There was a study published about a year ago about taiji and how it helps the elderly with depression. It was important because depression is pretty tough to "combat" in the elderly due to the lack of response to medication. And of course, here in the west, medication is always the first step. (That was sarcasm. I completely apologize for it. I don't know what came over me.)
The results make taiji an excellent choice for abating depression. Here's the study if you know of really anyone of any age who is dealing with depression:http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/tai-chi-eases-depression-in-elderly/?emc=eta1
What I find interesting is that all of the studies from well known institutes never include, discuss, mention the spirit within taiji, at least of which I am aware.
They inform us about the movements (helps balance, stability, strength); educate us on breathing (helps heart rate, increases oxygen levels, helps assimilation and digestion); social stimulation (eases depression, brings sense of control), but not a mention about what the spirit is doing during all of this movement, breathing, socializing.
Are we afraid to add this when it comes to studies and taiji? Is this still too woo-woo for the general western public? Or is it because taiji teachers across the country don't incorporate this vital aspect into their classes so it isn't part of the study?
If you teach taiji, do you incorporate spirit? If not, why? Have you had potential students walk out when spirit in the form was discussed or practiced?
How does that effect your spirit?