Tai chi is a Chinese martial art which is a practice that combines body and mind. It is often called “meditation in motion,” and has been known to have value in the treatment of health problems as well as acting to prevent them. To start the practice of tai chi, you need not be in good physical shape or even in the best of health.
Most of the exercise in tai chi is low impact and conducted in slow motion. While you make these slow movements, you breathe naturally and deeply, while remaining completely focused on the sensations of the body. This is a form of meditation. Movements are circular and are never forced, so that the muscles are always relaxed and never tense, with the joints never extended fully or bent. It can be easily adapted for any person, and even if you are recovering from surgery or confined to a wheelchair. It is a gentle form of exercise that can help in the maintaining of flexibility, strength, and balance, and can easily become an activity that you can continue with as long as you live.
As per Chinese philosophy and the concepts of tai chi, Qi is a force of energy that flows through all parts of the body, and the practice of tai chi unblocks this energy so that there is proper flow of Qi. The universe has two opposing elements, yin, and yang, that must be kept in harmony, and tai chi can help to ensure this.
Tai chi exercises start with warm up just like most exercise regimes do, and these are relatively easy motions like circling the shoulders, turning the head from one side to the other, or even rocking back and forth to help the muscles and joints to loosen, while you focus on your body and breathing. Tai chi forms can be short forms that include less than a dozen movements, while long forms can include hundreds of such movements. For older people or those who are not in a good physical condition, a start must be made with the short forms of this exercise regime. Breathwork or energy work, called Qigong which is gentle breathing can be combined with the movements. This form of breathing helps in the mobilization of the body’s energy and relaxes the mind. You can practice this even when you are lying down and not only when you are standing or sitting down.
Tai chi can help to overcome functional limitations or prevent any pain or illness becoming chronic. It is safe and does not require you to have any fancy equipment. While joining a class allows you to get expert guidance, you can always start on your own by gaining access to videos that are easily available on the internet. You need to dress comfortably in clothes that do not restrict your movement and wear shoes or footwear that you are comfortable in. They need not be running shoes, but just footwear that helps you to maintain balance easily. Get our full review of tai cheng workouts.