There are a few hundred million people all over the world who practice Tai Chi today. They do so to gain the practical benefits of it. These benefits include reduced stress, improved health, longevity, life-long vitality and stamina.
Tai Chi is a health exercise, not only practiced in China, but you can see people doing it virtually everywhere. Everyone now knows that Tai Chi is really good for health. You don’t have to be ill or have a disease to take up an exercise like Tai Chi.
Yet, some people take up Tai Chi practice because they are not feeling well and they are looking for a solution. There are plenty of stories of how it cured in others, such illnesses as tuberculosis, pneumonia, stomach ulcer, and liver infection.
The famous Tai Chi master T.T. Liang notably saved his life by practicing Tai Chi, after doctors told him he only had a couple of months to live. He suffered from pneumonia and liver infection. I personally know someone who had stomach ulcers from living a stressful life, and he was able to remove his stomach ulcers by practicing Tai Chi over a period of time.
Tai Chi Is For Everyone
Most participants who take up Tai Chi are of a certain age. They need to overcome the potential negative effects of aging. Yet, Tai Chi is not just for the elderly. Others practice Tai Chi to enhance their physical, as well as intellectual capabilities.
Middle-aged people do Tai Chi to help them cope with the ever-increasing responsibilities of life – responsibilities like raising a family, making more money, and getting a competitive edge in business. By achieving mental clarity and focus, all things are possible. They use Tai Chi to also simply reduce stress.
Young athletes use it to improve their reflexes. Some young people use Tai Chi to develop their inner discipline. Others use it to open their hearts and minds. Still others use it to unleash their spiritual potential. So as you can see now, Tai Chi is not just for the elderly, or for those aged 60 and over. Tai Chi is really for everyone.
If you ask me, Tai Chi should be practiced by those aged 60 or younger. People in their 20s and 30s can benefit from doing Tai Chi, especially when they are living their lives when life is most stressful.
Think about the time when you graduated from college and you started your first job, how stressful that was. You wanted to prove yourself, and you were thrown into the real world. You work hard, work long hours and get stressed out. And then all of a sudden, your health is out of whack.
That’s what happened to me. Fortunately, I found Tai Chi and by practicing it, it helped me to regain my balance. With Tai Chi, I was able to move forward in the world with renewed strength and centeredness.
Tai Chi is truly for the young, the middle-aged, and not just the elderly.
Tai Chi For Self-Defense
Tai Chi is more than just a health exercise. It’s also a martial art.
When I started out doing Tai Chi, it was for health reasons. But fairly quickly, I turned my attention to it as a martial art. A smaller percentage of people who practice Tai Chi, practice it for self-defense. Behind the series of quiet, flowing, slow-motion movements, you notice the self-defense applications of each posture such as Warding Off. Afterall, “warding off” means you are preventing someone or something from harming you.
Then you notice other applications, such as a chop in the Roll Back movement. You can view the movement as a gesture of inviting a person in. Or you can view it as a parry. You can also look at it as a chop with your two hands. Then, you see other gestures like Press and Push, which can be used for self-defense. There are many other applications like Punch and even kicks in the Tai Chi form.
You don’t have to be physically strong to make Tai Chi work for you as self-defense. On the contrary, by being sensitive to your movements, to your energy flow, and by being sensitive to others’ flow and movement, you really can defend yourself against someone stronger and bigger than you. This is done energetically, rather than physically.
Tai Chi is a health exercise and martial art, but it’s also something else.
The Principles Of Tai Chi Are Based on Chinese Philosophy
Tai Chi is lesser-known or taken as the accumulated wisdom of the ancient world. It can help anyone overcome the difficulties of life and life’s rigid conditions. It can help you engage with life positively. How? The practice of Tai Chi gives importance to the natural balance in all things and the desire for living in harmony with nature’s patterns.
So are you looking for answers to your questions? Those deep-seated questions about life – why are you here? What’s the purpose of life? How can one achieve inner peace and harmony?
Tai Chi is based on the ancient philosophy of the Tao. The Tao is 5,000 years old. It’s known for its emphasis on nature, harmony, balance, energy, and magic. Taoism, like other philosophies of the world, nourishes the deepest needs of the human intellect, heart and soul.
If I have to pick one thing that is special about Taoism, it’s that its followers do not seek secular power. Taoists often took on power only out of necessity to correct the world’s abuses. After they’ve been corrected, the Taoists would relinquish power and give way to the natural world and order of change. They don’t leave crumbs behind.
Tai Chi helps you to find your true inner self, so you don’t leave your crumbs behind.
The power of Tai Chi comes from finding the essence of your nature so you can focus purely on the internal, spiritual unfolding of you as an individual.
So let’s look within and understand how your energies are revealed in your body’s composition.
Let’s do the Tai Chi form together, follow along with my video so you can visually see these movements:
1. Ward off right.
2. Exhale, relax, roll back, which is a chop.
3. Exhale, relax, and press.
4. Relax, exhale back down, and push.
5. Then relax back down.
Let’s do this again.
1. When you exhale, you fold. When you energize, you unfold.
2. Exhale, relax folding in.
3. Energize, unfold and let your energy come out.
4. Exhale, relax, and energize to ward off.
5. Exhale, relax, fold, and then unfold to chop.
6. Exhale, relax, sink into your feet and unfold to press.
7. Relax back down, exhale and push.
8. Relax back down, and exhale all the way.
So what are some other mystical principles of the Tao? Stay tuned and follow me on Instagram and my other social platforms, as we continue to explore the deepest mystical possibilities of the human condition through the lens of Tai Chi practice.