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What is Tai Chi?
 
Tai Chi is slow motion Kung Fu, it's like swimming in air

Tai Chi, translated means 'Supreme Ultimate'. Tai Chi is a form of Martial art called Kung Fu. Tai Chi exercises are like silly putty, stretching the muscles slowly. If you pull it apart quickly it snaps. If you pull it apart slowly it stretches. By mimicking the tempo of nature, Tai Chi harmonizes, and melds body and mind improving the inner strength. Tai Chi is a meditative practice on the experience of the outer and inner world becoming one, as when eating, drinking, and breathing. There are many forms or sets of Tai Chi some of which have 108 postures, and others only 25 postures. Breathing controls the transition between each posture. By perceiving the ways of nature one is able to realize the harmony and interdependence of all people, places, and things. Tai Chi postures imitate the movements of animals, birds, and the rhythms found in nature.

Tai Chi can be used to promote the development of the Chi', which in Chinese culture is 'Life Force'. Mind and body are not separate, they are different expressions of Chi. Tai Chi was originally a way to prepare and harmonize the body, mind and spirit, to attain oneness within ones self, and then to cease in feeling apart and separate from all of creation.

The Chinese believe that good balance of the body as well as the mind is a major factor in promoting longevity. Tai Chi proves to be an effective method of improving balance, and therefore Tai Chi is an effective fall prevention therapy for the elderly.

Health advantages of Tai Chi abound in its breathing methods, and pronounced movements. Tai Chi is a series of fluid motions that are circular, slow, and together form a single larger posture. Deep breathing helps decrease stress. The shifting of your weight and upper body movements promote total fitness.

Other benefits include the improvement of strength, coordination, metabolism, circulation, relaxation, and inner awareness. It also reduces the effects of stress, improves immune function, lowers blood pressure and results in stronger bones. Tai Chi strengthens and conditions without impacting the joints, boosts energy levels, even helps increase concentration and mental clarity.Tai Chi is a form of moving meditation.

Some view meditation as a quiet kind of contemplation or thinking, while others view it as "non-thinking"- a tool used to realize your original nature (Chi'). It is a quieting of the mind and body, which strengthens the spirit. This can be done while sitting, standing, lying down or moving. Meditation is a practice of being "in the moment". When meditating, as your mind starts to wander, watching your thoughts, bring your attention back to the moment by paying attention to your breathing.

View your wandering mind without judgment. Let go for a moment of good and bad, right and wrong and stop being identified with the mind as being you. It is not you, it is just your mind. The original you, is beyond the thinking mind, ego, and personality. The original you heals your wounds, forms and changes your body, and does all this without "thinking about it". The grass grows by itself. Tai Chi is a way is a way to quiet inner peace.

With Tai Chi you can achieve an even minded awareness of the present, "being in the moment". You will develop a deeper self-knowledge, understanding, and clarity of mind.


©Frank Raimondi 2009