Tai Chi is an ancient form of Chinese exercise consisting of slow, beautiful, relaxed meditative movements. Tai Chi is sometimes described as “meditation in motion” because it promotes serenity through gentle movements connecting the mind and body. Originally developed in China for self-defense, Tai Chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise, that’s now often used for relaxation and to help achieve a sense of inner calm.
T’ai Chi originated in China centuries ago and is rooted in Taoist philosophy. It is considered an “internal” martial art meaning that the movements are performed in a relaxed manner, letting go of all tension. The “power” is thought to be derived not from muscular force, but by a directed flow of internal energy called “Qi” (pronounced “chi”).
Today, T’ai Chi is most often thought of as a routine, or “form” comprised of slow fluid movements. While it is sometimes practiced to develop self-defense skills, it has also gained widespread popularity for its health and well-being benefits. Although there are some misconceptions in this way of thinking, this is a good starting point.
The reasons people study this art are varied and far-reaching. Many of my students have joined classes to:
- Relieve stress and tension
- Improve balance
- Gain mental focus
- Practice a low-impact exercise
- Exercise while recovering from injury
- Learn to move more gracefully
- Increase the flow of Qi internally
- Connect with a deeper part of themselves
- Join in with a group of friendly people
As far as I am concerned, any and all of these are perfectly valid reasons to explore T’ai Chi. There are also numerous articles describing various health benefits of T’ai Chi. And while I don’t think it is a miracle cure-all, I have found that most people who enjoy and practice T’ai Chi on a regular basis tend to live a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Feel free to connect with me if you have any questions about whether T’ai Chi is right for you.