What makes the practice of Tai Chi such a unique form of healing? The answer: Tai Chi effects the body on many levels such as, on a physical, psychological, social, philosophical and spiritual level. Its this multilevel combination that has shown to improve complex chronic diseases that involve many systems throughout the body including the nervous, respiratory, endocrine, and immune systems which all interact with the cardiovascular system affecting how well the heart functions.
The 8 Active Ingredients of Tai Chi:
1. Awareness – This is the most fundamental ingredient of Tai Chi. It is the slow movements, body positions, attention to breathing, and sensations in and around the body that lead to a deep state of awareness. This then leads to an improved state of focus not just in the moment of practicing Tai Chi but in all the moments throughout the day.
2. Intention – It is the active ingredients of imagery and visualization of deliberately moving the chi naturally and spontaneously in and around the body using the mind. It is this mindful intention that leads to experiencing harmony within oneself and with nature.
3. Structural Integration – Blending of the multiple structural and physiological systems of the body is another key active ingredient that makes Tai Chi a very effective therapeutic exercise. The 108 Tai Chi forms, shapes and patterns of movement allow for a positive response in many systems of the body and mind.
4. Active Relaxation – Tai Chi’s circular, flowing movements help to shift the body and mind into deeper levels of relaxation. Tai Chi is a form of moving meditation. This active relaxation also allows for the breath to become easy, natural and fluid.
5. Strengthening and Flexibility – Note, that a 1 hr. Tai Chi class provides moderate aerobic exercise and burns the same number of calories as a 1 hr. yoga class or 1 hr. of walking outside. The movements result in less strain, greater power with less effort, and optimum balance. The slowness of Tai Chi movements, in combination with slightly flexed stances and placing weight on one leg at a time, leads to significant lower extremity strength training and increased loading on the skeleton system. This is why too Tai Chi helps promote strong bones. In addition, with the slow, continuous, relaxed, and repetitive movement results in dynamic stretching, which enhances overall flexibility of the body.
6. Natural Breathing – Efficient breathing improves mood, helps regulate the nervous system, improves gas exchange, massages body tissues and internal organs, balances and moves Chi within the body and its surroundings.
7. Social Support – Being part of a group has proven incredibly therapeutic for medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, depression, and anxiety. In ongoing Tai Chi classes, students develop a strong sense of community, positive intersection and support from teachers and other students which leads to self-discovery. Peace of mind.
8. Embodied Spirituality – Tai Chi practice naturally encourages living life with a holistic approach, integrating the body, mind and spirit. The continued practice of Tai Chi’s 108 moves can help open up and sustain therapeutic benefits for everyone.
It is my honour to share with you the healing art of Tai Chi. I look forward taking this journey with you to help guide and support you along the way …
Peace, Love, Joy and Light fill your heart and all those around you.