What Is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is the most well-known, and commonly heard of, Chinese health practice. It translates as the “Supreme Ultimate”. This ancient form of mind/body discipline has its origins in the unique spiritual philosophy of Taoism. This philosophy is best summed up by the famous Yin/Yang symbol, which represents harmony, balance, and perfect relationship.
The Tai Chi System is said to have been founded by Chan San Feng, a Taoist sage of the Complete Reality School. He stressed the path of “personal practice” and, therefore, personal experience as the only way to true growth. Here is one of Chan San Fengs sayings:
Tai Chi is considered the ultimate exercise system benefiting practitioners on all levels of their being; mind, body, heart, and soul. This makes it the perfect antidote to the negative effects of the modern lifestyle.
What Tai Chi does (Areas of Practice).
Tai Chi has three main areas of practice:
Tai Chi looks at the practical implications of Taoist teachings for everyday life. Its methods help us heal the mind, heart, and soul frictions that we all carry by showing us how to use our feelings of disconnectedness to go deeper and have the experience of “Self” that connects us to the flow of life from the inside out. This conscious experience of one’s innate nature; spirit-self of Shen; is why Tai Chi is often called moving meditation.
To quote Chris Pei, Tai Chi Master,
“Tai Chi is the constant refinement of one’s Spiritual Self”.
Next, Tai Chi works with both the body and energetic systems to harmonize, strengthen, and maximize their functions. Central to understanding how this works is the Taoist concept of Qi (energy). Qi is the life energy that flows through everything. Illness comes from not going with the flow, thus Qi gets blocked or weakened. Tai Chi Practice helps the Qi to flow free and to be more abundant so we can have health, happiness, and enough energy to achieve our life goals.
Tai Chi also has a martial aspect that one can use when trained at a high level to defend oneself against attack. However, even here the real emphasis is subtle, and the true purpose is for the practitioner to harmonize and transform any destructive or violent energies into their original Qi forms of love and compassion.
How Tai Chi Works
Tai Chi achieves all of the above through simple but profound postural alignment and mind/body awareness techniques. It shows us how to remember and restore deeper natural breathing that in turn leads to improved Qi energy flow to the internal organs. This then results in a more relaxed nervous system, leading to enhanced awareness and a profound feeling of well-being. This is all combined with the deep study of movement principles; with structured forms executed in sequential coordinated patterns. The movement is slow and precise and allows dynamic internal application of Tai Chi principles. All this comes together with the formal practice of what’s called the ‘Tai Chi Form’, plus various personal and interactive partner exercises.
Style of Tai Chi Taught
The Tai Chi system we teach at the Jade Sun School of Tai Chi & Qi Gong is rooted in the Yang Family Tradition. This is one of the 5 main family styles from China. This system is suitable for most people regardless of race, age, gender, religion, etc. It can be taught effectively to medium to small groups, and privately on an individual basis. It can also be tailored or modified to individual needs by our qualified Instructors.
Common Benefits of practice
The benefits of Tai Chi are well documented. It not only helps heal, but can prevent illness, enhance recovery, and promote longevity.
Here are some conditions that are known to respond well to the practice of Tai Chi; poor circulation, fatigue, digestion, mood swings, depression, poor memory, immunity, menstrual problems, back and neck bone issues, tension, anxiety, asthma, blood pressure, arthritis, stiffness, flexibility.
Tai Chi and QiGong
These beautiful teachings and methods were gifted to Humanity by Spiritually awakened seers, and are amongst the most powerful tools available to the Modern person in their search for SELF and TRUTH. An added advantage of the Taoist approach is that it simply offers practical methods for self-research; meaning no beliefs are necessary, nor is having a belief system a problem. Thus the Taoist systems of Tai Chi and QiGong are perfect for Modern Humans who wants to know for themselves.
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