Tai Chi is a one of the less intensive styles of martial arts, and its roots lie in Taoist philosophy. It uses a combination of deep breathing with flowing movements – so it’s great relaxation as well as helping to maintain a flexible body. And that’s particularly the case for a more mature demographic.
But because Tai Chi stems from Taoist philosophy, its principles and approach can also enhance your life in ways you might not have considered. The physical techniques together with a different mental approach can help you shape a different outlook to life’s challenges. So, what are some of the added benefits of Tai Chi teachings?
Tai Chi utilities free-flowing, low-impact movements that work on various muscle groups, combined with breathing exercises. This mindful manner of exercising as a form of meditation proves to be especially relaxing in evenings, helping remove distracting thoughts and bringing a sense of calmness to practitioners. A common benefit that students report is the good night’s sleep that follows.
Calmness and improved mood
Tai Chi also improves a student’s mood during the day. One of the purposes of the martial art is to nurture a sense of calmness, a mind that is at peace with itself. That it is meditative in practice helps students in and of itself, but it also equips them with an approach to daily activities. But that’s also very closely linked to our next point.
Mindfulness is an everyday takeaway for this martial art. Nurturing calm focus on the exercises – doing them in there with manner, with the right movements – is an approach that can be applied to numerous activities. Whether it’s studying other things, or simply cooking a meal, the effective, meditative mindfulness when focussed on a task will bring greater enjoyment in the task itself, but also the calm and improved mood as highlighted above.
Over time Tai Chi reinforces key movements, and with that comes more awareness of, and improvements to, a student’s balance and control. Such an awareness of these elements, which is built up over time through practicing the martial art, can help to correct poor posture – from the way we sit to the way we walk. In this way, it’s a preventative technique to benefit the young, as well as the older people for whom Tai Chi is very popular.