A Touch Of...

Tai Chi

Meditation in Motion
A martial arts sequence originating from China 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.

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 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.

Origins
 

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. 

Styles
 
Benefits
 

Mind

Reduce Anxiety

Reduce Depression

Reduce Stress

Improve Memory

Improve Focus

Improve Flow

Enhance Mindfulness

Promote Calmness 

Body

Reduce Chronic Fatigue

Reduce Joint Stiffness & Pain

Improve Balance

Improve Flexibility

Increase Strength

Faster Recovery from injury

Improved Co-ordination

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.

Evidence Based
 

 

Physically, Tai Chi improves strength, flexibility, aerobic conditioning and balance. It’s been proven to improve cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, prevent falls and help people who have arthritis.

Mentally, Reduce anxiety, stress, depression, and improve feelings of calmness. 

What Can Tai Chi Do For You
 

There are many brilliant DVD’s and online videos, YouTube has heaps! Tai Chi can be pretty difficult to learn through videos alone though. So if you feel like you need some more guidance or simply want to learn and practice with others, classes are a great option.

Where To Start