Tai Chi is an exercise derived from ancient Chinese martial arts with profound benefits for human health.
After the Daoist contribution to the art, Tai Chi spread out from a small village in Henan Province more than three centuries ago. The exercise consists of graceful circular movements that relax and strengthen both body and mind.
Tai Chi's philosophy is founded in Daoism and The Book of Changes (Yi Jing). The movements and principles of Tai Chi reflect the interactive and complimentary relationship between yin and yang. In movement the practitioner is continually changing between stillness and motion, empty and full, soft and hard, to achieve greater body awareness leading to a balanced state of natural health.
The gentle flowing movements and coordinated breathing help relax and balance the sympathetic nervous system. Functioning of other physiological systems are also improved by increasing circulation of blood and oxygen to all parts of the body.
Reduced anxiety and stress. Improved concentration. Renewed peace of mind. Enhanced creative awareness.
Full range of motion in most of your joints. Improved posture and balance. Improved circulation. Decreased blood pressure. Increased energy and vitality.
A greater sense of connectedness with nature. Increased inner awareness leading to self knowledge
Qigong is from the ancient Chinese tradition of therapeutic exercises, known as yangsheng (techniques of nurturing life) that combines movement, meditation and breathing techniques to increase the flow of qi energy in the body, improve blood circulation and strengthen the immune system. It is a significant branch of traditional Chinese medicine.
Formerly, Qigong was known by many other names such as Daoyin (inducing and guiding qi ), Tuna (exhaling and inhaling), Zouchan (sitting meditation), Shushu (breath counting), Xingqi (moving the breath), etc., and was traditionally practised by people in the religious, medical and martial arts areas, for the purpose of improving mental calmness, physical fitness and longevity.
The term qigong (literally breath exercise) was established in the early 1950's to cover any type of Gongfu training which specializes in building up the qi circulation in the body for health or martial arts purposes.
The qi in Qigong has several meanings. It often refers to the air we breathe, sometimes to the universal qi , or to the subtle vital energy that gives the physical body life (yuanqi). Gong literally means exercise, training, endeavour. Anyone regardless of age, occupation or belief system, can enrich their lives by including Qigong in their daily routine.
Those who sustain a consistent practice of Qigong find it is a highly effective system of healthcare, helping one to regain a youthful vitality and maintain health even into old age.