Also commonly known as Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Ji, is a Chinese martial art which focuses on harnessing internal strength for self-defence and health-benefits. It has now evolved into a graceful exercise which is often described as meditation in movement. Tai Chi is built on the Chinese concept of yin-yang, which is the belief of how things that are apparently opposite and contrary are somehow interconnected and mutually related to each other within our every life. Tai Chi can probably be thought of as a martial art with slow, graceful movements with smooth transitions. Tai Chi mainly consists of 5 main elements, which are:
- taolu (solo hand and weapons routines/forms)
- neigong & qigong (breathing, movement and awareness exercises and meditation)
- tuishou (response drills)
- sanshou (self defence techniques)
Because of Tai Chi’s graceful nature, it puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, while providing major health benefits; it is suitable for everyone, especially the elderly who are trying to keep fit.
Benefits of Tai Chi
Although a common Chinese belief is that “no pain, no gain”, Tai Chi involves simple slow movements to reap the most benefits. For most Tai Chi practitioners, their focus is either on using it as a meditative exercise for their body, or to learn about the combat aspects of Tai Chi. Whatever the reason to learn Tai Chi, it is very beneficial to your health as it focuses on oriental healing through internal force. Let me share some of the benefits with you:
- Balance and strength – As one ages, proprioception (the sense of balance) declines. Tai Chi helps trains this sense to improve balance. Along with that, Tai Chi helps to lower the fear of falls, which is one of the main factors causing a lot of falls for the elderly. According to the Oregon Research Institute, Tai Chi participants had a higher fitness level, which gave them a higher ability to take up moderate to rigorous activities. This improved strength also made it easier, even for elderly participants, to stand up easily after falls.
- Weight Loss – Through the graceful and slow movements in Tai Chi, you will be able to lose more calories than Frisbee, bowling, and even non-competitive volleyball.
- Better Sleep – Tai Chi participants had better quality and length of sleep as compared to normal people. The improvements in sleep are similar to that of cognitive therapy sessions or of sleeping drugs.
- Stress Reduction – Tai Chi reduces stress, anxiety, and depression in most participants. Enhanced mood can also be observed in participants, both with chronic diseases or physically healthy.
Through our Tai Chi Classes, you will be able to learn how to reap the maximum benefits of Tai Chi, and how to practice it effectively in your everyday life, such as in traffic jams or when watching television. Find out more about our Tai Chi course