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Tai Chi, also spelled as Taiji or Taiji Quan, is a Chinese martial art and a mind-body practice that has its roots in ancient Chinese philosophy and traditional Chinese medicine. It is often practiced for its health benefits and as a way of promoting relaxation, balance and harmony. Tai Chi combines gentle physical movements, deep breathing and mindfulness. The movements are slow, flowing and continuous, performed in a relaxed and focused manner. They are often referred to as 'sequences' and are practiced in a specific sequence. The practice of Tai Chi emphasizes principles such as relaxation, balance, alignment, coordination and body awareness. It promotes the circulation of vital energy, known as "Qi" or "Chi," through the body's energy pathways or meridians. According to traditional Chinese medicine, when the Qi flows smoothly, it supports overall health and well-being.
In addition to its physical benefits, Tai Chi is also considered a meditative practice. The slow, deliberate movements and focus on the present moment help calm the mind, reduce stress, and enhance mental clarity. It is often described as 'meditation in motion' or 'moving meditation'. Tai Chi originated as a martial art, nowadays many people primarily practice it for its health benefits and as a form of meditation and relaxation.
Tai Chi is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. It can be practiced individually or in groups, and it doesn't require any special equipment. Regular practice of Tai Chi is believed to improve balance, flexibility, coordination, strength and posture. It may also help reduce stress, enhance relaxation, boost energy levels and improve overall physical and mental well-being.
The movements of Tai Chi are easy to learn and are based on energy rather than muscular strength. This makes Tai Chi suitable for everyone, young and old. Ancient Chinese masters cited Tai Chi Chuan (the official name for Tai Chi) as the method for achieving a long, healthy and happy life.
Tai Chi has a relaxing and grounding effect and harmonises the mind and body. This Chinese movement art is also believed to feed your 'chi' referred to as the breath, life force or vital energy and spiritual energy from which everything is composed. Through Tai Chi, your body and brain connect and your muscles and mind relax. Tai Chi can relieve lower back, neck and shoulder complaints and help with osteoarthritis and soft tissue rheumatism (fibromyalgia). The exercises improve blood flow, balance, stability, coordination, concentration and boost immunity. Blockages within the muscles disappear, allowing the energy to flow freely again.