Imagine finding a calm peace state of mind, where you only listen to your breathing and all your worries seem to vanish. This slow, rhythmic meditative art is called Tai Chi a form of martial arts that originated from China. When we think of martial arts we tend to think of flying kicks, punching and amazing fights, but this martial arts is designed to relax and to enhance your inner self by strengthening your mind.
Qi pronounced “chee” is defined as the life force the energy in the body that is connected to the five elements: metal, water, fire, wood and Earth. It’s believed that these elements are interlaced within the body for good health and balanced manner. Qigong which tai chi originates involves the mind, breath and movement.
Tai Chi is a century old Chinese martial arts, which is a series of slow movements that where originally designed for self-defense and inner peace. Today there are many benefits of tai chi. In China it’s believed to delay aging and prolong life, increase flexibility, strengthen muscles. The most common benefit in tai chi is balance, endurance, strength and self-confidence. Practicing these low gentle impact movements can help your mental concentration as these form of material arts requires mind-body connect and special attention to the movements and breathing.
There are a few popular styles of tai chi the yang style which is 24 movements if you are using the simple form or 108 if you are doing the traditional form. This style demands a wide stance and knees bent most of the time. The wu style includes 24-36 movements or 100 if you are going with the traditional. This style is gentler with higher stances and narrow movements. Whichever style you adapt it should always be practiced slowly, deliberately and gracefully with each movement following seamlessly to the next.
I’ve recently took a tai chi class offered at my work and I can stay once you understand all the movements it is truly a relaxing state of mind. I practice my tai chi by listening to soft mediated music and only think about my breathing it helps me de-stress and gives me time to focus on me. If you want to try tai chi I recommend finding a class or even look online for some free videos. Below is one I found that I personally like. As tai chi goes I hope your day is full of slow breathing and soft movements.