Tai Chi, also called “Chinese shadow boxing” or “Tai Chi Chuan”, is a slow, aesthetic sequence of movement exercises. This breathing and movement technique originated in China and is said to have originated in a Taoist monastery. Originally developed as a martial art, Tai Chi is now used in China as a popular sport, in this country partly for self-defense, but mainly because of its health benefits. The exercises are meant to harmonize body and mind. Yin and Yang are brought into a balanced state through the correct initiation of inner-body processes. That is why Tai Chi is an excellent way to fight stress and find your center.
Tai Chi – effective for body and psyche
With regular Tai Chi exercises your posture improves, your gait becomes upright again, your back is stretched, your muscles are strengthened and your joints become more elastic. Through the natural and deep breathing, a deep relaxation occurs, which has a healing effect on the nervous system and the digestive tract. Tai Chi also has positive aspects for your psyche.
You will feel relaxed, fit and balanced after a short time, which is especially important in our hectic times that bring stress and excessive demands. If you add Tai Chi partner exercises to the program beyond the initial exercises, you will learn to absorb the energy of your opponent and thus activate your own forces. In this way, stressors can be accepted with serenity and transformed into positive energy.
Learning Tai Chi
You should learn the basic knowledge of Tai Chi under the supervision of a trained teacher in a course. In the internet you will find contact persons of numerous associations and training institutes. Videos and DVDs on the market can be used as a supplement, but your first exercises should only be done under the supervision of a teacher in order to avoid damaging joint positions. A Tai Chi course, which usually lasts eight to ten weeks, will also give you the right mindset and understanding of the exercises. The movement sequences of the individual exercises have significant names (e.g.: “kicking with the heel” or “the white crane spreads its wings”).
The philosophy of Tai Chi exercises
Through the exercises you first find yourself again. You feel your inhalation and exhalation and your “being” without distractions. The calm flowing movements and the deepened breathing contribute to “Yangsheng”, the cultivation of a long life. Many consider Tai Chi not only as a holistic method to heal body and psyche, but as a philosophy of your way of life.