If asked the question ‘What is T’ai Chi?’, most people would describe an image of elderly people practising flowing movements in the parks in China. If you look closely, young and old practise together.
People often dismiss the gentle movements assuming there is little benefit to the strengthening and development of the body. Yes, the movements are gentle, yet T’ai Chi is about so much more than what’s happening on the outside.
The movements of T’ai Chi have a unique way of easing stress and tension from the body and mind. The movements sharpen the mental faculties, helping to ensure that we do not suffer from the memory problems associated with old age.
T’ai Chi works the whole of the body ensuring no strain is placed on the individual joints, making it an excellent exercise for people who suffer from arthritis, back, hip and knee pain. Balance and co-ordination are also greatly improved, essential for the prevention of trips and falls, one of the major causes of hospitalisation.
The movements are practised slowly and learnt by repetition, this teaches patience, making us slow down. Easier said than done in the fast flow that modern day living inflicts on us.
The gentle movements also improve your stamina and energy levels. Between the 12th and 13th of June 2017 I broke the Guinness Book of World Records for continually practising T’ai Chi for 28 hours 59 minutes (proving that practising T’ai Chi does give you energy and stamina). The event took place in the St Stephen’s shopping centre Hull raising over £6000 for charity.
I have witnessed T’ai Chi help so many people in different ways. From people who are fascinated by the movement, to people suffering from physical limitations, breathing difficulties or emotional turmoil, T’ai Chi has so many benefits for everyone.
Why not join a class or attend a course and find out what T’ai Chi can do for you…