Tai Chi is a martial art that originated in China many centuries ago. Still very popular, it is not uncommon to see someone practicing Tai Chi in an open area.
It is also noted as a form of discipline, exercise and moves energy within the body. It is done with precise movements that are achieved through a distinct and slow-paced routine. Impact is not done in this form of movement. It's practitioners achieve greater flexibility with the joints, while building stamina and increasing the strength of the body.
Tai Chi has also been known as a great form of stress reduction. Your movements and breathing patterns are focused in Tai Chi and you will feel the tension in your body subside almost immediately. This calmness will carry you through long after you have finished your Tai Chi session.
As in most Chinese practices the body is used as a whole in a disciplined manner incorporating both your mind and your body and linking them as one.
Tai Chi is effective in cultivating your coordination and increasing your balance. Tai Chi is done in slow and consistent movements in a steady fashion. Breathing is also focused on with breaths taken in through the nose and then exhaling during expansion of each movement. You are in constant motion when practicing this form of exercise, but in complete control of your movements and unhurried.
In Tai Chi there are said to be 13 postures and 13 principles that are focused on. The first eight postures are devoted to the energies and are known as the Eight Trigrams. The next five postures are devoted to steps and are known as the Five Elements. The 13 principles of Tai Chi are designed to bring the body into one unit. These principles involve movements of all body parts and control of them.
There are over 100 movements involved in Tai Chi. No one is limited in their ability to partake in Tai Chi in some manner. You do not have to do all 100 movements to be able to participate in Tai Chi. You can select a few movements that you can easily do according to your health circumstances and just focus on those.
As we learn more about this Chinese tradition studies that have been done have shown that Tai Chi is also a contributing factor in relief from depressive symptoms, a decrease in blood pressure, improved walking, effective in relief of insomnia, pain relief, a bone loss decrease, and improved heart efficiency.
As in starting any type of health program it is always advised to seek the guidance of your primary care physician for his or her approval prior to starting as a safety precaution.
MayoClinic: Tai Chi: a Gentle Way to Relieve Stress
Natural Products that Make a Difference: All About Tai Chi
Guardian: All You Need to Know About Tai Chi
Tai Chi Oracle
Everyday Tai Chi
Master Lu's Health Center
Stanford: A History of Tai Chi Chuan
Better Health Channel: Tai Chi Health Benefits