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Tai Chi Benefits

Tai Chi Benefits

Tai Chi benefits are quite well known in both the east and in the west, the movements can be done quickly or they can be done slowly, most of us know that doing some form of exercise has many benefits for almost all people, exercise is used to get fit to stay fit and exercise is used for rehabilitation after injury, so why are there benefits from Tai Chi which is depicted as a slow moving form of exercise?

Tai Chi exercise is not really based on the same principles as conventional exercise which aims to get the the heart beating as fast it can without you collapsing or exercising to the point that you are panting and out of breath, there is nothing wrong with this type of exercise as long as your heart and lungs are in very good condition, but what would happen if you were to be overweight with poor lungs or with a bad heart?

In a situation like those mentioned above doing vigorous exercise could be the last thing you do before you drop, so not all exercise is good in all situation for all people. Tai Chi however is a type of exercise that can be done whilst standing or whilst sitting, so doing a form of Tai Chi could be just what you need to start your exercise program, in fact Tai Chi is probably the next best thing to swimming when trying to get motivated to exercise.

If you are able to stand but find standing makes you tired but you want to begin a form of exercise that will ease you gently into your exercise regime then doing one form from a Tai Chi set and then repeating it a few times could be the answer, there is a form in Tai Ch called single whip and this is quite a simple exercise to perform which will help you to put a bit of strength in your arms  and legs.

Tai Chi Benefits, Single Whip

If you are able to stand, find a quiet spot either outside or somewhere in your home that has a space of about 3 metres x 3 metres, wear comfortable clothing, it doesn’t have to be anything sporty just comfortable, first try to stand in the first Jam Jong position, which is;

feet apart shoulder width, eyes facing forwards, imagine that you are held up by a string that is attached to the top of your head, arms at your sides, back straight and shoulders relaxed in a natural position breath naturally don’t force your breathing, show below

wu chiOnce you have stood in the first Jam Jong position shift your weight on to your right leg, raise your right arm up to shoulder height and form a beak with the fingers or your right hand continue moving your right arm out to the side of your body as you move you right arm up and out raise your left arm up towards your right chest and then step with your left leg, placing your heal on the ground out in front of you, at the same time push with your left hand fingers facing up and your palm facing forwards, imagine that you are pushing something very heavy away with your left hand, when you have reached this point return to the first Jam Jong position and from there you can repeat the single whip form as many times as you like, this exercise is not putting your heart or lungs under pressure but because you are lifting your arms up you are opening up the chest at the front and sides and this is helping to give your heart and lungs room in which to operate, the fact that you are standing and shifting you weight on to one side is helping to make your heart and lungs work just a bit harder than if you do nothing. Just doing this will show you that when you are very unfit the slightest bit of exercise will slightly increase you heart beat and your breath rate. Below is a video of single whip.

Tai Chi Benefits, Single whip video demonstration

When doing this single whip for yourself try doing it as slowly as you can, this sounds easy but when you try it you may find that a great deal of concentration is needed and this is great for your focus and it is great for sensing where your points of balance lay within you, try to do this as often as you can,each day would be fantastic but if you find you are pushed for time don’t worry just do it the next day that you are able to. The more you do it the more you will want to do it, Tai Chi can be a funny thing because most of us want to learn more and more and do things faster and faster, but this is how our society has made us, we are all in  a rush to do more and to cram as much into our lives as we can, doing this one thing each day will give you something that is for you it is personal and precious.

Tai Chi benefits us in many ways, better health can be gained as well as better coordination and better focus and mental clarity.