What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is a form of exercise intended to reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of other health conditions. It’s a combination of flowing motions and meditation that allow the person practicing to be able to strengthen their mind and body.

Tai Chi history

Though it’s not established when exactly Tai Chi came to be, accounts of the practice may date back to as far as the 8th century. The earliest confirmed account of Tai Chi dates back to the 16th century, where a Royal Guard named Chen Wangting retired from the army and began to teach Taoism. Here, he maintained a simple life of farming, studying Taoism and teaching martial arts.

Wangting began to develop Tai Chi routines that combined martial arts and boxing techniques he learned in the army with the ideas of Taoism. Over time, more people adapted the practice of Tai Chi, and it became standardized and developed into five major styles: Chen style which originated from Chen Wangting, Yang style, Wu Hao Style, Wu Style and Sun Style.

Tai Chi practices

Tai Chi benefits

Tai chi is practiced with a series of slow movements and deep breathing. It’s a gentle form of exercise that primarily consists of stretching techniques, flowing into each position seamlessly. It combines the ideas of yoga and meditation for a more relaxed, non-competitive form of exercise.

Due to the low-impact nature of tai chi, most anyone can practice the exercise form. It’s good for both young and old people, and does not require a strong physique or regular exercise acumen to be able to practice tai chi well. In fact, it can help support individuals that may have health issues that otherwise prevent them from practicing other forms of exercise.

How does Tai Chi benefit people who practice?

Tai Chi is found to have positive effects on the mind and body overall. It’s known to help decrease stress and anxiety, as well as improve one’s mood and energy levels. It is also found to have positive impacts on depression. You can take beginner Tai Chi classes to reap the benefits of this classic exercise form.

Tai Chi classes also helps people improve their stamina, flexibility and balance. Given the nature of the positions and slow-moving changes, you have to be able to balance yourself for long periods of time. Tai Chi can also help to improve muscle definition and composition.

There are other potential health effects of Tai Chi, though they have not yet been proven by research. In general, though, Tai Chi is rumored to improve the immune system and help to lower blood pressure and risk of some long-term illnesses. Additionally, it is possible Tai Chi has positive effects on joint pain and may improve symptoms of heart issues.

Benefits of Tai Chi classes can be seen just from a 12-week class that teaches you the basics of the exercise practice. However, if you want to maintain the long-term effects Tai Chi has to offer, it’s recommended to continue to practice it everyday and make it into an everyday routine. Even just a few minutes each day is a great way to reap the benefits of this great form of exercise.

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