What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is the world’s largest participation meditation and martial art practiced by more than half a billion people around the world. Tai Chi originated in the early 18th century and is nourished by Qi Gong, an ancient Chinese health system. The definition of Qi Gong is “cultivating energy” and aims to maintain and improve health.
Tai Chi and Qi Gong practices can be classified into three different approaches: Martial, medicinal and spiritual. The three main fundamentals in execution are posture, breathing and mental focus. There are a wide variety of practices in both Tai Chi and Qi Gong, ranging from simple internal forms to complex external styles.
Tai Chi is considered a soft martial art and is predominantly practiced for health, longevity and as a movement meditation. This is because the movements are ideally performed in a relaxed and gentle flow, unlike other martial arts, which are performed with more speed and ferocity. Tai Chi was founded on the principle that the soft and unresistant will beat the hard and resistant.
Tai Chi teaches one to act in harmony with gravity, rather than opposing it, taking water as an example of how to flow between movements. The Tai Chi artist is in connection with their opponent, the environment and the universe. The resulting features from practicing Tai Chi, such as serenity, resilience, sensitivity and moderation, grants greater ease in overcoming obstacles between the practitioner and the universal energy, unifying the person with nature and the universe. Despite the apparent simplicity and fluency of Tai Chi, this is an arduous meditation and combat art to master.
It is seen those psychological problems such as stress, anxiety and depression decrease in people who practice Tai Chi and Qi Gong at any level. In addition, Tai Chi and Qi Gong have positive effects on the respiratory and digestive tracts.