The most recognizable feature of tai chi training is “the form” or routine. Each school or style has routines that they favour. I have learned dozens of routines from many different schools and different styles. Some routines are very standardized. Others vary from teacher to teacher.
The important thing to remember is that the routine itself is not tai chi. The routine is the framework, or the context within which you practise tai chi.
There are characteristics of the choreography that will help you to improve your tai chi. The slowness, the balancing postures, the stretching, the twisting, and the positions of the arms will help to improve strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, awareness, relaxation, and much more. The routines are designed to emphasize efficiency, relaxation, and safe movement.
A teacher can help you to perform the routine in a way that gives you the maximum benefit, and will teach you principles of movement, body alignment, and leverage that you probably would not discover on your own.
Some routines are simple and brief. Some are long and complex. Some are long and simple. Some are short and profoundly complex.
For that matter, standing still is a deep and profound art that is crucial to tai chi. There are some teachers who insist that student practise standing meditation for weeks or months before they learn a routine. (Though most school start teaching a routine right at the beginning.)
I will be posting two types of videos about tai chi routines. One type will be instructional, with varying degrees of detail and depth. The other will be reference videos, which will have minimal instruction and will be most useful for those who are already learning or have learned tai chi.
Here are some videos that available now.