First developed as a martial art in China thousands of years ago, the practice of Tai Chi has developed into a slow, graceful form of exercise that was traditionally thought to encourage the flow of bodily energy known as ‘Qi’ and promote the balance of yin and yang in the body.
A practice for both the mind and body, Tai Chi – often called ‘meditation in motion’ – is a low impact exercise with a number of unique benefits to offer.
Here are just 4 of the reasons why you should consider taking up Tai Chi:
The slow, controlled movements that characterise Tai Chi help to strengthen, condition and tone your muscles, particularly in the arms and upper body.
More than this, Thai Chi puts emphasis on maintaining correct posture, improving the health of your back and spine, while strengthening the back and core muscles as you carry out the continuous sequence of movements.
Tai Chi, in addition to being a form of exercise, is considered by many to be a more dynamic version of meditation – both of which are known to have a surplus of mental health benefits, including the reduction of stress, anxiety and even improving the symptoms of depression.
For example, in a study conducted on the effects of tai chi on anxiety and sleep quality in young adults, it was found that participants who took two tai chi classes a week for 10 weeks experienced reduced levels of anxiety and improvements in their sleeping quality compared to the control group.
Compared to other forms of exercise – such as running, biking and even walking – Tai Chi puts minimal stress on your muscles and joints, making it a great, safe way to keep fit for people of all fitness levels and even those who are rehabilitating from injury.
For people who aren’t able to do strenuous exercise – such as the elderly or those with chronic illnesses such as COPD – Thai Chi is a great way to keep active without putting excess stress on your body.
Regularly practicing Tai Chi helps to train your balance and proprioception – our spatial awareness and ability to sense our body in a space, a skill that deteriorates as we age and can contribute to the likelihood of falling.
In addition to achieving greater awareness of your body, the increased strength in your muscles and ligaments will enhance your balance even more, and may help to prevent falls.
So, if you want to improve your strength and balance, as well as reap countless mental benefits, then you should consider taking up this ancient martial art to improve the state of your mind and body.
If you’re based in New South Wales, check out the Emerald Dragon Martial Arts centre to enrol in Tai Chi classes and begin your journey to complete mental and physical clarity.
Emerald Dragon Martial Arts is an authentic Shaolin Kung Fu Training Centre. Our Programs in traditional Shaolin Kung Fu & Tai Chi will increase your physical fitness and mental capacity as well as enhance your spiritual awareness.