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An Introduction to Tai Chi
Meditation in Motion
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I have often thought about doing Tai Chi and after reading this aritcle I have decided that I am going to get started.
Every once in a while Tai Chi pops up on my radar. I've never tried it, and yet everyone I know who has seems to love it. Maybe it's a sign that it's my turn.
I have been taking Tai Chi for over two years and find it great for the mind and for the relaxtion of the body and to give it perfect linement stretches. They claim it takes over five years to learn all the moves without watching others. It is also a great way to enjoy other people so willing to help.
Life is worth enjoying
This is a great exercise for balance. After I had a small TIA my doctor had me take classes at the hospital for about 9 months. I think this help me get my brain back! lol
I practiced for several years but had to give it up when some of the form movements proved painful to my knees. However, this is not the forms fault ,but my inability to control my knee from moving into the wrong position. I do love it aand hope to get back into the practice. My health club only offers fan tai chi, which I do not like.
If you are interested in Tai Chi I recommend checking out the Tai Chi SparkTeam. There are members who are highly experienced and those who are new to Tai Chi.
One of the remarkable things about Tai Chi is that is facilitates the movement of "chi", a concept that is finally starting to be addressed in the West. For overall health it is vital that this life force is not stagnant and the study of Tai Chi (all forms) helps this process. Tai Chi is not just a "physical" exercise. It is part of a way of living that incorporates wholeness of the body-mind-spirit. Just getting the chi moving can clear us of those obstacles to good health, including the cravings to over-eat. So, it is not about calorie-counting.
For those of you who start Tai Chi study, keep an open mind. Just allow your body to enjoy whatever class, whatever style you can find. If you develop an interest to learn more to delve deeper then a teacher, a class, an appropriate DVD will appear. Tai Chi can serve as a door to another world.
It would be really nice if this article included some resources or references for learning Tai Chi: a book, DVD, or website recommendations.
This article could use some work. It's really could stand to be more informative and to work on accuracy a little (it's not as if this style has disappeared as a martial art, for example, it's just tremendously popular in its meditation form).
I have been taking a Tai Chi class at the Bronx House in the Bronx, NY for more than a year. It is free for seniors. For so little effort very large gains are realized.
I tried Tai Chi for a while and quit because I didn't feel that it was giving me much benefit for the time I was investing. Boy was I WRONG! The breathing exercises alone had such a significant impact that I couldn't believe it. Plus, the balance and stretching that are core to Tai Chi have incredible benefits. It's not strength training but it's still a great way to stretch, relax and have fun.
I feel very blessed that my fiance is a Tai Chi instructor. I have found that the most difficult part of learning the form is letting yourself RELAX!
The best video instruction is by TERRY DUNN who is a graduate of Harvard U. and a Tai Chi Master. His videos are both for the Short and Long Form and great for a beginner.
I have practiced Tai Chi for the past five years, first working on Yang-style, and now working on Sun-style. If you are interested in an inexpensive class, try your local hospital's community programs-Tai Chi is proven to be very effective in falls prevention. There are simplified forms that almost anyone can do, even in a wheelchair. Dr. Paul Lam has a series of small Tai Chi sets aimed at improving a range of health conditions-his web site has a searchable list of instructors, so you may be able to find an instructor in your local area.
For me, Tai Chi has measurably improved my balance, my flexibility, my breathing, and my core strength. As some other commenters have noted, it is very calming and refreshing as well-when I finish my practice, I feel more awake and alive than when I started it.
I was able to practice Tai Chi for several months. My schedule does not currently allow for instruction but I never felt better than when I was practicing the forms.
LINDAROBY, I've found that what TAICHICHICK said above about having an instructor experienced enough to guide you in weight distribution and body position is very helpful. It 's also important to start out slowly and monitor yourself. In the year and a half I've been serious about tai chi practice I've found that my legs are stronger than I ever imagined they could be (I'm 57 and have never been athletic) because I'm learning to take each motion to my maximum while maintaining correct form, while my husband at 70 years and 300+ pounds gets his best workout doing the same sets, and at the same speed I do, with his own range of motion. It's very adaptable.
And I can't say enough about the meditative aspects.
Give it a try!
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