Tai Chi is an art that embraces the mind, body, and spirit. This form of martial arts originated in ancient China and is one of the most effective exercises for maintaining a healthy mind and body. It is a way to connect with your mind and body while meditating. The basic principles of tai chi include the integration of mind and body; control of movements and breathing; the generation of internal energy, mindfulness, serenity, and loosening. Ultimately tai chi cultivates the qi or life energy to flow throughout your body. The practice of tai chi involves slow and deliberate movements that mimic movements animals make. The exercises are designed to improve physical endurance, mental clarity, and overall health.
Tai Chi uses the idea of opposing forces like yin and yang, as well as ‘qi’, your vital life force. Bringing both of these into your exercises can help improve your overall health, building your inner strength from the inside out. With consistent practice, you are able to feel the internal energy, convert it to internal force, and use it to create even more internal energy. This leads to a more balanced mental state, tranquility, and mental clarity while improving your balance and agility.
Because of the nature of tai chi, it is low impact, weight-bearing, and aerobic – all at once. Studies show that tai chi improves muscular strength, flexibility, fitness, boosts immunity, relieves pain, and improves your quality of life. Tai chi movements emphasize weight transference to improve balance which can help reduce the risk of falling.
Tai chi is easy to learn and very adaptable to your current limitations so you can start at any age.
Follow these tips to get the maximum benefits from Tai Chi.
* Exercise on an Empty Stomach – It’s better to be fully hydrated and exercise before meals rather than after meals. This is the only way you’ll be able to do the movements comfortably.
* Start Slowly – Don’t start at the end, rather start with the beginning. It will take time to learn all the movements, let yourself experience the learning curve.
* Avoid Exercising When Very Tired – Tai chi is very relaxing, so it is important not to do the movements and breathing when you are super worn out and tired.
* Seek Medical Care When Needed – If you are experiencing pain or severe discomfort, seek medical attention in addition to Tai Chi.
* Modify Movements When Needed – You don’t have to do all the movements exactly as an experienced practitioner. If you need to, find a way to modify the movements to make them work best for your needs.
* Seek Licensed, Certified and Trained Instructors – You can use videos, but it is important to find an expert to ensure you’re doing the movements and breathing correctly at first to avoid injury.
* Focus as Much on Breathing as Movement – Breathing correctly is just as important as the movements. When you are learning, focus on both your breathing and the movements for the best results.
* Don’t Overdo It – Never do more than you can and don’t push yourself to do more. It’s okay with Tai Chi to do less than you think you can.
You can start Tai Chi at any time. You don’t need to be in tip-top shape to do Tai Chi. Tai Chi can be started at any age. In fact, Tai Chi has been shown to be especially helpful for elderly people. It can really help people gain strength, get more sleep, and improve their health overall.