Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How Do Tai Chi and Yoga Differ?

There are many different kinds of exercise and mind-body disciplines, tai chi and yoga are among the most popular. Both help limber up the body, focus the mind and body as one, improve body awareness, and lower stress. So how do they differ? Yoga's focus is on the internal life and health of a person, and in some traditions, on moral and spiritual teachings.
Tai chi does this too, but in contrast, excells at teaching you good alignment, breathing, relaxation, and movement, as well as application of movement. So, no matter if you're practicing tai chi as a meditative discipline or as a martial art, there's always a sense of how tai chi ideas (such as good alignment or balance) can be used in daily life both internally in one's own self, and externally, in interacting with other people and with tools and objects. Tai chi principles can be used equally in opening a window, for example, digging in the garden, or participating in a meeting at work, and so on.