Home Discussion Forum Do you have to lay on the floor when practicing Tai chi?

Do you have to lay on the floor when practicing Tai chi?

Hi i am considering starting a Tai chi class and curious about the movements. I am in remission from a debilitating muscle disease called poymyositis and still weak however. a lot stronger than i was and able to move with more ease.
I am worried that i may have to get down on the floor to do Tai chi as this is very difficult for me and getting back up is impossible. Would be grate full for advice.


  1. I’ve never come across any lying down motions in Tai Chi. You should be fine and Tai Chi is a wonderful way to build up strength.
    If you have difficulties, just let the shifu know and he should be able to adjust.

  2. Almost all movements from Tai Chi are standing. The only time you should sit or lay down is during meditation. However, your shifu (sifu) should be able to recommend standing meditation is this is too difficult for you to do. Tai chi is a moving meditation that should help improve your balance, strength, and coordination.

  3. Not to my knowledge is there any move in Tai Chi that requires to get on the floor. There are deep stances but you do not have to do them deep. They can also be done upright and still be correct. Remember Tai Chi is about relaxation and if you get into a stance or position where you are not relaxed you are violating one of Tai Chi’s principles. I think doing Tai Chi will greatly benefit you and help you get stronger. I found from my own experience with the right teacher it beats any physical therapy. So relax and have fun with it and enjoy the movements.
    Some people combine meditation with Tai Chi but it should really be two different things.

  4. You should not have to lay on the floor during the practice of Tai Chi although for some momvements you might eventually be expected, if you are able to do so, crouch very low in an extended stretch for that is usually for advanced students.

  5. Most of the Tai Che I have seen is done standing. We have some modified forms for handicapped in chairs and prone as well. However all the ones normally are done standing.

  6. No…. There may be some postures (like “Snake Creeps Down” see link for an illustration) which may pose a problem.
    But Tai Chi Chuan (“Taijiquan”) is an art practiced the world over by seniors and others who have health issues to improve their strength, balance, flexibility, and circulation. Of all martial arts, Tai Chi Chuan is probably an ideal choice. You might look for instruction in Cheng Man Ching’s tradition. He shortened the Yang Chen Fu long form to a shorter 37 posture form you might find easier to handle first. However, many schools offer short and long forms these days. And you also do not have to do the entire long form all the time. You can do sections as needed.
    I’d observe the class and visit with the teacher. Explain your concerns about what you feel you are able to do. A good teacher will be able to help you address your limitations and progress without pushing you too far.
    Hope this helps. Be well.

  7. I’ve never encounter a movement in any taichi styles that requires the person to be prone on the floor. There are some stances that requires the person to be low in respect to the ground – deep stances. But don’t worry about this. Just talk to your instructor about your health condition and he or she can help you by adjusting the more difficult stances to fit your condition — this is normal and you won’t lose any benefits from the changes.
    Be sure to take it easy and if you are unsure about whether a particular technique is safe for your situation — just don’t do it. Taichi is not about forcing an issue or punishing your body, it’s about learning to use your body and mind in the most optimal way that’s right for you.

  8. Taijiquan can definately help u build strength. Like the others said u dont have to get into low stances right away. Ur stance will naturally lower as ur body becomes stronger and more flexible.
    Taijiquan generally involves standing meditation but there are modified forms for people who cant stand for that long. The only times i ever found myself on the ground was when my sifu was demonstrating applications on me.
    U should do research on the schools, their instructors, and their lineages to make sure theyre legit. There are many people who call themselves “sifus” and teach it, but they dont understand the art themselves. If they start making Taijiquan out to be something mystical then u should look for a different instructor.
    Good luck

  9. Generally not. T’ai Chi itself is done on the feet, though some warm-ups or formal salutations may involve getting down on the floor. Because this is an issue, I’d talk to the instructor about it. Any sane person would be understanding enough to let you do what you’re comfortable with.


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