This article is about a year old but I don’t think I posted about it here.
One thing that I always wish to know more is the background of the taiji instructors in these clinical studies. There is such a wide range of taiji methods and skills among instructors nowadays. Some emphasize the qigong aspects and some the martial application — I’m not talking about the martial applications of each move, but the general martial art principles that are usually absent when one does Tai Chi as a “moving meditation” that focuses on “posture and deep breathing” to quote the article.
To put it simply here, Taiji emphasizes “natural breathing” rather than “deep breathing.” The difference is that natural abdominal breathing does not require any effort or conscious intention, while deep breathing is often an result of your brain/”mind” telling you to do so. Natural breathing is what a sleeping baby does, deep breathing is when adults are awake and aware that they are “inhaling” and “exhaling.” When you do a Taiji form, your mind/intention should be focusing on the application of the move rather than your inhales and exhales; breathing during the form is a side effect rather than a source of benefit.