When practicing any of the 18 Taiji Qigong exercises, each individual must concentrate on harmonising the five components of their body which are the legs, torso, hands, breathing & concentration. Making sure that all of these five components (Wu Jie) are all integrated together and that no one part of the body is being moved isolated from the rest of the body. When moving the whole body there should be no sudden changes of speed, the breathing should dictate the speed of the whole body. By co-ordinating the breathing (Xi) and the movements (Dong) together in a slow, smooth, flowing and continuous action. The breathing itself should be long, deep, slow, smooth and quiet the breathing should be in through the nose and out through the nose.
Moving slowly co- ordinating the breathe and movements together means that each of the 18 Taiji Qigong exercises are prolonged, meaning that the physical body works much more harder, as the bodyweight seems to be held on one leg much more longer than normal, helping to strengthen the bones, muscles and ligaments and invigorating the cardiovascular system. Plus the arms seem to be held up and out in free space away from the body, which helps strengthens the bones, muscles and tendons of the upper extremities. Whereas, the torso gently turns from side to side to stretch the muscles of the back and hips and to gently stretch the spinal column.
Moving slowly also helps to strengthen the concentration, especially if you do many repetitions per exercise. As the mind must concentrate on the timing (Shizhong) of the Breathing & movements moving in harmony with each other, watching for no sudden changes of speed, no pausing or hesitation of the movements, making sure that the whole body’s five components are all linked together and not moving in isolation. Also making sure that you maintain your balance and do not wobble or stumble while practicing any of the 18 Taiji Qigong exercises and lose your own balance.
Each of the 18 Taiji Qigong exercises are very easy to learn, but very hard to master. The practice of taijiquan in general as been associated to an “Onion”. If you peel one section of the Onion away there is another layer below and so it is the same with the practice of Taiji Qigong. Once you learn and understand one layer then there is always another layer of the Taiji Qigong exercises, gradually making each individual delve deeper into its practice becoming more proficient in its external (Waigong) practice and its internal (Neigong) practices to attain good health and wellbeing.