Tai chi is a Chinese martial art for defense that is also practised for its health and meditation benefits. Read on to learn more!
In this article:
What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art for defense training. It’s practiced commonly for its meditational and health benefits all around the world. It’s one o
f the most common exercises in China. Tai chi is also described as a mind and body practice. The movements in tai chi are slow-motion, low impact, and not forced.
The belief system in tai chi has 2 elements; Qi and Yin & Yang. Qi is known as an energy force that is thought to flow through the body. Tai chi can unblock and promote the proper flow of Qi. Yin & Yang are known to be the opposing elements that are thought to make up the universe that needs to be kept in harmony. Tai chi is believed to promote this balance.
Tai chi movements can be divided into 3 groups; warm-up, forms, and qigong.
Warm-up includes smooth and small motions that will help the body to get loose, helping you focus on your breathing.
Forms are short sets of movements. Different styles may include smaller or larger movements. For beginners, smaller and shorter moves are recommended.
Qigong can be translated into “breath work,” which includes a short time of gentle breathing to help you relax your mind.
What Are The Benefits Of Tai Chi?
Tai chi is known to have multiple benefits.
- Boosts Mood: Tai Chi can help boost mood if you are suffering from anxiety or depression. Studies have suggested that practicing tai chi regularly can reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Mindful breathing and mindful movement in tai chi are known to have a positive effect on the nervous system and reduce stress.
- Improves Sleep: According to a study conducted in 2016, those who practice tai chi reported to experience significant improvements in their sleep ability.
- Improves Cognitive Function: Tai chi is known to enhance the ability to multitask, make decisions, and time management for those who do not suffer from cognitive impairment. For those who suffer from cognitive impairment, tai chi can slow the progression of dementia.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: According to a 2018 study, tai chi can help improve the exercise capacity and dyspnea in COPD patients.
- Promotes Weight Loss: A study conducted in 2015 has shown that practicing tai chi can promote weight loss.
10 Tai Chi Tips To Do At Home
- Walk around slowly while gently shaking your hands and legs, loosen up your body.
- Rub your hands together, this will help you increase “qi.” Massage your legs, feet, and shoulders for a couple of minutes.
- Bring both hands up slowly as you breathe in. Then turn your palms upwards while bringing them to your chest. Breath out and push both hands outwards and extend them in front of you.
- Roll your shoulders back and forth gently. Inhale and extend both arms to your sides. Move your arms up above your head. This movement will help you gather “qi.” Gently press our hands down in front of you while breathing out.
- Stretch your spine while keeping your hands in front of you and inhale gently. While exhaling, push one hand up. Push your other hand to the side and then change hands and repeat.
- Keep your hands in front of you as if you’re holding a big ball. Keep the left hand on top. Bend your knees slightly and turn your waist gently to your left. Then change hands and repeat the same movement for the other side.
- Place your left heel out in front of you, push both hands back to keep your balance. Then step back with your left foot resting on its toes and stretch your hands forward. Repeat for the other side as well.
- Make loose fists and rest your hands on your hips. Stretch out one foot and, at the same time, punch out gently with the opposite hand. Bring your arm and leg back to the original position and then repeat with opposite sides.
- Keep your fists next to your hips. Bend your knees slightly and step forwards with one foot. Shift your weight onto the leg in front of you and move your body forwards. As you move your body forward, punch out with your opposite arm. Come back to the original position and repeat with opposite sides.
- Rest your foot on your heel, and then turn your foot inwards and outwards several times. Change feet and repeat.
With the information provided in this article, it is clear that tai chi is an easy and safe exercise with multiple benefits. Tai chi is known to be a safe exercise, but beginners might feel slight muscle ache in the beginning. We highly recommend beginners to consult a specialist before starting vigorous exercise.
Share your thoughts with us in the comments section! What other benefits did you get from practicing Tai Chi?