Origin of Tai Chi
T'ai Chi Ch'uan or Tai Chi is an old Chinese art of movement and its origins lie in the time of the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907AD). The movements are slow and calm and are carried out in a completely relaxed state. Tai Chi is also often referred to as movement meditation.
Tai Chi is also one of the martial arts. Tai Chi combines movement, meditation and breathing. The body is exercised and fitness levels are improved. Another name for Tai Chi is shadow boxing. The programme consists of a series of traditional Chinese physical exercises. Movements in Tai Chi are slow and flowing, breathing is relaxed.
Theory of Tai Chi
According to Chinese belief, the so called Chi is the life energy which flows in every human being. If the flow is disrupted ailments and illnesses emerge. Tai Chi exercises help to maintain health by letting the life energy flow harmoniously in the body. In addition to this, the meditative aspect of Tai Chi is also good for mental health.
Positive Effects of Tai Chi
Doing Tai Chi exercises regularly helps to loosen tension and improve agility even in old age. The self healing powers of the body are stimulated and strengthened; coordination, health and well-being all improve.
Techniques of Tai Chi
During the 1950s in the People’s Republic of China, so called simplified forms of Tai Chi were created in order to make the relatively complicated series of movements of Tai Chi easier for the general public. They were either done in the Yang style which consisted of 24 or 48 exercises or the Chen style with 36 exercises. In the meantime these Tai Chi techniques are being taught and offered all over Europe in a predetermined series of flowing movements of different speeds and levels of difficulty.
If Tai Chi is practiced regularly, it leads to inner and outer peace. Stress situations are mastered in a calmer and clearer manner.
Everyone can learn Tai Chi. However one has to develop a feel for the relatively complex series of movements. It is therefore advisable to learn the exercises under supervision, ideally in a course. Mistakes, for example moving too quickly, can than be corrected by the teacher immediately. Leaning Tai Chi is quite time consuming.