What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi Chuan = tai chi = Taiji  is a slow moving matial art that is practiced by millions of people world wide primarily for it's many health benefits. There are many differing opinions about the real origins of tai chi suffice it to say that it is somewhere between 800-2,000 years old.  While many people are familiar with the slow motion physical movements of tai chi, the internal power of chi one develops from practice cannot be seen but only experienced. 

 

Tai chi can be likened to dancing in that there are many different ways to dance but all share the same basics. Tai chi has 5 recognized styles and numerous “unofficial” styles that have emerged through the centuries to be complete systems unto themselves.  The 5 most common styles of tai chi in order of popularity in the US are Yang, Chen, Sun, Wu and Hao styles based on the family names of the masters who developed that style.  All tai chi follows the same basic principles:

1. Flow continuously like a river

2. Align the spine

3. Harmonize yin and yang

4. Use will not force to feel the chi

5. Soong or relax the joints allowing them to open

6. Focus mindfully without distraction

Some of the researched and proven benefits of tai chi include:

 

  • Decreased pain              

  • Better Immune Functions

  • Increases in brain size    

  • Proven effective for fall prevention

  • Improves mental focus    

  • Increased strength

  • Cardiovascular fitness      

  • More flexibility & endurance

  • Improves posture            

  • Better overall brain function

  • Helps combat depression  

  • Stress control

  • Longevity aid                  

  • Reduces oxidative stress

  • Improved balance            

  • Better body awareness

  • Improves sense of belonging in the world and overall peace and happiness : )

   Click here for the difference between tai chi and qigong:

 

 

 

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