai Chi Chuan – The supreme ultimate fist. One definition.
Tai Chi – A nice light dancelike martial art practices by old people and having some benefits to balance and circulation. (Honestly, I believe it is perceived this way by the majority who don’t travel in our circles.)
Now These represent two broad stroke definitions of what you are asking about. Further refinement of your question could go on…forever.
I pick Tai Chi. Tai Chi to me means practice of movement chi kung. Opening all the joints through physical and energetic work. Grounding and rooting.
Tai Chi is just high level Chi Kung with a different label attached to it. A primary point is that Tai Chi forms focus on projecting energy out (attack and defense require that.)
Good Tai Chi training can incorporate Yi Chuan (standing practice) and even Tao In (stretching and opening exercises very similar to some Hatha yoga).
As well as many other elements.
So while the term Taoist Yoga is rejected for use, upon further examination you will find that real Tai Chi practice will incorporate many aspects of “Taoist Yoga” within the training.
Ultimately you are asking whether one would prefer to study/practice a system which is connected to the natural science of the Way (Tao) which derives primarily from India and the worldview of the Hindu, or primarily from China and the worldview of Taoism. Again this above represents a vast oversimplification of the two in order to make a contrast between them.
I would rather practice Tai Chi because to me there is more there, and the cultural milieu is more towards my idea of integrating the spirit in the body, whereas I find the Yogic/Hindu concept is more towards the spectrum of extreme body manipulation and more Head, Heaven centered.
Again, this is not to speak against Yoga. It is very beneficial to many, and I would not recommend against it at all. Just Tai Chi offers me more, and the connection to the milieu of Chinese Tao arts makes it part of a cohesive whole to me.
After all that. Why ask Why? Extreme positions are not balanced points of view. They are both good practice and I should think that the most developed adepts are incorporating everthing that makes sense and works for them.
That is the true essence of the Tao, to accept what you are and work from where you are with the tools you find that work for you at the time. Never clinging and accepting new/useful information as it comes.
Blessings on your explorations.
CraigMay 3, 2005 at 1:15 pm #5299
Ron Diana (HT instructor) had an interesting observation about yoga vs. tai chi.
He said that one goal of yoga was to strech you muscles and tendons to the limit each time you practiced (this of course had physiological and energetic results).
He said that, in contrast, taoists didn’t believe in stretching or forcing anything to it’s limit. They are all about balance and followed the 70% rule in tai chi, chi gong, etc. That is, you gently do the movements without force, up to 70% of capacity. It is through this practice — gradual, gentle, repetitive over many years — that you get all the physiological and energetic effects of yoga.
Yoga of course has it’s concept of balance, one posture balances another, etc. But it does have the concept of — however gently — pushing your body. Tai chi and chi gong are devoid of that concept.
From my own personal perspective, I tend to hurt myself doing yoga, probably because I push myself farther than I should. Tai Chi and Chi Gong are much easier on my body and, I find, harder to screw up to the point of injury. So for me, the taoist stuff is preferable.May 3, 2005 at 4:14 pm #5301
There are so many approaches to yoga in the marketplace. Any practice that utilizes awareness and the body can be effective for growth. So much depends on what you want and what calls to you. I’m my experience, and I have many years of predominately yogic experience, the anusara approach of John Friend is the closest to the Taoist teachings of polarities and centers to radiate out from.
Kripalu yoga and its offshoot Phoenix Rising Yoga tend to accentuate the mindful awareness of movement and assist you in meeting that stretch or contraction with presence.
Again, it depends what you are looking for. Good adventures, babaMay 4, 2005 at 10:57 am #5303
I’m not drawn to yoga or tai chi, probably mtn biking fulfills that space for me.
balance, wind, flight, dirt, forest animals, trees, motion, mtn streams, panoramic views, clouds, rain, snow, sunshine, ancient rocks, forest spirits…..all in the same ride….
things ive learned…
recovery during full exertion.
staying on course while getting thrown to the side.
clearing an obsticle without focusing on it.
taking flight while going down….
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.