Fitness Mantra Magazine

Tai Chi for balance

According to legend, Tai Chi practice concentrates on balancing Yin and Yang form of energy in the body.

According to legend, Tai Chi practice concentrates on balancing Yin and Yang form of energy in the body.  

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With its slow and graceful movements, Tai Chi offers numerous health benefits

Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese practice which originated as a self-defence technique; later on, practitioners recognised its stress-busting and many other health benefits. Tai Chi is practised in the modern world by all age groups. Its low impact and graceful movements make it a safe form of exercise for seniors, the medically challenged and pregnant women. I have been practising Tai Chi for more than a decade and have seen great improvement in my concentration, strength, agility and flexibility. It has helped in keeping me calm in stressful situations.

Meditation in Motion: Tai Chi is an abbreviation of Tai Chi Chuan which means “ultimate fast fist”. Slow and graceful movements are performed in continuity without pause. Such practice requires a great deal of concentration and coordination between mind and body, which is the reason why Tai Chi is often referred to as “Meditation in Motion”. Tai Chi movements are performed with an artistic grace and complete concentration; the transition from one movement to another is done in a flow without stopping. Simultaneously, diaphragmatic breathing (deep breathing from stomach) along with screaming (not shouting) helps in the movements as well.



Neeraj Mehta
According to legend, Tai Chi practice concentrates on balancing Yin and Yang form of energy in the body. This life energy, which is often referred to as Chi (“Prana” as per Hindu legend), is believed to have miraculous effects on one’s body. Balancing this energy will result in a peaceful mind and healthy body.

Practitioners are taught to perform the movements with a relaxed body, which means that the movement should be properly balanced, sharp and flow like water.

The art of delivering power from a close range is one of the main aims of Tai Chi practice.

Keeping a good posture is important. While doing any movement, your shoulders should be relaxed, back straight and feet firmly on the ground.

Power training can be done if you want to acquire expertise in the martial art aspect of Tai Chi.

Tai Chi has gained popularity due to its numerous health benefits. Many studies and a lot of research have been conducted on the effects of Tai Chi and the results have been breathtaking.

Oregon Research Institute conducted a study in which a few participants, in not the pink of health, practised Tai Chi for six months. Researchers found that there was a remarkable improvement in their general health. Participants were able to perform their daily activities without discomfort.

A study conducted by National Institute of Aging in the U.S. showed that regular practice of Tai Chi reduces the susceptibility of fall among seniors. There were also fewer cases of falls among Tai Chi practitioners.

Another study claims that regular practice relieves pain and stiffness in the joints. Researchers have seen improvements in osteoarthritis patients who practised Tai Chi on a regular basis.

A study conducted by Oregon Research Institute found out that the practice improved sleep quality.

Practice Tai Chi for a healthy lifestyle:

Tai Chi is recommended for every age group. However, practice under supervision is necessary to learn the right technique. Tai Chi is a holistic approach in maintaining overall health.

Health benefits of Tai Chi

Regular practice enhances flexibility and functional ability of the body.

Improves muscular strength, endurance, strength of connective tissues and ligaments

Improves your posture and body balance.

Regulates your hormonal system. It may result in slow ageing.

Improves your breathing process and cardio strength.

Reduces tension through the development of inner energy and calmness of mind.

Improves sense of humour.

Neeraj Mehta is an international fitness expert, nutritionist and director, GFFI Fitness Academy.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2019 7:45:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/neeraj-mehta-on-the-benefits-of-tai-chi/article7641321.ece

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