I am not sure why I was so intrigued, maybe it was the overall chaos of our rapid paced daily life or my family’s medical history. Recently I did something about the nagging curiosity. As the Nike saying goes “Just Do It” I joined not one but two Tai Chi classes in my area. I had always heard that the practice of Tai Chi was good for a person but until I took the classes I had no idea how beneficial it really was.
Research from the Mayo Clinic, John Hopkins and Harvard just to name a few, has shown that the practice of Tai Chi can reduce arthritis pain, maintain bone density, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, decrease blood sugar levels, improve balance in mild Parkinson’s Disease, reduce falls, improve quality of sleep, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s/dementia, improves concentration and reduce stress. Oh and did I forget increased socialization and new friendships. Phew, all of that! What is not to love?
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese exercise often called “meditation in motion.” It is a slow gentle flowing low impact workout with no special equipment needed. It is actually a non-violent form of martial arts. It is based on the theory that a person’s mind, body and spirit must all be in balance, yin and yang, opposing forces within the body.
After attending the first class I read some books about the history of Tai Chi and also used them to help me practice the forms between classes. I also got some music to enhance my practice sessions.
A Tai Chi instructor is called a Sifu and I am amazed at how fast they make the classes go, especially since you become so focused on doing motions SLOW. Is that somehow ironic? What do we do slow in our fast paced society? Of course it also made me want to go back to Asia, no surprise there!
There is an ancient Chinese saying “If you can’t do twenty minutes of Tai Chi a day then you need to do an hour.”
So if you have a niggling itch to try something then do you may find it changes your life for the better.