We Know: All About Tai Chi

What is tai chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient form of Chinese martial arts that uses slow controlled movements, postures and breathing to increase the flow of "chi" or energy in your life. Increased flow of chi can boost your sense of wellbeing and relieve stress.

What is the history of tai chi?

Tai Chi is fully known as Tai Chi Chuan and was created by Chang San-Feng, who lived from 1279-1368 AD. After observing how the animals in nature react to opposition and strength, he developed a series of movements that imitate them. Tai Chi involves very slow movements that aim to control the flow of energy through strength and meditation.

What are some of the benefits of doing tai chi?

Tai Chi is great for people who wish to gain more mobility and relieve stress. Some of the most noteworthy benefits include:

  • Improved balance.
  • Increased mobility.
  • Increased flexibility.
  • Increased strength.
  • Decreased likelihood of falling.
  • Improved coordination.
  • Stress relief.

Who shouldn't do tai chi?

Tai Chi is essentially suitable for everyone. Seniors and the young can enjoy and benefit from practicing tai chi on a daily basis. Since it has shown to help people with balance issues, arthritis, and other conditions, tai chi is generally considered safe for everyone. Of course, consult your doctor before heading off to your first class to be sure. And if you feel like you're really straining during class, don't push yourself too hard. It may not feel like you're working your muscles very much but you are!

How can I learn tai chi?

Tai chi is best learned in class with a live instructor. This way, you will learn proper form and mistakes can be corrected before they become habit. However, if you simply cannot make it to class, there are several books and videos that can help introduce you to tai chi. Some of these products include:

  • Scott Cole's Discover Tai Chi - AM & PM Workouts
  • Tai Chi for Beginners
  • Step-By-Step Tai Chi by Master Lam Kam-Chuen
  • A Morning Cup of Tai Chi: One 15-Minute Routine To Nurture Your Body, Mind, And Spirit by John A Bright-Fey

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