The Importance of Intention (Yi意)

In Tai Chi on

Tai Chi is a holistic exercise involving the mind, body and spirit. Originally created as a form of Chinese internal martial arts (Neijiaquan 内家拳), this ancient art form is famous for its defense techniques and health benefits.

When practiced regularly, Tai Chi becomes a way of life for the practitioner. Slowly but surely, the almost magical transformation happens – the body becomes stronger and more agile, the mind more at peace and the heart more joyful.

We practice intentional movement in Tai Chi which means applying intent prior to every movement made. In the classical texts of Tai Chi, there is an important trio which is :

Intention (Yi 意) – Internal Energy (Chi 气) – Strength (Li 力)

The intention (Yi 意) starts from the level of the mind which will lead the internal energy (Chi 气) to flow through the body. The internal energy (Chi 气) will then direct the physical body’s strength (Li 气) to accomplish a certain physical movement. This concept explains that everything starts in the mind which then guides the energy so it can manifest in physical reality.

With steady practice, a Tai Chi practitioner can apply this simple yet powerful concept in daily life. Strengthening the mind’s ability to have a clear intention (Yi 意) before embarking on a certain task produces amazing results. It increases the chance on a successful outcome no matter what the task may be.

A beginner may take time to develop awareness of internal energy (Chi 气) depending on how sensitive he is. One needs to learn to listen to his internal guidance, a certain form of introspection. A heightened sense of self-awareness is achieved over time.

Tai Chi practice enables the practitioner to understand himself better so he can correct his faults or clear energy blocks if there is any. Over time, the practitioner will be able to connect with the universal energy (天地人和)

Practicing this concept regularly during Tai Chi practice is working on the micro level. On the macro level,  this simple concept of applying intention (Yi 意) first in our daily life is a conscious effort in manifesting our thoughts in physical reality.

We offer Tai Chi and Wushu classes in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Contact us at 012-2211430 or email us at for more details.



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