Allow me to make a few comments about Tai Chi and its relationship to Eastern philosophy and thought and how it differs from Western ideas.
The concept of a "Tai Chi Lifestyle" is not an option that most people in the west ever consider. To adopt a mental and physical program that becomes an integral part of our lives, that we practice regularly and that grows as we grow is foreign to the thinking of most Americans.
In contrast to the TV commercials that advertise drugs for arthritis, headaches, depression, sexual dysfunction... there is no quick fix to heal all of our ills. The problems most people experience did not develop overnight and will not be cured by swallowing the latest potion or pill that claims to make you happy, healthy, better looking...
When you learn that first Tai Chi movement, you are beginning a journey that can take you to new heights of physical and emotional awareness, but it does not happen quickly. Although most people realize benefits after only a few classes, the true enlightenment occurs when you have practiced thousands of times. The union of mind and body begins when you have learned the entire 108 movements and practice them repeatedly. The form is never perfect - it is always a work in progress. Every repetition is a unique experience - always correcting, always improving.
For most, the 8 week session is as far as you will go - much the same as reading the first few pages of a book without going any further. A few will extend their interest to delve a little deeper into the form. And then a very select group will move beyond the surface, learn the entire form, practice with regularity and begin the journey of a lifetime that connects our mind, body and soul with everyone and everything around us.
If you have not done so, I invite you to read my article, "The Movement of Life" posted on the Institute website listed below. It may help bring you to a better understanding of the benefits of adopting a Tai Chi Lifestyle.