There are similarities between Lohan Qigong and Taiji- for instance, the cultivation of Qi, the slow and graceful movements, and the concept of Yin and Yang cycle in motion and in respiration- since both belong to the “internal school”. The major differences lie in the degree of “hardness” and “softness” of the two exercises. By hardness one refers to the power of the mind in extending the limbs and rotating the joints – much like the flow of water hardens an otherwise soft length of hose. By softness one refers to the contracting and relaxing of the body and the gathering of Qi between movements.
Taiji is basically a soft exercise, its movements are relaxed and flow from one to another, the yin-yang cycle is fairly small. On the other hand, Lohan Qigong has an equal proportion of hard and soft movements, fully fluctuating from one extreme of yin to the other extreme of yang and vice versa. This demands a greater expansion and contraction of muscles as well as deeper pattern of breathing. Consequently Qi is activated and flows in a much more vigorous way, making it easier and quicker to experience the energy “buzz”.