T'ai Chi has been described as magical, and it certainly feels like magic.
Initially there is some awkwardness, the same as learning any new thing. After some facility is gained though, it becomes quite magical whether or not you are 'pushing hands' and engaging in an energy conversation with someone else or whether you are practicing the solo 'form'. The magic occurs. There is so much of you recruited into each moment, and on so many levels that it seems there is a symphony of sensation, perception and ability integrated into a centrally balanced and fluid consciousness. You are in charge, yet one with the flow. Quite exciting, while calming and relaxing. And this brings up another set of distinctions-unity of opposites.
PARADOX AND OPPOSITESExcited and calm, exercising and relaxed, soft and powerful, yielding and overcoming, and not moving in movement are a few of the opposites which occur simultaneously. This very interesting exercise, while never boring, is challenging. It challenges your preconceived way of being in relationship to gravity, your physical self, your mind, and with other people. You get to look at choices previously made on all these levels and rework those choices. This, of course, is growth.
GROWTHT'ai Chi promotes growth. Sure, other sports do too. But T'ai Chi occurs on so many levels and reaches so deep inside, you become a better person. (I know, you don't need to become a better person.) And T'ai Chi doesn't make you a better person, but it helps you to strip away the armoring and open up the closed places allowing who you are to emerge, free from the limitations which keep you hidden, weak and vulnerable. Another paradox, open up and become powerful.
Imagine doing all this while getting the exercise and relaxation you need on a daily basis for health. And then there is the cultivation of energy, Chi Gung--Chi development. Learning T'ai Chi is an opportunity to learn how to cultivate Chi, circulate it and use it for health and self-defense.