The ancient Chinese art of movement, tai chi is sometimes described as a “meditation energy.” It includes a series of linked movements that provide relaxation and energy. Could it be the exercise you need?
Known for bringing relaxation and concentration, tai chi has many physical benefits: it promotes flexibility, balance, muscle tone and awareness of his body.
Exercises consist of a continuous series of movements loosely chained together to form a shape. These movements are designed to help the “qi” (or internal energy) to flow more freely in the body, which promotes harmony of mind and body. Whatever your opinion of qi, there is no doubt that the fluid movements of tai chi promotes good physical and mental health.
The Tai Chi keeps you in touch with your body. His precise and repetitive movements, focusing on the tensions and relaxations gradual lead you to better understand how your body moves. This awareness improves your posture and your sense of balance and coordination, relaxes muscles and reduces stress exerted on bones and joints.
Gymnastics slow and controlled tai chi exercises its beneficial effects on bones and muscles often neglected in traditional strength training. A study conducted at the hospital of National Taiwan University found that 30 minutes of tai chi daily for six months increased by 20 per 100, in participants aged 50 to 60 years, the strength of their legs.
One of the great strengths of Tai Chi is that anyone can practice it. It has little impact and the risk of injury is minimal, so it is particularly recommended for the elderly or those who have problems with bones or joints. As these exercises improve balance, they reduce the risk of falls and fractures. People with arthritis have found that gentle movements of Tai Chi made them more flexible.
Tai chi styles
Many styles of tai chi have emerged over the centuries. The style most commonly adopted in the West today, the Yang, is characterized primarily by vertical postures and movements relaxed, slowly executed and completed by breathing slowly and evenly.
Each style has several forms and each form, 12 to 108 movements. It takes 5-15 minutes to complete a sequence of movements in a given form.
Slowly but surely
When you approach a form of tai chi, first try to familiarize yourself with one or two movements of the sequence and practice them regularly. Add gradually to other positions in order to have time to thoroughly learn the movements. Although one should count only 10 minutes to complete a full sequence, it may take several months to master all the movements that constitute a form.
Be patient – you move more slowly from year to year, the better you understand them and the more you enjoy. You can already see an improvement in your flexibility, your balance and posture after only a few sessions, but you must practice a lot longer to see results.
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