Tai Chi and Qigong for Beginners
Tai Chi and Qigong for beginners – even heard of Tai Chi and possibly Qigong – but really, what are they? Well, they are ancient forms of Chinese exercise that has been practiced for centuries to enhance health and wellbeing.
Co-ordinated breathing with soft fluid movements give together so many benefits for both body and mind whilst practicing on your own, in a group, anytime, anywhere and will, in time, improve balance, strength, flexibility and stress reduction. You will feel an undeniable sense of calm, improved circulation, metabolic benefits and much more…..
Often described as a moving meditation, Tai Chi & Qigong can help to balance the opposing forces within the body (known as yin and yang) and encourage the flow of chi (energy) through the body to promote health.
Yang is the male, light, warm, extrovert, active aspect shown as the white portions. Yin is the female, dark, cold, introvert, passive side or life, indicated by the black portions.The Yin Yang symbol represents the natural interplay of the opposing forces of Yin and Yang in our universe.
Tai Chi & Qigong is a gentle martial art, suitable for all ages and levels of skill and ability – an exercise you can begin at any age and continue to improve with age (unlike most exercises!). Research has proven that significant improvements can be made in balance, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility and can continue to improve further as time goes on.
Literally translated from Chinese, Tai Chi means ‘Supreme Ultimate’ and it’s theory and practice embraces many of the principles of Chinese philosophy. In the context of Tai Chi, the human body is the universe and all it’s parts are exercised in balance to enable harmony in it’s function.
The benefits of practicing Tai Chi can be increased by doing some Qigong exercises beforehand to stimulate the flow of energy. Qigong translated means “energy work /repetition”, so after warm ups but before beginning your Tai Chi practice, you can gain more from these simple exercises.
Tai Chi Tigers practice the art of healthy breathing as a basic principle to all movements, but a word of warning. Do not force the depth and frequency of your natural breathing pattern. Instead develop the art of listening (with your ears and body) to your breath. Your breathing will change naturally as you become aware of what you are doing – there is no need to control it.If you have any breathing difficulties, learning Tai Chi breathing may help immensely but please check with your doctor first.
” I have COPD and sometimes need more oxygen. I practice my Tai Chi breathing daily and have found it so beneficial in my ability to do so much more in ordinary life – it’s amazing how much better I feel. The consultants are astounded at the improvements I’ve made in breathing.” TN
Stress relief – anyone with a hectic lifestyle will benefit from the perfect distraction of Tai Chi breathing, movement and mental concentration needed to practice this exercise form.
Developing a more relaxed, natural way of moving and being, is part of the process of internal transformation – it’s ok to let go, RELAX. We have to be happy to accept failures and invest in loss in order to learn and grow. As you relax, your body moves in more co-ordinated ways, then you may find unusual events happening in everyday life such as effortlessly avoiding an accident.
After some time you may feel your Tai Chi practice has fallen apart, that it seems worse than when you started! This is actually a sign of progress and that your understanding has deepened. Please, continue your practice and you will find yourself going to higher levels.
A good posture and correct movements to protect and strengthen our joints is important for us all. Many exercise routines can subject the shoulders, knees and back to ill-conceived, repetitive and unnatural movements where a great many people develop joint problems.
And what about our internal organs? Tai Chi’s fluid spiralling and bending movements, alongside breathing and meditation components, massage the internal organs and release them from damaging constrictions brought about by stress, poor posture and difficult working conditions. Tai Chi & Qigong also aids the exchange of gases in the lungs and helps the digestive system to work better.