Within my own LFIAA Taijiquan classes many individuals take up its practice for many reason, for example like learning to relax, gentle exercise for the elderly, improving their balance and the very rare individuals who take it up as an internal martial art. But for those who participate mainly to improve their health and wellbeing and have been practicing for many years should begin to experience the effects of their taijiquan practice and study continue into their everyday lives. Especially to those individuals who have been studying taijiquan for at least more than two years and obviously regularly practice on their own and within a class structure.
At its most highest of levels the practitioner of taijiquan should be able to perform their taiji form at a very slow speed which is determined by how long and deep their breathing is, their aim is to harmonise the concept of Yin & Yang which manifests itself in the practice of taijiquan by involving rising, lowering, opening and closing, insubstantial and substantial. This aspect leads the taijiquan practitioner deeper into their study and practice leading them more towards the “Moving Meditation” practice which unites their body, essences (Jing), breath (Qi) and mind (Shen).
Once the practitioner can achieve the level of attaining “Stillness within Motion” and within themselves develop a deep feeling of inner calmness and tranquility in their practice of taijiquan. Then the aim is for this inner feeling of calmness and stillness to over flow into their daily lives. Over my years of practicing and teaching taijiquan I have heard many students mention that they really feel relaxed from their class practice, but within seconds of leaving the class get very irritable with someone cutting them up in the traffic. This means that their practice of remaning calm and still inside has not transformed itself into their daily life.
If you practice correctly, then after a long period of time with consistent regular practice of taijiquan it is only natural for its effects to manifest themselves in each individual, like strengthening the concentration, breathing correctly and maintaining a soft, pliant body and more importantly subduing the emotions, so that we feel more contented, balanced within ourselves. Which all helps us understand that our taijiquan practice should not be left in the class room, but should over flow into all areas of our lives allowing us to combat the stresses and strains of our fast modern lifestyles.