How To Benefit To Your Health With Tai Chi

Sphere: Related Content
There are many fitness regimes that incorporate breathing techniques, yoga being one of them. However, while other exercise programs, especially those which involve high impact and strenuous workouts depend on the fitness level of the individual Tai Chi is generally suitable for persons of all fitness levels. Of course the speed and intensity of its routines can be adjusted for fitness levels so as to maximize the benefit to each individual.

Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Chi for short is best known these days for its health benefits but its origin is as a form of martial art. This may be hard to reconcile with the gentle routines and dance like movements followed by its practitioners. It is an "Internal Martial art" - one that concentrates on building inner strength as opposed to demonstration of external brute force.

It operates on 4 levels - Physical, intellectual, spiritual and as a form of combat.

As a physical exercise the movements or forms involve a surprisingly large range of joint rotations and therefore promote flexibility and help improve metabolism, circulation and cardiovascular health.

On an intellectual level it involves relaxation and focus - awareness of your body, its posture, balance and co-ordination. It works on principles of qi (pronounced as chee). Qi assumes the existence of channels of bio energy - it is a life force that governs our being. This is by no means a concept unique to Tai Chi and is equivalent to the Yoga concept of "Prana".

Proponents of it believe that this life energy is transported throughout the body through 12 main meridians and 8 secondary meridians. As long as qi continues to flow uninterrupted through these invisible channels (meridians) the body remains strong and healthy. However, when passage of the qi is blocked by bad posture, inactivity, injury or other factors that's when problems set in.

You can see that there's practical value in learning more about tai chi. Can you think of ways to apply what's been covered so far?

Breathing techniques are an integral part of this process of distributing qi. Every movement involves collecting storing and distributing energy. Inhaling stores energy while exhaling delivers energy. Breathing is matched with appropriate movements. For instance when hands move apart in an opening movement or you step forward this is accompanied by inhalation and storing of energy while punching or when hands come together this coincides with exhalation and distribution of energy.

It teaches its students to breathe abdominally - to let the breath or qi sink to the "Tan Tien" i.e. the area below the navel. This gives the body a sense of strength and stability.

The spiritual aspect of it is also closely tied in with breathing techniques. A proficient practitioner of Tai Chi will no longer have to consciously control his breathing and match it with the movements of his body. Appropriate breathing will after some practice become second nature -a spiritual experience of communing with nature.

Hard as it may be to imagine, Tai Chi movements were intended as a means of combat and the movements or forms as they are called are geared to dislocate joints and cause internal bleeding in opponents. If Tai Chi were used as a dance routine then the benefits derived from it would be limited. To derive the maximum benefit from Tai Chi it should be approached as a martial art. Thereby deriving the attendant benefits of internal toughness and strength.

Although it is believed it was first practiced in China in the 1820's recent studies have shown that significant health benefits can still be derived from it. These include better balance and co-ordination (Of special importance to elderly people as this reduces falls and associated injuries), lowering of blood pressure and stress levels, strengthening of muscles and joints and improved cardiovascular health.

Given these benefits and its adaptability to suit many individual circumstances it obviously has much to offer the health conscious individual in the 21st century.

Now might be a good time to write down the main points covered above. The act of putting it down on paper will help you remember what's important about these old techniques.

Article Source:

Michael Hehn writes articles about various topics. Find out what he has to say about yoga at Yoga

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Why You Need To Have The Proper Tai Chi Clothing

Sphere: Related Content
Tai Chi is a unique pastime, not only is it exercise but it is also consider both a sport and an art. One of the key factors in Tai Chi is the ability of the person practicing the art to focus and use basic meditation methods to execute the exercises correctly. Added to this are factors such as the environment, tranquility, and the proper clothing.

The need for proper clothing cannot be underestimated when practicing Tai Chi as the right fitting clothing is just as important as preparing yourself mentally. According to the experts the spiritual energy possessed by all human beings flows through every pore of the body and wearing tight and restrictive clothing can greatly reduce this energy flow. It is said that this is even more important for beginning practitioners of the art as these people are just learning to find and harness their energy.

The exercises in Tai Chi require a lot of movement and flexibility so clothing such as jeans and jackets are inhibiting and should not be worn. Clothing such as this will also make the wearer extremely uncomfortable while in meditation.

The best clothing for Tai Chi will be light, soft and flexible so that it doesn't inhibit movement and is also limber enough that it will allow the practitioner to easily hold the required postures. The suggested fabrics to use are cotton, silk, and linen. Pants made of linen are always a good choice because of its thermo-regulation properties and in contrast to silk is very durable and resistant to abrasion. With that said the old time traditional Tai Chi masters always wore silk due to it being so plentiful in China. Another good option for those who cannot get silk or linen is cotton which is cool and inexpensive.

As far as color goes, most Tai Chi clothing will be either Black or White or a combination of the two. Some schools will have colors that are specific to that particular school.

Some more casual Tai Chi schools do not necessitate uniforms be worn by their students and will use t-shirts or sweat shirts with the name of the school printed on them. In most cases the shirt is white and will have traditional Tai Chi symbols printed on it or it will be imprinted with the school's logo. In most cases the pants are left up to the student to choose.

The clothes don't make the man and this is also the case with Tai Chi, someone who is very skilled can practice the art in any clothing and in any environment. The point of this article is to show that the optimum choice is to have loose comfortable clothing, especially in the beginning when you are first learning. - Why You Need To Have The Proper Tai Chi Clothing

About the Author

Gregg Hall is an author living with his 18 year old son in Jensen Beach, Florida. Find more about fashion as well as name brand clothing at

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Doing Tai Chi or Yoga to Ease Back Pain

Sphere: Related Content
People with back problems face challenges of finding really efficient solutions to their problem. Most Western countries and their medical sciences rely mainly on anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers to relieve back pain. While many people look for alternative methods to relieve back pain. Thus, we will take a look at some other available options for strengthening back muscles while diminishing back pain.

Physical exercises are worth while trying. However, due to the great variety of available options, one may have difficulties selecting the right form of exercise. Aerobics, for instance, may have too high impact for people with back problems, while isometrics are known for causing certain joint problems as well. Then there are calisthenics. One may find them good for muscle training. Though, you should be aware that calisthenics training has impact only on certain muscle groups, selectively. Keeping in mind the above mentioned information, what options are we left to?

We can try out Tai Chi or Yoga. Even though Tai Chi is a kind of martial art, it is efficient in relieving back pain. It was designed for enhancing body's resilience, improving flexibility, keeping one's weight in check and helping out through the injury recovering process. One of the reasons why Tai Chi is so effective is that it is based on slow arm, leg and upper body movements. A person has to move slowly using deep breathing technique as the aid in the healing process. Another one of Tai Chi advantages is that people in pain or those who go through their recovery process, can still resort to it. Tai Chi does not overstress the body. Moreover, Tai Chi, through its exercises helps people to work on better posture. It is well known that proper posture goes along with the healthy back.

Unlike Tai Chi, Yoga which takes its origins in Hindu teachings was designed to help people in restoring both their bodies and minds. Through Yoga exercises one may strengthen back muscles, improve posture and bring vertebral column into line. Yoga practitioners believe that through learning the ways of your body, in our case it is one's back, you may be able to gain a better understanding of your physical problems and find ways for fixing them before they give you more trouble.

Each and every one of the numerous Yoga positions is designed for attaining specific results. They are meant for strengthening, stretching or diminishing tension in the back area. They can also increase the blood flow, which is very positive for muscles. Another benefit of resorting to Yoga exercises is that they help in stretching your spine. Stretching is taking the pressure off the vertebrae, alleviating the compression. Such exercises will greatly reduce the back pain.

The affordability of Tai Chi and Yoga exercises makes them even more attractive. Both of these techniques are good for healing and recovering process and for sustaining your body's overall health shape. They are non-invasive and do not involve any medication or drug treatments. After your back pain is gone, either of them can remain useful for keeping up of your physical wellbeing.
Author Resource:- Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Back Pain .
Article From New Ezine Articles
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]