Do you need a teacher to learn Tai Chi? I believe that a good teacher is a must!!! In my humble opinion a good Tai Chi or Qigong practice makes us more joyful and happy. It is important to choose a teacher that emanates joyfulness, one that makes you feel happier just being in their presence. There is an energy transmission between teacher and student and because of this it is important to learn from someone who has an inner light. Having a good teacher is like having a road map. They have traveled the road before you and you can learn from their prior travels.
What does it take to be a good student? Listening, patience, practice and a willingness to learn. Part of learning is having a home practice. It is imperative to practice on your own in order to progress. Practicing Tai Chi is like delving into the book of “you”. You learn about yourself, about nature, about letting go of conditioned habits, about the inner workings of your mind. It is a time to be sensitive to the subtleties of the practice, a time to notice and be present. If possible, do not practice in front of a mirror as this takes away from being fully present.
It is important to study and read books and watch videos but nothing takes the place of direct experience. In order to learn from books and videos you must already have a good foundation of the basics and principles of Tai Chi. A video cannot give you feedback. As a student I may hear my teacher say something a hundred times and then one day the light bulb goes on. This is what I call an “AHA” moment. “AHA” moments often arise while we are practicing on our own. These are such joyful moments and I for one love “AHA” moments. They keep me coming back for more. Happy Training!!!