Tai Chi Chuan is an ancient Chinese martial art which combines low-impact movement, meditation, mindfulness, and martial skills. It is widely practiced for its health benefits, including increased strength, improved balance and coordination, and lowered blood pressure.
Tai Chi Chuan (also written t’ai chi ch’uan or taijiquan, pronounced “tie-gee-chwan”, often shortened to tai chi or taiji) improves your ability to handle stress physically and mentally, to resolve conflict, and to more harmoniously interact with others.
The Yang style short form developed by Cheng Man-ching comprises 37 postures executed in a slow, relaxed, and fluid manner. This form can be practiced anywhere with no special equipment or clothing in just 8-10 minutes a day. It’s aesthetically pleasing, while enjoyable to practice. Advanced students expand their understanding of Tai Chi through studies including sensing hands (tui shou) and weapons forms.
If you are looking for a safe but challenging style of exercise, Tai Chi is an excellent choice. Practitioners continually work on improving the art and enjoying the beneficial effects. Practicing Tai Chi can be a lifetime journey.
Chang San-feng (the 12th century creator of T’ai Chi Ch’uan), said he “desired for the whole world to attain longevity, not only martial techniques.”
Illustration by Jungshan.