In my bid to introduce different experiences for the mind, body and soul, I would like showcase Tai Chi. To give you a little background about Tai Chi(T’ai chi ch’uan or tàijíquán), it has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a very gentle and graceful form of martial art and was originally taught for self-defence. But don’t confuse it with the well known aggressive forms of martial arts. It has slow, rhythmic, meditative movements which are calming and relaxing for the mind and the body.
Tai Chi is usually performed outdoors so the chi moves freely. And it is usually done in a group, again to have an increased flow of ‘chi.’ The steps are such that the ‘chi’ circulates in patterns that are closely related to the nervous and vascular system, thus closely connected with acupuncture and other TCM. There are different forms and sequences but I’m not going to discuss them here.
Tai Chi has a special place in my heart as the first time I actually ‘felt’ energy/Chi was with Tai Chi. I chose to go a class when I was pregnant and looking for a safe, low impact exercise to practice during pregnancy and Tai Chi fit the bill.
As far as my experience with it goes, to my surprise, from the first class itself, I could feel this gentle energy (like a gentle breeze) around my hands, during exercises and movements. I had no idea what it was, except that it was called ‘Chi’ and it felt pleasant. Unfortunately I could not continue the classes due to the weather getting bad, but even months after, I kept craving for that pleasant feeling of ‘Chi’ flowing between my hands.
It is said to be a form of ‘meditation in motion’ and is safe for people of all ages and fitness levels(my teacher was well over 60 years old). It is claimed to have many health benefits for joint pains, stress reduction and several benefits for mind and body. The movements may look a bit odd but doing them feels good. I guess it’s not something you can easily pick by watching youtube or doing an online course. The movements can be better taught and perfected in a live class with an experienced teacher.
If you practice Tai Chi or have tried it, we would love to hear about your experience. You can leave a comment below.