An admirably indepth and lengthy look at the morning taiji scene in Beijing's parks by Stanley Stewart of the Sunday Times in London:
"T’ai chi is illustrative of what is so different about Chinese exercise. There is lots of mental concentration and very little sweat. Exercise is elegant, graceful, almost sedate. Not for the Chinese the muscle-pumping of the gym, the slog of the jogging track. Nobody here is going for the burn. Instead, it is all about balance and concentration and flexibility. In a western fitness programme, t’ai chi would register only as an elaborate warm-up, a series of stretching exercises. In China, it is the main course, because it involves thought as well as movement." (See the full article at Times UK Online edition 3/08/08).