A Touch Of...
Meditation in Motion
A martial arts sequence originating from China adapted and practised around the world, combines breathing and slow fluid movements to increase strength and promote mental focus.
Low impact, slow motion. It is the ultimate mind-body practice.
Tai Chi also known as Shadow Boxing, was developed around well, no one really knows when. There are a heap of theories some mystical, some romanticises. Fact is we may never really know.
One theory I like to believe is that Tai Chi originated back in the 15th Century from a Taosist priest, Zhang Shanfeng who possessed superhuman internal powers!
I fear the truth may not be as dramatic as I imagine...still, I enjoy a bit of mystery.
It's possible it started back in the 16th Century with Chen Wangting, Royal Guard of Chen Village, in the Henan Provence. Drawn to Taoism and after retiring from the army, he ended up living a simple life of farming, oh and studying/teaching martial arts. Eventually going on to create Chen Style Tai Chi.
There are 5 main Tai Chi Styles:
Chen Style - Slow and soft movements combined with fast and hard ones. A strong emphasis on spiral force. Explosive power and low stances.
Yang Style - Most popular, and easier to learn. Slow, graceful gentle movements.
Wu Style or Hao Style - Not as well known. Slow loose movements with a focus on internal force and correct positions.
Wu Style - Soft and gentle. Rich with hand movements, along with a slightly forward-leaning posture.
Sun Style - Youngest of the styles. Blends both Tai Chi and Qigong together. Uses a "follow Step" technique along with high stances.
What Can Tai Chi Do For You
Reduce Anxiety, Depression, & Stress
Improve Memory, Concentration & Focus
Promote Relaxation, Calmness & A State Of Flow
Reduce Chronic Fatigue, Muscle Tension & Joint Pain
Reduce & Prevent Falls
Lower Blood Pressure
Improve Posture, Balance, Flexibility & Co-ordination
Increase Strength & Cardiovascular Fitness
Faster Recovery from injury
Originating from China and over thousands of years old evidence is starting to show the benefits of this martial art currently practised around the world.
More than 500 trials and 120 systemic reviews have been published over the last 45 years on the health benefits of Tai Chi.
Some of these include: improving cognitive capacity, preventing falls, osteoarthritis, Parkinson's disease, and improving the quality of life for cancer patients. Increased balance, flexibility, strength and sleep. Suffice to say physicians are now offering
evidence-based recommendations to their patients.
Balance and Strength Focused
Very cruisey, and relaxed. I tend to focus my teaching more on the mindfulness, mental and physical, health benefits provided rather than the martial arts side.
Tai Chi Without The Woo
Likewise with the more mystical side of things in Tai Chi such as qi, dantian, spiral force, the ying and the yang etc I respect it, love the concepts, enjoy researching the meanings behind them but I'm not one for using the terms in my teachings.
When I was first learning Tai Chi many many moons ago I found it very challenging trying to understand terms such as qi, dantian, song, jing etc and "move with spiral force". At the time these terms were confusing and unhelpful as a beginner, although clearer now that I have over time understoodd them better. I thought that since I couldn't wrap my head around the concepts of qi, jing, song, chen, huo, ying and yang etc or know how to locate and engage my dantian then Tai Chi would be no benefit to me. This is simply untrue, whether you understand, believe or simply have no interest in these concepts makes no difference, Tai Chi will work its benefits on you either way.