The Powerful Health Benefits Of Spending Time Outside While doing Tai Chi
Do you want to take a break from the rush of your daily life? Tired of spending too much time indoors?
Most of us take a walk outside simply because it is good for us. Yeah, take a stroll in the sun. Take a walk in the forest. Or just take a break to get some fresh air. Especially when you feel high-strung, when you’re in a foul mood, when you have low energy, or when you just can’t seem to focus.
I often have to stop what I’m doing because I can’t go on for long periods of time without seeing daylight. So I get up off my chair and I go outside to get some sun and a little bit of fresh air. Then I come back revitalized and rejuvenated so I can continue my work.
And while you’re outside, why not do your favorite activity? Sometimes when I’m outside and I have time, I do my favorite activity – Tai Chi.
Tai Chi can be practiced virtually anywhere. It can be performed under many circumstances.
I’ve done Tai Chi in the park, on the sidewalk while waiting for the bus, on the subway… I’ve even done Tai Chi while being underwater.
Based on my experience and what I’ve learned: Tai Chi is best practiced in the sun with fresh air.
The outdoor surroundings with trees and plants already benefit you. The rays of the sun are already beneficial to your health, in moderation of course.
Easiest Way To Improve Your Wellbeing
When you do Tai Chi, you’re bringing that much more of the sun and fresh air into your body. The sun gives you a warm hug and loads your body with vitamins and hormones. The body produces and releases serotonin, which is the happy hormone in your brain. And serotonin boosts your mood, keeps you calm and focused.
The sun also boosts your bone health. The right amount of sun is actually beneficial to your skin. The body produces vitamin D and it plays a role in making your bones stronger and your skin healthier.
All it takes is five to ten minutes of sunlight exposure on your arms, your hands, and your face. That’s actually the same amount of time that you would take to practice a little Tai Chi.
Is that a coincidence? (Remember, you don’t have to push yourself too hard to reap the benefits of Tai Chi.)
Taoists believe that yang energy is transferred from sunshine to your body. This yang energy is called the essence of heaven. How do you receive the essence from heaven?
It’s wise to practice Tai Chi in the early hours of the morning when the air is fresher and cleaner. It’s more powerful when the sky is red just before sunrise. If possible, do Tai Chi in the open air before the sun comes up in order to receive its emerging energy, through deep breathing. Then you will truly receive the essence of heaven.
If you struggle to wake up early in the morning, then you can go outside around noon. You can face south and inhale deeply into your abdomen to get the benefits of the sun’s rays.
Too much work during the day? Well, you can also get some sun in the evening at sunset when you can receive the sun’s energy from the last traces of pink and yellow in the western sky.
With the sun, you receive the essence from heaven. And you can receive much more when you do Tai Chi in the sun.
Lower Your Risk Of Getting Sick
Another favorable way to do Tai Chi is to do it in the forest. Or in a garden, or in the park. By doing Tai Chi in the park, you also take advantage of the oxygen given off by the surrounding vegetation.
The Taoists teach that your essence is like the essence of a plant. A plant sprouts, blossoms, and goes to seed. And so do you. It is believed that if you breathe deeply in front of trees and plants, you can replenish the energy of your body. You can breathe in the essence of a plant and instantly feel better.
Today’s research shows that spending time in nature or green spaces – specifically forests, gives you real health benefits. Exposure to the forest boosts your immune system. You breathe in the airborne chemicals that plants give off. These chemicals help plants fight off disease.
So when you breathe in these same chemicals, your body produces cells that can kill tumors or viruses-infected cells in your body. Imagine if you could do that when you spend time looking at trees and plants?
When you feel sick, spend some time in front of trees and plants. Just by standing there and breathing deeply, you can do great wonders with your body. You now have an easy plan to manage your anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, and fatigue.
If you happen to take a walk in the forest, I recommend you take a moment, stand in front of trees and plants, breathe deeply into your abdomen, and practice Tai Chi.
If you don’t know how to practice Tai Chi just yet, try some breathing exercises instead. We will go over one now in this post. Watch the video:
- Stand with your feet, shoulder-width apart, and bring yourself into your abdomen.
- Place your palms on your abdomen and lean slightly forward with your torso.
- Exhale and push the stale air out through your nose.
- Stand up, stand tall with hands at your sides and inhale fresh air through your nose.
- Then, with your mind and your breath, go back to your abdomen.
Again – Exhale, relax, place the palms of your hand on your abdomen. Lean slightly forward. Continue to exhale with your torso and push stale air out through your nose. Then, stand right back up. Stand tall with your hands at your sides. Inhale fresh air through your nostrils and direct your mind and your breath, back to the dantien – your abdomen.
Try practicing this exercise 3 times on your own.
Have A Stronger Immune System
Plants provide oxygen and they provide other chemicals which help your body to clean the blood circulating to your tissues. Learn to use your breath to make your chi flow in your body.
What I want you to do is direct your chi to the various parts of your body for cleansing purposes. How do you do that?
- First, direct your chi to the dantien. Inhale up and bring your palms up in front of your abdomen. Imagine that you are holding a big round ball, or you’re hugging a tree.
- Exhale, relax, and guide your chi and your mind from the dantien to your legs.
- Then guide the energy back up to the abdomen.
- As you inhale, have your palms facing your abdomen. Imagine that you’re hugging a tree once more.
- Exhale back down, and send your chi, your mind and your breath, from your dantien to your legs.
- Then guide them back up. Inhale into your abdomen. Have your palms facing your body. You’re hugging a tree and this cleanses the front of your body.
Now you may be asking yourself: How can I cleanse the other parts of my body?
Stay tuned and follow me on Facebook, as we explore more ways to clear your mind and cleanse your body. Look out for more Tai Chi tips on my FB page.
In the meantime, check out my breathing video here.
Click on this link so that you can learn some more breathing methods to use for clearing your mind and clearing your body. Subscribe to the blog on this page to receive other tips as well.