Tai Chi, Christine Olfus
As soon as the temperature rises above 55º, everyone “springs” to the great outdoors. With the newness of the season, have you considered embarking on a new “outdoor” exercise adventure? If your answer is yes, consider Tai Chi for 2010!
This ancient Chinese practice pronounced “Tie Chee” combines slow, gentle, graceful and fluid movements that exercise both mind and body. The combination of mental concentration with controlled movement allows the mind to focus while the body is challenged. The movements are said to provide for the maintenance of good health and to quiet the mind.
This exercise is hailed as one the best for those who are unable to participate in traditional exercise programs and for anyone seeking an exercise that reduces stress and strengthens the body.
The Mayo Clinic reports that the benefits from the regular practice of Tai Chi include:
- Relief from the symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety and depression.
- Improved coordination, which can reduce falls.
- Improved daily physical functioning.
- Reduced arthritic pain, joint stiffness and high blood pressure.
- Maintenance of healthy bone density.
- Overall fitness improvement.
Tai Chi, often referred to as “meditation in motion” also improves muscle tone, flexibility and balance. The five essential qualities of Tai Chi are:
- Slowness – for the development of awareness
- Lightness – to make movements flow
- Balance – for the prevention of body strain
- Calmness – for the maintenance of continuity
- Clarity – for focusing the mind
Tai Chi can be practiced indoors but traditionally is practiced outdoors at dawn. Awareness, balance, focus, and a cool and calm demeanor are the benefits gained from Tai Chi when incorporating on a regular basis. With the daily stresses and strains of today’s lifestyles, Tai Chi is an excellent way to start the day .
To find the nearest Tai Chi program in your area, go to internet and “Google”, “Tai Chi”.
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