Try Something Different At Tai Chi Toronto

By Camille Nicholson

Many people think that martial arts involve fighting, punching, kicking, and body contact. Tai Chi Toronto offers a very different martial art form that is rhythmic, slow and meditative to enhance peace, inner calm, and relaxation. This centuries old Chinese martial art comes from the ancient discipline of Qigong and has been documented to be at least 2,500 years old. The movements are slow and meditative, designed to promote peace, inner calm, and is a form of self-defense. Movements use inner energy to neutralize an attacker.

In traditional Chinese medicine human beings are miniature universes that interact with elements. These elements are wood, metal, fire, water, and earth. Meridians of energy run through the body, called Qi. When the body is healthy it has achieved balanced Qi that flows smoothly.

The ancient art of Qigong incorporates breath, the mind, and movement creating balance in energy flow which can then be used for self-defense, in recreation, or work. There are over 2,000 forms that have evolved from this one art, tai chi being one of them. The five main traditions are Taoist, martial arts, medical, Confucian, and Buddhist and there are hard types and soft types. Inner qigong, or soft qigong, is the form that tai chi comes from.

There are three popular styles of tai chi: yang, tai chi chih, and wu. Yang is the most difficult of the three, it has 24 simple movements and 100 traditional movements. The stance is wide with the knees bent. Tai chi chih has a high stance, 20 movements, and minimal weight transfer. Wu has 24 to 36 short form movements and 100 traditional movements with a narrow stance and slightly bent knees.

It is believed, in China, that the benefits of this practice are delayed aging and prolonged life. Although it has not been scientifically proven, it is said the practice strengthens the muscles and tendons, increases flexibility, and aids in the treatment of depression, skin diseases, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and digestive disorders. There is, however, some evidence in a special tai chi study that support the effects on health, balance and falling, and fitness.

There is not enough research to say how much tai chi one should do to achieve optimal results. Some studies have shown that as little as one hour a week is enough. However, many people like to work out two to three times a week. Most think that at least one year of practice is required before one is proficient.

The best type of clothing to wear when practicing should be something loose-fitting and comfortable. A simple t-shirt, leotards, tights, or sweatpants are perfect. You can work up a sweat, even though the movements are slow, so keep it simple and don't overdress.

Try this unique and ancient form of martial arts to achieve relaxation and provide many beneficial health benefits as well. To improve flexibility, well-being, muscular strength, and aerobic capacity contact Tai Chi Toronto.

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