Many people want to get healthier and reduce stress levels, but they don't know where to begin.
Hundreds of years after its invention, tai chi continues to be a form practiced by millions worldwide.
The truth is that tai chi can help you become more physically fit and improve your health in many different ways.
By reading this blog post, you will learn about the history of tai chi and how it works, and what benefits you can expect from practicing regularly.
You'll also find a great resource at the end that will teach you everything else you need to know about getting started with tai chi today!
Tai chi is ancient Chinese martial arts and self-defense practice that has been around for 2000 years. It is known for its slow, flowing movements designed to promote relaxation and balance while strengthening the body.
Today tai chi has become widely known for helping with many different health conditions and as a low-impact exercise rather than a self-defense technique.
Tai chi is often called "meditation in motion" because it's ability to center and focus people on the present moment.
It is also known as Taiji or Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan), so don't be confused if you see these names interchanged when someone is writing about tai chi!
Yes! Tai chi is an excellent exercise for people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Tai chi can be practiced anytime or place as long as you have enough space to move around comfortably.
It's also open to anyone, no matter their physicality, gender identity, nationality, or cultural background!
It is often recommended to people with physical limitations because they can practice Tai Chi while seated.
Tai Chi can also help balance problems or ailments such as arthritis. This is because it focuses on movement and stretching without using fast motions to worsen a person's condition.
Tai Chi is also open to people who have never exercised before because Tai Chi focuses on fluidity and flexibility in movements rather than muscle building.
The benefits of tai chi are numerous.
Tai Chi is a popular way to build strength and balance through its slow, gentle, and flowing movements. It's prevalent amongst the older population or anyone who is looking for a low-impact exercise. In addition, Tai chi can help those with arthritis pain and other joint problems manage their symptoms.
Tai chi also helps improve cognitive function in people. For example, research has shown that tai chi can help improve memory and the ability to concentrate.
Tai chi can help with balance problems or physical disabilities such as arthritis. It focuses on stretching without using fast movements that can be dangerous for someone who has a bad knee and needs to avoid high-impact activity like running or weight training.
It's also been shown that tai chi helps those with Parkinson's disease manage their symptoms.
Tai chi has also been shown in research to help those with anxiety or depression by improving mood and reducing stress levels, which is always a good thing!
Yoga and tai chi are similar in exercise and health benefits but also have many differences.
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art practiced today for its positive impact on people's health. At the same time, yoga is a system of physical postures with a history in Hinduism to improve strength, flexibility, calmness, and concentration.
The exercises share some similarities: tai chi and yoga focus on breathing and address energy flow in the body.
Yoga focuses more on the chakra system, and Tai Chi believes in opening up Qi or what is considered our "life force."
When discussing which is better, this is a subjective answer. However, yoga has grown more popular over the years, and it will be easier to find a variety of class types that fit all types of wants and needs.
However, with more and more fitness moving online, it's easier than ever to find a Tai Chi class that you can try for a small cost or even free.
Tai Chi has the added benefit that it can be done from a seated position for increased support. In addition, the movements are more gentle and put little stress on muscles and joints.
There are many forms for tai chi, and each one is considered either a "long-form" or "short form."
Traditional Tai Chi forms would be in the "long-forms" category, while people who practice more modern forms of Tai Chi would most likely take "short forms" classes.
The most popular style would be based on Yang 24 style as it is easy if your looking for Tai chi for beginners.
The tai chi movements are broken into 24 different steps.
There are many tai chi instructors and classes available online. Taking a low to no-cost online tai chi class is a great beginning for your tai chi journey.
If you are looking for something in person, you could simply Google copy/paste "Tai Chi classes near me" into Google.
It's always important to consult your medical doctor before starting any new exercise if you have any health conditions.
Qigong focuses on breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation movements. It originates about 4000 years ago in China.
Qigong also is not technically tai chi, but it has been incorporated with tai chi classes in some places.
While tai chi is focused on a series of movements for a more full-bodied exercise, qigong is more focused on "prescriptive movement." Meaning, qigong exercises focus on different parts of the body and situations. As a result, they can repeat the same movement multiple times in a row and be static.
Qigong has been described as "the inner work" of tai chi and focuses on getting the qi-energy moving throughout the body to increase health and wellbeing.
Tai chi also is better resistance training than qigong which makes tai chi better for building muscle and core strength.
As mentioned earlier, Tai Chi is excellent resistance training that leads to many physical benefits such as muscle growth and core strength.
Tai Chi is a very convenient physical exercise because it's done at a slow pace and with less aggressive movement.
Tai chi can lead to many physical benefits such as:
Tai chi may also lead to many mental benefits such as:
One of the best things about tai chi is that there is little to no equipment you need to invest in to take a class and practice.
Two pieces of equipment that can benefit your tai chi training are:
Shoes should be non-slip to prevent falls and provide enough flexibility in the material. Hence, you have freedom of motion in your ankles.
Clothes should be loose-fitting on your body and easy to move around in. Since tai chi training focuses on continuous movements, your choice of clothes must allow you to stay in the flow.
If you choose to practice more advanced/traditional forms with a martial arts emphasis, you may want to invest in weapons such as a sword for practice.
However, if you are going to practice with a weapon, please learn from a trained professional and have proper supervision.
Tai chi is more of a journey than it is a destination. However, most people want to learn tai chi for about 30-36 class hours to learn basic movements, according to the Tai Chi Foundation.
Although this is to feel confident with beginner moves, most people who begin this health exercise can see immediate benefits and improved quality of mood and fitness.
Tai chi is a beautiful and gentle health exercise that you can do well into your golden years.
However, some who wish to practice may want to use it as a warm-up or cool down with other fitness programs.
Tai chi can help warm up your cardiovascular system by focusing on breathing and stretching your muscles.
It can also be a cooling-down exercise that helps you cool off from other more vigorous fitness routines like running, biking, or lifting.
There are many health benefits of tai chi, including (but not limited to) a more robust immune system and improved mental health.
This ancient Chinese martial art is also good for your body. It promotes better balance and flexibility, leading to injury prevention. In addition, Tai chi has evidence it being effective in lowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety levels.
We're hopeful that this guide has given you a better understanding of what tai chi is and the many benefits it can offer.
With so much evidence proving the positive effects of the art of gentle tai chi in our lives, why not give it a try?
We offer a free 10-minute flow experience video with expert Tai Chi instructor and trainer David-Dorian Ross. This video will quickly get you experiencing the excellent benefits of gentle Tai Chi. Click on the link and enter your email, and you will instantly be delivered this gift to your inbox.
Don't hesitate and learn tai chi today!