What Is Tai Chi?
Also known as moving meditation, Tai Chi is a form of non- competitive martial art, which began in ancient China 500 years ago and is gaining popularity the world over, owing to its immense health and other benefits. A literal translation of ‘Tai Chi’ means ‘the Ultimate Fist’. Let’s take a look at what this fist holds inside it.
The movements in Tai Chi are aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable. This practice involves both the body and the mind and brings with it clarity of thought and provides a sense of tranquility. The fluid movements of this art form help build immense strength, giving its practitioner, the power of healing and wellness.
The benefits of Tai Chi run deep and it isn’t just a practice, but a way of life for many. The experience of Tai Chi sometimes takes its practitioner to a stage of tranquility that seems to be beyond this world in time and space, a surreal space without a sense of urgency of any kind. Yet it makes him feel like he’s an integral part of this world. Putting it simply, it’s a deeply spiritual experience. It isn’t a wonder then, why it is currently practiced by over 200 million people around the globe.
How Tai Chi differs from other forms of movement and exercise is that it works on one’s ‘Qi’ or life force. As per the principles of Tai Chi, only living beings are filled with ‘Qi’. And a lack of ‘Qi’ leaves people dull and listless. And an absence of it means death. Tai Chi increases this life force manifolds, making one feel extremely vibrant, alive and alert in every moment of life. Let’s take a look at the immense benefits that this practice of Tai Chi brings with itself.
Health Benefits Of Tai Chi
The movements of Tai Chi don’t just work on our muscles, they twist and stretch every single part of the body. It’s almost like a massage for all the internal organs. And with these various movements, blood, other fluids and energy flow optimally throughout the body. People who practice Tai Chi enjoy a sense of being alive every moment of every day. They are agile and coordinated in their movements. They move with grace and balance. And this balance makes stumbling and falling almost an impossibility. Tai Chi helps speed up the recovery and healing from accidents or chronic pain. In this sense, Tai Chi doesn’t just prevent sickness, but also helps speed up the healing, in times of sickness and injury.
Stress Management Benefits Of Tai Chi
Stress, as we know it, doesn’t just threaten to impact our physical health, it also affects our relationships and personal happiness. The practice of Tai Chi promises to help us manage stress better, whether it happens to be caused by an external factor like loss of a job, a partner or other such stressors, or that created by our own negative thoughts.
Tai Chi teaches its practitioners to move energy through their bodies in such a way that it doesn’t feed the cycle of negativity in thoughts and feelings. This also ensures that the body is protected from the damaging effect that stress hormones can have on it. The practice of Tai Chi also makes practitioners less prone to stress. It doesn’t just strengthen their immune system, it also provides them with emotional and mental shields to be able to better handle what life throws their way. Tai Chi is a practice that’s all about relaxation, and in a relaxed mind and body, there’s no room for stress.
Self-Defense Benefits Of Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a highly evolved form of martial art. Practitioners of Tai Chi gain immense self-defense skills. The great health benefits that this practice brings, also help develop good fighting skills, as good health is a pre-requisite to any form of self-defense. The basic principles of Tai Chi incorporate the use and development of our internal energy or ‘Qi’. It is a form of internal martial art, that uses both external movements that are visible and the movements of ‘Qi’ or our internal life force, against an adversary.
The techniques of Tai Chi use the strength of relaxation more than muscular strength against opponents. This form of self-defense equips practitioners with solid self-defense skills that rely more on relaxation than on aggression.