While it is true that you could theoretically practice T'ai Chi anywhere, there are certain locations that lend themselves better than others. Considerations such as amount of space, noise, temperature and humidity levels, and number of distractions in the form of people and animals should be included in your choice of practice area.
The amount of space needed to practice T'ai Chi varies with the style and specific form that you are practicing. A Chen Style form using an 8-foot staff would certainly require much more space than the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong (see Chapter 6 for more information on this Qigong form). The T'ai Chi and Qigong exercises in this book are designed to take up the minimum of space—as little as the distance between your outstretched hands. This is not to suggest you practice in your walk-in closet! There are other considerations you'll need to think about.
For a basic T'ai Chi moving form, such as the Yang Style 24-Movement Form, your space needs will increase only slightly—perhaps a 10-x-12-foot space would be sufficient. Of course, the more space the better, so if you are blessed with a really large living room, or have a nice little backyard, then you've probably found your perfect practice area.
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