Yoga or tai chi

To those who did these, what results did you get and how long did it take to see a difference?

A difference in what?

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you know like… is your pee pee any bigger? :upside_down_face:

I did rune yoga and it was cool

I don’t know much about Yoga, but I’m really into Daoism, have been doing Zhan Zhuang and some other Qigong sets from different sources and traditions, and haven’t stuck with one, until now.

In Daoism, at least in schools I’m familiar with, you are encouraged to do 4 different kinds of practice, each related to the eight trigrams:
image

Some like to simplify the trigrams, and consider the broken lines as a representation of Yin, and the full lines as representation of Yang. It is thought to be important to balance your practice accordingly.

So what you get is the four main practices connected to Wuji, but from different main branches, Yin and Yang:
On the Yin side, you have static exercises:

  1. Stillness-based practice (completely Yin, so two broken lines), such as meditations, including seated Neigong and Neidan.
  2. Seeking movement through stillness (Yin over Yang, broken line over complete), this is Zhan Zhuang or static Qigong, also called standing meditation

On the Yang side, you have dynamic (moving) exercises:

  1. Seeking stillness within movement (Yang over Yin, complete line over broken), this includes all Qigong sets, from medical, to sets that are simply energetic, or used as a catalyst to Neigong and Neidan.
  2. Movement-based exercise (completely Yang), this includes Tai Chi, also some sets of Dao Yin Shengong and Qigong.

If you were to start with Tai Chi, and only use that, without the proper context, or esoteric background, what you’ll gain is a light energetic workout, and much better flexibility, probably a little better concentration power too.

Like DarkestKnight said, it depends on what you want to use it for. You have medical Qigong, aimed at balancing or healing physical and energetic aspects of your body, you have Qigong sets that aren’t medical Qigong but are extremely good at stimulating the energetic body and is somewhat healthy (this is what most people do), then you get Qigong which is used in Neigong, as a form of cultivation. You really need to specify what it is you are looking for so we can point you in the right direction.

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In my view yoga will build your strength and flexibility faster, and your qi much slower. It does not use the mind to direct the qi flow, so you get no training in energy working in that sense.

Tai Chi will build your quads but less so your general strength and flexibility, but your energy gains faster and flows more smoothly sooner.

I would combine both for maximum effect. Personally I prefer Tai Chi.

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proper tai chi. yoga nowadays is fast food yoga class without the whole system principles…

Or do both. see what you like. explore. Then decide which is for you worth going deeper in.
As for results, they are not noticeable due to internal work of energy. Until your advance awareness is tune to notice.

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Best advice on the thread. Do both.

That said, @Middernag gave some solid pearls as well. Thank you.

Most Westerners do not practice yoga for its original purpose of cultivating prana for spiritual Ascension. It is mainly used as a system of stretching and meditation, devoid of anything too esoteric, so it is difficult to compare it to Tai Chi because most Westerners do not practice Tai Chi for its true purpose either.

Tai chi is first and foremost a martial art. While it does develop chi, and aid in health maintenance, its primary purpose isn’t spiritual cultivation, but combat (though to be honest, many sages saw combat as a spiritual pursuit). Some Westerners who practice Tai Chi are actually shocked to learn it is a fighting art.

To really get a sense of the effect of each art, you would have to talk to someone who actually practices them for their true purpose, not just basic health maintenance.

EA spent a few years practicing Ashtanga yoga for spiritual cultivation, and in the Book of Azazel he briefly describes how his energy flowed differently while doing yoga, compared to when he began weight training under Azazel.

If you are looking for an art to simply cultivate energy, the basic forms of tai chi are easier to learn than the various yoga asana, but the full system of true yoga can develop considerable spiritual power.

Ultimately, it depends on what you are seeking to achieve. I, personally, use a basic qi gong form called the Precious Eight, along with Zhan Zhuang, and have done so off and on for many years.

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A former friend of mine, who was a black belt in ninjutsu (or ninjitsu, I don’t remember) and a not very successful black magician, talked to me about tai chi someday and he said “it will help you balance your aura and it also has a fighting aspect”, and then I remembered that blindfolded guy in “Mortal Kombat Armaggeddon” whose martial art was tai chi, I used to like that character.

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Or watch a bunch of chinese action movies about tai chi theme for research. =o)

True, and Tai Chi is usually divided into three types:

  1. Chen style is good for development of energy and martial arts.

  2. Wu style is good for fighting.

  3. Yang style is good for health exercise.

The Chen styles though are often much more connected to Neigong, and in Mao Shan or ShangQing some lineages believe in “spirit fighting”, which is done with internal Chen styles.

Which is unfortunately very few in the Western world, but it’s becoming more of the same in the East too as atheism is spreading.

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I like tai chi better. The movements are more compatible to me than yogic positions.

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Only Yang style was available to me in my neck of the woods, and I briefly studied it before returning to my qi gong practice and harder, more external, martial arts. At the time, the style of movement didn’t really suit me, though it might now that I’m older.

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I do think it lends itself greatly to balance and flexibility, which becomes even more important once you get older, since you lose mobility if you don’t do these types of practices, which is why you usually see people that practice QiGong, Tai Chi, and Yoga being more flexible when they are older compared to those who don’t.

I know that in the stretching in Daoist practices, and some Buddhist practices, they emphasize tendon stretching, and working with your tendons which is beneficial for when one is older. The also do bone-marrow stuff. So that’s just another aspect that appeals to me, that I won’t be as decrepit when I’m older and still going through the latter stages of Neidan.

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I agree. My qi gong practice has kept me more limber than I otherwise would be, especially since I don’t work my flexibility like I used to when I was heavily training in my art. There’s much more information available now on cultivation as well, than there was when I was beginning. I could only work with what I could find, which wasn’t much, growing up in a small town.

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That’s kind of how it was for me growing up in a very Christian community in SA, trying to get into the occult. But luckily for me, we eventually had the Internet, so yeah, I guess we are much more fortunate than older generations to have access to it.

There is, and you could probably get into whichever Taiji, Bague, or Xingyi style you wanted because you already know the correct way to stand through Zhan Zhuang, and have experience in dynamic QiGong as well. I’m only a beginner on this path, but if you ever want, you could check out a forum named the Daobums. It’s a forum geared towards mainly Daoism, QiGong, Taiji, Xingyi, Bague, Buddhism, NeiGong, and Neidan. You could easily learn Taiji from a good book and a DVD for understanding the flow of movements, and if you really want, you could always just attend a single seminar or class for a teacher to instruct you whether your form or posture is good.

Since you’re probably in the US, you should look into the Dragon Gate sect, they have temples in your country, and are pretty big in the US. If you were to practice a Taiji style or QiGong forms from their school, you could always arrange a personal meeting with one of them to correct your form if there even is anything wrong. But DVDs should be enough to understand form through the flow.

Bruce Kumar Frantzis, look into his books, and the corresponding DVDs if you like. I hope you find what you are looking for, and enjoy conversing with and learning from you. If you ever need to talk just let me know man. :+1:

Canada, actually :slight_smile:

I’ve got a bunch of his stuff. I really like his work. I’m used to the Fire methods of chi cultivation, and the Water method that Frantzis teaches is a bit of a change. I’m currently re-reading his book Relaxing Into Being.

Great recommendation :slight_smile:

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Haviing done Tai Chi for 10 years you most assuredly cannot learn the form from a book. That’ll be like learning to pilot a plane from a manual. My teacher regularly finds fault with me after all this time and I’m one of his more advanced students.

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I guess the first masters had to learn from their masters too right? Oh wait…

I don’t care what your teacher who’s swindling you out of your money thinks, the fact is the first masters didn’t HAVE MASTERS. They learned it themselves. This nonsense of needing somebody to show you is a way for him to make money doing what he loves, which though is fine, is not something I buy into.

Continue doing and believing everything you’re told, I’ll go with my gut, k? And when my gut fails, you know, there’s always Immortals, who can teach you more and don’t charge exorbitant prices. Have a pleasant evening sir.