Updated: Mar 30, 2019
World Tai Chi Day Saturday 27th April
World Tai Chi Day Saturday 27th April
Saturday 27th April marks World Tai chi day where over 80 countries around the world will celebrate Tai chi by performing in their local parks at 10am local time. This year you will find my dedicated students and I celebrating in Pageant Gardens Sherborne.
Tai chi is becoming increasingly popular in the west and, although it originated in China as a martial art, it is now practiced by millions of people because of its many health benefits. Many studies have been carried out researching its health benefits and according to The Harvard Medical school; Tai Chi can help reduce stress, improve posture, build strength, increase flexibility and improve balance.
The slow rhythmic movements open the flow of energies in the meridians which the ancient Chinese discovered run from the tips of our fingers, deep into the inner organs and to the tips of our toes. These are the meridians on which the points used in acupuncture or shiatsu are located. The gentle flowing movements are sometimes called ‘meditation in motion’, but they may as well be called ‘medication in motion’. There is growing evidence that this mind body practice has value in treating or preventing many health problems, both physical and mental.
Within the movements there is a profound system of understanding between the energies of the body, mind and spirit. The form you see is skilfully designed to take you into a deeper experience of harmony. Tai chi teaches you how to move your body in a relaxed calm manner enabling you to develop a softness on the outside with strength and clarity on the inside. Tai chi forms and principles contain discipline, healing and meditation, which in turn can have a powerful effect on the way that you live your life.
Many conditions that would be restricted in most exercises can be improved by practising Tai chi. Health is much more than the absence of illness. It is a positive, harmonious state of vitality, a state of integration, a wholeness of oneself and in the world around us. Tai chi teaches you to take health into your own hands, by breaking the habit of negative thinking which distracts and fuels the machinations of the mind, generating more unnecessary stress. Creation is vital for realising individual health and development. In practising Tai chi, you can start creating a wholesome outlook to assure tireless energy, an interest in living and keeping old age at bay. This is encouraging since we live in a (Western) world which conditions us to believe that, at 60, we are old and worthless to society and that poor health is something to expect later in life. The principles of Tai chi refute this and believe that we all have the right and means to maintain good health as we grow old. It is one of the best practices for long-term health, wellbeing and longevity; it will improve one’s immune system, digestive system, heart rate and circulation; it will increase one’s vitality, mobility, flexibility and enhance correct posture.
The hectic pace of modern living, meaning no time for exercise, leaves us tired and exhausted. The quiet, gentle nature of Tai chi helps to overcome stress and its related problems. Tai chi will aid relaxation and calm the mind; it teaches patience and will improve one’s confidence and problems with established self-image, as well as mental concentration.
The best thing about Tai chi is that it is a non-competitive practice which requires no special clothing or equipment and you don’t have to be in tip top condition to start!
Tai Chi is best learnt from an experienced practitioner. A good teacher will help you grasp the foundations and your body will then begin to remember the movements. It is important to remember that modern culture influences our desire for instant gratification; many students want to learn everything quickly and expect to get the hang of it straight away. Initially it takes discipline to practice, but later, as you begin to see how you are benefiting from Tai chi, enjoyment will make you want to train. One thing is for sure, if you have patience and allow time for practice, Tai chi simply lives with you. It is in you and once you are aware of it, it won’t leave you.
So why not come along on Saturday 27th April at 10am and see what you think. Everyone is welcome even if just want to watch, ask question or are just curious. I hope to see you there.