The Best Online Tai Chi Classes to Help You Build Your Strength

Maintain strength, balance, and flexibility.

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Have you ever gone to your local park and noticed a cluster of folks out on a grassy patch, all moving their arms and legs in unison, very slowly? They're practicing tai chi—an ancient martial arts practice that originated in China and has a multitude of health benefits. 

A slow, meditative form of movement that can help maintain strength, balance, and flexibility, tai chi is unlike other forms of exercise, as the movements are never forced, muscles are often relaxed (rather than tensed up), connective tissues aren’t stretched, and joints aren’t fully extended. 

What’s great about tai chi is that it’s a form of exercise that’s truly accessible to all: Whether you’re an experienced athlete, a complete newbie, recovering from surgery, or confined to a wheelchair, tai chi is a great form of exercise to gently work your body into movement, regardless of age. Plus, you can practice this form of movement anywhere and everywhere, as it doesn’t require much space to perform. 

Below, you’ll find the best online tai chi classes to learn the skills for this meditation in motion practice. 

5 Best Online Tai Chi Classes of 2021

Best Overall: Discover Taiji

Asian woman practicing tai chi

Getty Images/Jose Luis Pelaez Inc

Why We Chose It: Discover Taiji is one of the most complete online tai chi training programs online. Featuring Sifu Adam Mizner, a Taiji instructor with extensive experience in teaching the ancient art form, Discover Taiji was chosen as the best overall based on the experienced teacher and the extensive amount of training that goes into this five-year-long online course.

What We Like

  • Highly-experienced instructor
  • Online community and secret Facebook group
  • Expert support

What We Don’t Like

  • Only one training video available per week
  • No live classes
  • Course lasts five years

Ready to really commit to learning the practices of tai chi? Then Discover Taiji is definitely the course for you. This program lasts five years (really!), and one training video will be sent to you each week, so that you can really dive deep into each movement and learn more about the practices and principles of tai chi. 

Not only will you receive an in-depth training video weekly, but you will also have access to a secret Facebook group online, where new members can learn more from seasoned tai chi experts within the group. 

While five years might be a long time, students who follow the course can expect to experience mental and physical improvements within the first 100 days. Because you only have access to one video per week, this course might not be ideal for those who are more advanced in tai chi, as you’ll probably have to wait a while to actually get access to more advanced training. That said, this class is great for beginners looking to dive deep into tai chi, or anyone who wants to brush up on their tai chi skills again. 

Discover Taiji offers two payment plans: approximately $50 per month to access the program and community, or around $540 per year.

Best Free: Tai Chi Foundation

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Why We Chose It: Not only are these lessons free, but they are also taught live through Zoom, so that you can ask questions during or after the lesson if needed. We selected these classes based on the stellar reputation that the Tai Chi Foundation holds and the experienced instructors.

What We Like

  • Completely free
  • Live classes throughout the week
  • Experienced instructors

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited course times throughout the week

A not-for-profit educational organization that promotes, funds, and teaches the principles and practices of tai chi, the Tai Chi Foundation offers free online classes throughout the week for those who are either looking to start a tai chi practice or want to advance their existing skills.

Led by senior teachers within the Tai Chi Foundation school, these free online tai chi classes are taught throughout the week by instructors located around the United States. From New York City and Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon, there are multiple instructors available to teach these free classes via Zoom. 

Although there are a limited number of courses taught throughout the week, with limited times available, each class focuses on different principles, with titles including, Qi Gong for Relaxation and Grounding, Qi Gong for Relaxation and Centering, Qi Gong for Self-Healing & Balance, and Qi Gong, Meditation, 8 Ways & Form Practice. 

The free courses go live at various times throughout the week and are suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to experienced tai chi practitioners.

Best Variety: Dr. Paul Lam Online Tai Chi Lessons

Pinterest 100: Tai chi pose
Pinterest/The Best Yoga

Why We Chose It: Whether you’re looking to practice tai chi for more energy, for arthritis, for memory, or something else, Dr. Paul Lam probably has an online tai chi course for you. We chose these lessons because there is truly something available for everyone, no matter what your motives for tai chi practice are.  

What We Like

  • Variety of courses
  • Exclusive new content available monthly
  • No long-term commitments

What We Don’t Like

  • No live classes
  • No one-on-one trainings

There’s a reason why there are more seniors practicing tai chi regularly—the health benefits are vast. From balance to flexibility and strength, it can also help to alleviate pain and help those with arthritis in their ability to perform daily activities. Whatever your reasoning is for beginning the practice, one of Dr. Lam’s more than 25 courses will help you achieve your goals and improve your health. 

With titles including, Tai Chi for Beginners, Tai Chi for Energy, Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis, Tai Chi The 24 Forms, and so many more, Dr. Lam’s courses are designed to help you incorporate tai chi into your life, no matter your goal or ailment. 

With the purchase of any program or bundle, you will gain access to Dr. Lam’s global online community, where you can ask questions, share stories, connect with others, find recipes for health, gain access to interviews with tai chi and medical experts, and much more. 

Dr. Lam has three different subscription models. The first offers access to the global community only (no lessons), for around $12 every two months. The second plan includes a variety of Tai Chi for Health programs, as well as access to the Global Community, for around $20 every two months. Lastly, the third plan offers access to all Tai Chi for Health programs and access to the Global Community for around $60 every two months.

Best for Beginners: Tai Chi Online Classes

Tai Chi group
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Why We Chose It: If you’re just starting out on your tai chi journey, the Tai Chi Online Classes are your best bet for getting your foot (and arms and legs) in the door. We selected this program because it takes just two years to complete, which is a bit shorter than some of the other, more in-depth and lengthy courses available online.

What We Like

  • Learning from an experienced instructor
  • Access to many videos upfront (no waiting each week)
  • Facebook support group

What We Don’t Like

  • A two-year course might be long for some
  • No live classes

This course, designed by 7th Generation Lineage Holder of the Imperial Yang Family Tai Chi, Sifu Michael Paler, will help you learn the basics of tai chi (and beyond). Paler will personally instruct you according to ancient teachings developed in China during the early 1800s.

With over 100 instructional and informational videos ready to view upon subscription purchase, the program will cover tai chi stretch and warm-ups, Yang style tai chi 108 form, basic skills, stances, weight-position exercises and drills, 13 Jins, Qigong exercises, and so much more. Although not required, for those interested in a Tai Chi Certification, year one of this online course covers all of the information required for Level 1 Certification.

In the second year, you will deepen your practice with intermediate and advanced training, where you’ll learn principles such as the Three Rings of Yang Jianhou and other training methods exclusive to the Yang Family. The course covers solo exercises including intermediate and advanced Forms training, Jibengong training, and more advanced 100-day Inner Door exercises. Additionally, you’ll learn two-person drills and exercises for Jin development and much more throughout your second year of training.

There are multiple payment plans/subscriptions available. The Automatic Monthly Membership payment plan charges around $40 per month, where you will receive instant access to the first nine classes. Then each month, you’ll have access to the next series of videos for your next level of learning. Plus, you will gain personal access to Paler through the Members Only Forum. 

Another option is to sign up for the Year One Instant Video Access, which costs around $395 for 12 months. You receive the same benefits as the Automatic Monthly Membership, but instead of having to wait for new courses each week, you will receive all of year one’s videos upfront. 

Best for When You’re Short on Time: Taiflow

tai chi to lose weight
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Why We Chose It: With over 120,000 subscribers on YouTube, Taiflow offers concise tai chi lessons that you can practice daily, even if you only have five minutes. We selected these videos because they are informative and easy to incorporate into your daily exercise routine. 

What We Like

  • Short and varied lessons
  • Female instructor 
  • Straightforward and easy to understand

What We Don’t Like

  • Smaller selection of videos
  • No one-on-one instruction
  • No live classes

After battling painful monthly cycles and hormonal imbalances for many years, Leia of Taiflow turned to tai chi to help restore balance in her mind, body, and life.

Through Leia’s teachings, you will learn how to free yourself from chronic tension, create flow for new challenges and ventures, lose weight and restore suppleness to your body, gain strength, flexibility and balance, and so much more. 

We love that most of Leia’s YouTube video teachings are short and sweet so that even if you only have a coffee break, you can learn new tai chi moves, go through a meditative breathing exercise, or hear Leia’s thoughts on the pyramid of health.

These brief lessons are free and open to all levels.

The Bottom Line

When choosing between the various online tai chi classes available, there are multiple factors to take into account: your skill level, your time commitment, the amount you’re willing to spend, and whether you want pre-recorded classes or live instruction. 

For those willing to put in significant time to perfect their tai chi craft, consider investing in the Discover Taiji or Tai Chi Online Classes courses, since they will take years to complete and master. Not only do they require a time commitment, but they also are on the pricier side compared to other online tai chi classes out there. 

For beginners or those who aren’t willing to spend too much money on tai chi courses, Taiflow or Tai Chi Foundation classes are the way to go, as both of these options are free. 

Lastly, if you’re looking to start practicing tai chi for a specific health concern, such as arthritis, low energy, or osteoporosis, Dr. Paul Lam’s Online Tai Chi Lessons are definitely the best option. 

What Are the Best Online Tai Chi Classes?

The best online tai chi classes are those that have quality, reputable instructors with years of extensive tai chi practice under their belt. Look for teachers that are reputable in the tai chi community, so that you can get the most out of your lessons. 

Additionally, consider the length of the tai chi course that you sign up for, as some are just 5 minutes per day, while others could take years to complete. If you are considering in-person classes, it might be best to sign up for online lessons that teach tai chi practices in depth. 

Who Should Take Online Tai Chi Classes?

While online tai chi classes are truly beneficial for all ages and skill levels, they are especially helpful for seniors or those with chronic health conditions, as the movements are slow and low-impact. 

Additionally, anyone who is looking to increase their flexibility, strength, and balance could benefit from online tai chi classes. If you are looking to gain lots of muscle or participate in high-intensity, heart-pumping exercises, tai chi is probably not the best form of exercise for you. 

How Much Do Online Tai Chi Classes Typically Cost?

In general, online tai chi classes can range from free classes to around $50 per month, including live courses as well as pre-recorded lessons. 

How We Chose the Best Online Tai Chi Classes

We chose the best online tai chi classes based on the level of instructor experience, as well as the amount of in-depth training involved in the courses. We featured options for all levels and a variety of needs, whether that be tai chi for better mental health, strength, or pain relief.

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