Tai Chi originated as a form of Martial Art in ancient China. Today, it has become popular as a dynamic intelligent exercise for the mind and body. Although, to be able to practice Tai Chi, one needs to cultivate an abundance of knowledge and skills, these are actually easy to learn and show results almost immediately. For many across the globe, Tai Chi has gone beyond an exercise, to become a way of life.
Over the course of its growth, Tai Chi has spread into many kinds of styles. But the four major ones are Chen, Yang, Wu and Sun. Even though each style has its own features, all of them share the essential ones. According to the Tai Chi For Health Institute, these are “mind integrated with the body, control of movements and breathing, generating internal energy, mindfulness, song (loosening 松) and jing (serenity 静).”
The ultimate aim of Tai Chi is to encourage the smooth and powerful flow of qi or life energy within us. This helps build a harmony between body and mind, resulting in both better physical and mental health. Or overall wellbeing.
Therefore, the practice involves a series of movements performed in a sow, focused manner and with deep breathing. Each posture moves into the next one to ensure that the body is in constant motion and so is the life force of qi.
But why Tai Chi? You might ask.
Well, first, the practice is completely non-judgemental and non-competitive, making it an ideal social activity. Those who practice it are likely to become like a river, soft on the outside yet strong enough on the inside to handle whatever comes its way.
Scientific studies have proven benefits of Tai Chi when it comes to arthritis, heart diseases, diabetes; additionally it improves immunity and cognition, boosts mood, aids in weight loss and reduces stress.
But how to start learning Tai Chi? You might ask.
Even though you can rent material to learn the practice online, it is suggested that one learns from a Tai Chi instructor to gain full benefits by seeking proper guidance. To find one, you can contact your local fitness centres, health clubs or senior centers. Please remember to check the credentials of the instructor before enrolling.
And that’s how you may embark on your journey towards learning this popular artform!