As you may be aware, we have been running tai chi sessions with our brilliant instructor Arun for a while now. We know that tai chi can sound unusual and many people aren’t familiar with what it is or what the benefits of it are. Please see below a great summary from Arun all about tai chi, qigong and meditation! This information is especially important in the current climate as these exercises can really benefit both your body and mind!
Gentle exercise, yet stimulating, the benefits of tai chi are well known. To move the body in continuous, co-ordinated, harmonious patterns, is a tonic for the mind too. You can de-stress whilst developing strength and flexibility. You cultivate an alert focussed attention with an uplifted mood. Traditionally people talk of “playing” tai chi, like a child, and research shows the effects of tai chi bring a youthfulness to the body and mind; for this reason, tai chi is renowned as a rejuvenation exercise, meaning literally “to make younger”. Modern medical research confirms that regular practice of ta chi improves function in all parts of the physical structure, outside and in, including skin elasticity, muscle tone, tendon flexibility, bone density, and the regulation of all major internal organs, including heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, and brain. The co-ordination exercises in tai chi are specifically aimed at regulating all body functions. We find that many of the ill effects of stress, illness, and ageing, can be turned around with regular practice of tai chi. And the beauty of it is that anyone can practice, since it can be adapted to all ages, abilities and conditions.
The same can be said for qigong (chi gung), which is a name given to exercises aimed at developing energy or vitality. Tai chi is in fact an example of qigong exercises linked together in a flowing sequence, whereas qigong is usually the name given to stand-alone exercises that may be linked in short sequences or simply on their own, or practiced one after another separately. Usually, these exercises have a gentle flowing quality to them, which allows the body and mind to stretch and open up out of its tensions and problems, to discover an enhanced and improved level of function.
As both tai chi and qigong exercises involve the calming and re-focussing of of the mind, they are known as “moving meditation”. The movements help the mind to become centred, which brings a sense of peace and an uplifted mood. The old habits of tension, obsession, and depression melt away, and new habits of good humour and clarity get established. And the more you practice, the better it feels