Tai Chi

 

In Tai Chi, the focus is internal, turning inward on the mind and concentrating on being relaxed fully, rather than employing the use of force and strength…

 

A toaist monk developed Tai Chi (Chuan – or Ying-Yang boxing) around 800 years ago as a branch of Chi Kung. It was primarily used as a sophisticated form of self-defence in which force was not used on the attacker or opponent, rather his energy was reflected back to him. With this form of movement, the highly trained mind and body of the defender uses his mastery over chi (life force) to effortlessly outwit the opponent. Calm, speed and oneness with chi combine to create a space into which the attacker ‘falls’ and becomes tired and confused; though the beauty and the grace of the movements have today caught the attention of our western tradition. A correct standing posture is an important part of Tai Chi as body weight needs to be evenly distributed across both legs. This posture is then maintained when arm movements are introduced, and later when breathing is coordinated with the sequence of movements.

As a personal training programme Tai Chi promotes all-round holistic health of Body, Mind and Spirit…

Body:

The graceful flowing movements as practiced in Tai Chi warm and mobilize joints, tendons and muscles, encouraging the flow of synovial fluid into the joint capsule to lubricate, and thus allow, joints to move more freely within the joint capsule. Muscles are warmed from within to flow with you without injury, then, stretched, to gradually increase the range of movement around each joint. Muscular endurance is increased in the postural supportive muscles of the trunk, while muscles of the thighs, hips and calves are strengthened.

Mind:

By focusing the mind on the rhythmic movements of body and breath; the mind is stilled and concentration, the precursor of meditation, is improved. With practice the routine becomes a moving meditation, de-stressing troubled erratic thought patterns and relaxing and releasing tension blockages with-in the body to allow the energies to flow freely, thus promoting general health. Motor fitness, the mind body connection, one of the major components of all-round fitness, namely co-ordination, balance, agility, reaction time, along with memory that so often declines with age, is stimulated and improved.

Spirit:

By focusing inwards, we locate that oasis of calm within us, ‘peace beyond all understanding’ and find ourselves connecting to the powers that be, whether we relate to it as God, the universal spirit, nature power, what ever, and by connecting with our inner being become more aware of our spiritual entity beyond the physical.

As our differences inspire us, and our feelings inside flow to the outside, as the above merges with the below,
and the male and female embrace as one, a new dawn will light the earth…