Practiced in China for centuries for its health benefits and to harmonize the body and mind, tai chi movements are slow and flowing, promoting dynamic balance training while gently strengthing the body and enhancing flexibility.The flowing movements and mindful breathing provide benefits of stress reduction and lower blood pressure. In addition to the health benefits, tai chi has a depth and strength within its structure that can carry over into other areas of one’s life.
It is a study in balance – physical, mental and emotional; bringing balance to your body and your life.
Tai Chi is based on traditional Chinese medicine,qigong (the method of cultivation of qi) and martial art. Traditional Chinese medicine is based on a holistic understanding of humans as part of the universe and their constant interaction with the elements of the universe.
The ancient Chinese believed that all things in nature were composed of yin and yang. While yin and yang are two polar opposites, they’re entirely complementary. Yin is viewed as softer, more pliant, yielding, feminine and sometimes negative, while yang appears more masculine, harder, more rigid and more positive. In nature, evertything moves towards a natural state of harmony and so yin and yang are always in total balance. Complementing each other, yin and yang form a perfect whole.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) emphasizes that humans should exist in natural balance with nature in a spiritual and phyical sense. When we are well balanced within ourselves and in balance with nature, then we will have stong qi and be healthy.
While some of these concepts may sound a little esoteric, the concepts of yin and yang and of tai chi have been validated. Over recent years, many studies have proven tai chi’s significant effect in improving many aspects of health.
The ancient Chinese regarded qii as the most important energy within the body. Qi in nature is the energy in the universe, and qi within the body is the driving power that maintains health and spirit. Everyone is born with qi, and it diminishes with age or disease. The most important feature of tai chi is that it is designed to ehance the qi effectively. And the stronger your qi, the healthier you are.
– from Tai Chi for beginners and the 24 forms, by Dr. Paul Lam and Nancy Kaye