How tai chi can help your yoga practice

I’ve been playing tai chi for far longer than I’ve practiced yoga asana regularly.

So my meditation in movement has always been slow and purposeful and full of strength as well as ease.

Recently I’ve come to realize just how much that practice influences my relationship to yoga asana.

My sequencing is fluid. My steps are rooted. I connect with the earth and the wood and the water and the heavens from posture to posture. I tai chi my yoga!

This weekend I am offering a workshop, Yoga Chi Flow, to share some of the fundamentals of tai chi and how we can use them to deepen our relationship with movement in our yoga. Often in yoga how we get from pose to pose doesn’t really matter. It’s not something that’s addressed or even taught. The destination, Warrior 2, Half Moon, Crane, is the practice. But in tai chi, the journey, the “how we get there” matters. We exist within the world of interplay between yin and yang, full and empty… substantial and insubstantial.

Key elements we will learn:

Sinking chi.

In tai chi, we learn to sink our chi or root down. But we draw upward from that rooting. It gives a solidity and stability to our movement that is the key to balance, strength and fluidity. We will apply this practice as we move in our legs in postures like Warriors and Tree and Triangle.

Equal and opposite energies.

The seeming flowery movements in tai chi are not by accident. All movements have a reason and interplay themselves. They are connected and are calling and responding. If arms are moving, they are equally responding to what the legs are doing. We will work on exercises to connect our awareness to equal and opposite movements in yoga postures.

Within the slow is the now.

Tai Chi is a slow practice, not because people are lazy. The slow brings us into the present. The now resides within the slow. And inside of the now is the awareness we seek for mindfulness, compassion, patience, and self-study. We will eventually string some sequences together working within these principles slowly and deliberately to feel the energies of chi and yoga prana working together opening opportunities to complement and grow our practice.


The Yoga Chi Flow workshop is Sunday, July 30, 1-3 p.m.

Learn more about the workshop HERE. If there is enough interest we will make this a regular class on the schedule at Just B Yoga.


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