Tai Chi is a Chinese exercise system that has many faces. What might it do for you? Yes, it looks like a group of people standing on a lawn waving their hands around, but there is a little more going on than that. Tai Chi works subtly inside the body, and the benefits spread outwards over time to encompass the whole of life.
Tai Chi, or Tai Chi Chuan to give it its full name, is a martial art originating in China that has spread all over the world. It’s now practised by more than 20% of the world’s population, used every day by young and old alike as a means of maintaining health, healing injuries and self-defence. Characterised by its slow movements and graceful flow, Tai Chi has much to offer the modern western world and its hectic lifestyle.
This ancient system for finding your Chi (inner energy) means different things to different people. Everyone seems to think that they know about Tai Chi, but it generally turns out that we don´t always see what we expect.
Central Tai Chi offers Tai Chi classes throughout the West Midlands. In our classes, we start with a warm- up routine to gently stretch and relax the body, as Tai Chi Chuan has to be performed in a loose (Sung) manner.
We’ll then move on to practice Chi Kungs, Push Hands or Form. Form is the flowing sequence of movements that most people see when they think about Tai Chi (we teach Yang Style Long Form).Chi Kung exercises are simple repetitive breath and motion exercises to circulate the Chi around the body. Push Hands is an exercise performed by two people which teaches focus and balance in dynamic interaction.
We also teach the martial side of tai chi – Tai Chi Chuan boxing and Tai Chi sparring. At the other end of the scale, we teach standing meditation. Tai Chi’s graceful movement is often referred to as “meditation in motion”, but with Zhuan Zhong (Standing Post Chi Kung) you stand still, and find the motion in the stillness. Tai Chi is a holistic exercise, and to get the most out of it you should practice all these aspects to some extent. The amazing and brilliant thing about Tai Chi is that there is always something new to learn.
So, what is Tai Chi Chuan? Are we any clearer? Hopefully this introduction has given you a small insight into what Tai Chi is, and what Tai Chi Stuff is all about as well. Tai Chi is fundamentally about change and flow. Over the years, I have seen profound personal change in hundreds of our members due to the all-encompassing benefits of Tai Chi Chuan. Some examples of these stories can be seen in our blog. If there’s anything you’d like to know more about, please call or email me – we’d love to hear from you.