It’s hard to oversell Tai Chi. Certain aspects of Tai Chi have been around for thousands of years. There’s a good reason why it’s stood the test of time. The list of benefits is wide-ranging and tai chi is a richly researched exercise, linking it to help with insomnia, stress relief, depression, improved heart function, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, balance, muscle strength, joint health and so much more.
One of the things I love about Tai Chi is the depth; we can learn a simple form and that can be enough for us – the benefits can still be enjoyed. But if we want more, there’s a whole world to discover; a notion of where the name “Tai Chi Globe” came from.
With that said, regardless of what benefits we seek, I encourage students of Tai Chi not to miss the point by focusing upon four simple aims:
Taoists refer to the “ten thousand things”; the daily distractions that go on within our lives. Inevitably, this leads to stress and anxiety.
Our Tai Chi practice helps us to take attention away from the ten thousand things and onto the one thing, the greatest gift of them all; the present moment. We simply cannot perform Tai Chi when the mind wanders off. Our Tai Chi practice nurtures mindfulness and presence. In time, a new sense of calm can be carried through into our daily lives, helping us to be “calm within the storm”.
There are many aspects of Tai Chi that reflect Natural Law principles, a subject that has held my attention for years. One Natural Law principle is “The Law of Correspondence” or put another way, “As above, so below”.
As we move the lower part of the body, we often also move the top half of the body. The fluid spiralling and bending, combined with the breathing and meditative aspects, massage the internal organs. This releases them from damaging constrictions brought about by stress, difficult working conditions and poor posture. It also aids the exchange of gases in the lungs, helping the digestive system to work more effectively.
We learn in Tai Chi how to coordinate and move the whole body as one; teaching us correct body posture, alignment, achieving the dichotomy of doing one thing and achieving many.
A selling point for me in the first tai chi class I ever attended was the “70% rule” in Tai Chi. Not 100% or even 110% of what we are often told to strive for in our demanding lives.
In this fast-paced world, we can be swept along and busy our minds. Tai Chi provides us with a window for us to rebuild an essential mind-body connection that we can lose at our peril.
If we experience a nasty fall in our life, we discover a newfound respect for balance; falls can take us out of action for months, or worse. However, whilst Tai Chi is taught for fall prevention, it’s not the only type of balance we learn through Tai Chi. Rather, it helps us to bring balance into all aspects of our lives; what we take into our bodies, the pace that we live our lives, enjoying and observing the ebb and flow of life.
REGISTER FOR TAI CHI CLASSES
Should you live in or near either Aylesbury or Princes Risborough, 1-hour in-person classes are available too. These take place throughout the week. For the full list of events, check out the calendar here.
Beginning in March, 30-minute Waking Wellbeing sessions will begin every Tuesday at 8 am and 30-minute Tea-time Tai Chi will be at 6 pm every Thursday evening! They are available for free to all Tai Chi Globe members, and the first online class is free for everyone.