Tai Chi is a renowned Chinese martial art, known for its slow, flowing movements. It aims to promote inner clam and peace, but it actually provides far more benefits than most people realize.
Here, we’ll look at some of the little-known facts about Tai Chi and why you just might want to take up this awesome workout.
It can boost energy levels
Did you know Tai Chi has the power to significantly boost your energy levels? As it’s a slow moving physical exercise, energy isn’t something you’d typically associate it with. However, it works to enhance energy levels in numerous ways.
By focusing on correct body alignment, strengthening the nerves and reducing stress placed onto the heart, you’ll soon find you have lots more energy than you used to.
You’ll reap more benefits outdoors
Have you ever noticed that most Tai Chi classes are taught outdoors? Well, there’s actually a reason for that.
When you’re outdoors, there’s a lot more distractions to contend with. This means, you’re going to need to work extra hard to concentrate on the practice. Over time, this really helps to build up your discipline and ability to drown out outside noise.
Another reason it’s done outdoors is because it helps you to appreciate nature. Tai Chi is all about finding your inner calm and being at one with the environment. Practicing outdoors is said to connect the spirit to the planet, which in turn provides numerous benefits such as more radiant skin.
You’ll learn how to use your body and mind as a whole
Tai Chi is a very coordinated practice. Through consistent slow, coordinated movements, it helps to really bring balance to the body and mind.
This is actually something many of us could benefit from these days. How often do you spend feeling stressed out, depressed or anxious? Mental illness is a very common issue in today’s society, yet practices such as Tai Chi could be really beneficial at reducing the symptoms. As your mind and body become more aligned, you’ll start to feel calmer and a lot more in control of your life.
It’s not easy
From the outside, Tai Chi looks like a relatively easy, non-challenging practice. However, nothing could be further than the truth. Sure, it’s slow and it can hardly be considered an intense cardio workout. However, that definitely doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Those who haven’t exercised in a long time, or those who may be suffering from any type of physical limitation, may find it pretty tough to get into. In fact, some practitioners even recommend Pilates ahead of Tai Chi for those just getting back into exercise. However, if you’re up for the challenge, Tai Chi can definitely be learnt by all ages and abilities.
There are different styles of Tai Chi
Did you know there’s actually different types of Tai Chi you can take part in? There’s not one, or two variations – there’s actually five!
The four most common types include Wu, Chen, Hao and Yang, but there’s also combination styles you can practice too. The one you’re most likely familiar with is Yang, as this tends to be the most commonly practiced.
Second most popular is Wu, which has more focus on internal chi and its movements are much more compact. Each different style focuses on something slightly different. So, it’s important to think about what you’re hoping to achieve before you decide which type of Tai Chi is right for you.
The above is just some of the little-known facts about Tai Chi that are worth being aware of. As you can see, there’s so much more to the practice than most people realize.
Improve the Flow of Energy with Tai Chi
Are you tired of being tired? Tai Chi could be just what you need to feel more energized.
When you’re stressed and tense, it really knocks the body’s energy flow out of sync. This in turn can cause fatigue, stiffness and even depression. Improving the flow of energy within the body can bring numerous health benefits, as well as ensure you feel more awake and relaxed.
Here, you’ll discover how Tai Chi can help to improve your flow of energy and why it matters.
Understanding the body’s natural energy
Did you know your body has its own natural, unique energy flow? Without even being aware of it, your body constantly has energy flowing throughout, helping to keep you happy and healthy. However, sometimes this energy flow can be interrupted or damaged in some way, leaving you feeling fatigued and potentially leading to numerous health issues.
Stress and tension tend to be the biggest natural energy drains on the body. When you’re stressed, the muscles tend to tense up. So, rather than nice, relaxing energy flowing through the body, instead it starts to flow with insecurities and fear. Keeping the body relaxed and healthy is therefore key to maintaining your body’s natural positive energy flow.
How can Tai Chi help?
Tai Chi is one of the best practices you can partake in to optimize your body’s natural energy flow. Even its name gives you an indication of how energy focused it actually is. Chi is the name given to the body’s natural harmony and energy flow.
Tai Chi focuses on specific postures which work to enhance energy flow throughout the body. It releases stress both in the mind and throughout the body and helps to improve the smoothness and flexibility within the joints.
Most importantly, it focuses upon what is known as the chi power center. Otherwise referred to as the “Tantien”, it’s basically the body’s gravity center. It acts as a chi pump, sending the energy to different parts of the body. It functions much in the same way as the heart does to pump blood around the body, only it focuses on energy.
How long does it take to see results?
You’re not going to notice an instant energy boost with Tai Chi. Like most things, it takes time to develop the true benefits of the practice. However, that isn’t to say you won’t feel any benefits right away.
After your very first session, you’ll feel more relaxed and calmer. This in itself is a pretty awesome benefit! Then, the more you become used to the practice, the more benefits it will start to deliver.
Absolutely every Tai Chi movement is designed to deliver energy to the body. So, there’s no specific movements you should be concentrating on if you’re looking to boost your energy levels. Initially, you’ll start by learning more about how your body’s movements are linked to your energy levels. As you advance through the practice, you’ll start to find it easier to actually recognize your chi, or natural energy flow. This in turn will show you how you can alter it if needed.
Tai Chi enables you to channel energy anywhere you need to. However, mostly it’s best to let your chi go wherever it needs to. The body has a pretty amazing ability to send energy wherever it’s needed most. Often, energy isn’t required where you initially think it is.
For example, if your knee joints have been feeling stiff and fatigued, it may not be your knees which need the direct energy. Like with acupuncture, treatment is often required in different areas of the body that are linked to the problem area. So, it’s best to trust your body to send the energy where it needs to go.
The above are just some of the energy boosting benefits of Tai Chi. While it may not look particularly challenging, Tai Chi is one of the best exercises you can do for your body and mind.
How to Find Your Tai Chi Energy Flow
When you decide to take up Tai Chi, there’s a few things you need to learn which can be a little confusing to start with. One of these is energy flow.
You’ll see and hear a lot about Tai Chi energy flow and how the practice aims to tap into your body’s natural Chi. The trouble is, you have absolutely no idea what Chi actually means, never mind where to find it!
To help, below you’ll discover how to find your Tai Chi energy and the benefits it can bring.
Learn to relax
When the body is tense, it’s impossible to get in tune with your energy flow. Therefore, one of the key elements of Tai Chi is teaching the mind and body to relax. In order to release the flow of energy, you need to release any built-up tension.
There are a lot of relaxation techniques you can try out. Deep breathing and mediation are both highly recommended as part of Tai Chi practice. Once you start identifying the tenseness within the body, it will become much easier to release it whenever you need to.
If you’re trying out meditation, you may find you struggle at first to block out all other noise and intrusive thoughts. However, with regular practice, you’ll develop a much greater ability to control your thoughts and relax the mind.
Focus on your breathing
Breathing is another key element of Tai Chi. In order to be able to focus on your breathing techniques, you need to ensure you’re comfortable. Once you’ve got yourself comfortable, start by taking a deep breath in, then a deep breath out.
Try to focus solely on the breath. Follow it as it enters through the nose, down the back of the throat, into the lungs and finally down into your stomach. Then, follow it as you exhale, from the stomach, up to the lungs, up the throat and out through the nose. Taking a few deep breaths using this technique, will automatically relax the mind and body, helping you to connect with your inner energy.
Take up a Tai Chi class
If you’re just starting out with Tai Chi, you may struggle to understand or follow the tips to get in tune with your energy flow. For that reason, it often helps to take an actual Tai Chi class.
You’ll be able to gain valuable tips and advice on how to correctly follow the principles of Tai Chi. The instructor will also be able to show you if you’re making any mistakes and offer insights into how to develop your energy flow.
There’s also the fact that you’ll learn how to do each movement correctly. When performed correctly, Tai Chi movements automatically help to boost the positive energy within the body, leaving you feeling energized and motivated.
Develop correct posture
Along with breathing and relaxation, the right posture can also make a massive difference to how energized you feel. You may have heard that many successful people take on a “power stance” whenever they need to feel powerful and confident. Surprisingly, it works!
Tai Chi focuses on developing correct body alignment. Using the correct posture enables the body to relax and generate lots of positive energy.
Finally, to find your Tai Chi energy flow, it’s important to start off slowly. It’s common to think just because Tai Chi is a slow and somewhat gentle practice, you don’t really need to ease yourself into it.
However, in order to become better at the practice and control your flow of energy, you will need to start off slowly. For example, start with just 5 minutes of Tai Chi each day. You can work your way up to doing more. As you do increase the time you spend doing it, you’ll find you start to develop more energy throughout the body.
The above tips will help you to find your Tai Chi energy. Not only that, but with regular practice, you’ll also discover how to control the energy and use it when you need it the most.