Tai Chi is a very personal discipline that is about training both mind and body. In this sense it is difficult to define exactly what it is. To some people it is a way of losing weight, to others a way of improving posture and balance and to still others a way of form of meditation and spiritual seeking. Of course practicing it can also be about all of these things. It’s a kind of ancient Chinese cure all for everything from adolescent awkwardness to low self esteem to depression to poor posture…you name it!
Perhaps one way to sum up this discipline that can almost be described as a moving form of meditation and yoga combined is that it is about increasing personal power. If you are control freak you will love Tai Chi. The caveat is that the movements also teach you to let go and be balanced even in chaos.
In fact, the Chinese characters for Tai Chi Chuan can be translated as the 'Supreme Ultimate Force'. The notion of 'supreme ultimate' is often associated with the Chinese concept of having both yin and yang in balance. Yin if you will recall encompasses such qualities and elements as female, passive, dark, shrinking and yielding. Yang encompasses the qualities of male, forceful, light, expanding and force. The reason Tai Chi is the ultimate dance of balance is that it combines both.
There is no one standard for Tai Chi. Most Tai Chi exercise sequences consist of a set of movements. Many are imitations of the movements of animals and birds and some of these postures are stances used for combat. However even if you are doing what seems to be a militant posture all of the poses done in Tai Chi are done gracefully. You move from pose to pose with soft, fluid gestures.
The Benefits of Tai Chi
The Benefits of Tai Chi
Don’t make the mistake in thinking that Tai Chi is a martial art, although it probably will make you more astute in some ways. It is mostly a meditation that helps harmonize the mind and body connection. Once this happens you are able to generate and store more energy. In Chinese this energy is referred to as “chi”.
One of the aims of Tai Chi is to increase Chi and foster the popular circulation of it in your life. Not only are your health and vitality enhanced but your mind becomes more focused, less negative and able to manifest good things.
Tai Chi can help you become more coordinated because the postures in the sets are designed to animate the energy centres in your body. Many people who practice them experience better reflexes, improved posture and less muscle tension and strain.
However the benefits spiritually and mentally are what seem to blow most people’s mind when they become addicted to this ancient discipline. The benefits include a calmer and more tranquil mind and also a better connection to the higher self. You are also less vulnerable to stress, especially those caused by emotional distractions and will be able to work, study and dream longer.
No matter what kind of game you play, Tai Chi is one of those practice tools that can help you master it!
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