This “Tai Chi” Article contains proven steps and strategies on how to improve your Tai Chi practice through different methods.

What Is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient form of martial arts that originated in China. It incorporates gentle movements that can improve circulation, strength and flexibility. Tai Chi is often referred to as meditation in motion. It focuses on
slow continuous movements. Tai Chi can be differentiated from other forms of exercise in several aspects; it is usually done in circular motions and
follows the natural flow in the body. According to some historians, elite Tai Chi masters are able to throw their opponent on the ground without anyone
knowing how it was done. The movements in Tai Chi are generated using internal energy and are too subtle for outsiders to see.
Tai Chi is gentle enough to be adapted into any lifestyles. It requires no fancy equipment and is simple to understand. You can experience better
benefits if you start practicing it before you develop any chronic illness.
Although Tai Chi is gentle and slow, it provides great physical, mental and spiritual benefits. There is even a growing body of evidence that links Tai Chi to the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions that are related to aging.
There are also many aspects to Tai Chi and this article  gives you an idea of how you can integrate Tai Chi practice into your daily life.

History of Tai Chi

The best way to truly understand a certain practice is by learning its history and knowing the people that contributed to its development. Each style of Tai Chi was developed for a particular reason and each master of Tai Chi focuses on a certain aspect of the practice. Knowing the history of Tai Chi also helps you appreciate it better.

The exact origin of Tai Chi is clouded in mystery. Some people say that it was taught by Ta Mo – a monk from India who traveled to China during the 5th or 6th century. It was said that he taught monks a series of external
exercises called the Eighteen Arhat Hands after seeing that monks neglected their bodies due to too much meditation.

Zhang Sanfeng

Zhang Sanfeng was said to have trained with Shaolin monks and Taoist sages before settling in the Wudang Mountain. In one of the stories, Zhang Sanfeng itnessed a crane and a snake fighting. He watched the animals as they play their lethal dance and this have inspired him to create the ‘thirteen movements’.

Wang Zongyue

Some believe that Zongyue was the student of anfeng. He elaborated on the theories of his master and was the first person to string the thirteen movements into a single sequence. His student Chiang Fa introduced the art to the village of Honan.

Chen Wangting

He is the first verifiable originator of Tai Chi. It was said that he developed his own methods of Tai Chi from his experience as a military general and his experience in martial arts.

Chen Changxing

He combined styles from Kung Fu and traditional forms of Chen and taught it to an outsider of the Chen family, Yang Lu-ch’an. He was called as “Mr. Ancestral Tablet” because of his straight posture.

Yang Lu-ch’an

Up to this point in history, Tai Chi was taught exclusively to the Chen family only. The story of how he managed to learn the secrets of the Chen family has many variations. One story goes that he disguised himself as a servant and secretly observed the training session of the Chen family and practiced when he was out of sight. He was eventually discovered but instead of killing him, Chen Changxing saw an opportunity to revitalize some aspects of Tai Chi which he thought was lacking in the Chen family.
He was then entered into the Chen family tournament where he ultimately won. There are a lot of stories regarding his amazing feats and was named as ‘Yang the Invincible’.

Yang Chengfu

He represented another turning point in Tai Chi. He was one of the masters who placed emphasis on the physical benefits of Tai Chi. He was also credited for the development of modern Tai Chi.

Principles of Tai Chi

There are many forms of Tai Chi and most of them follow basic and ancient principles.
Circular and spiraling movement All Tai Chi movements are circular and spiraling. The circular movements
allow continuous movement. The spiraling works with the body since it is believed that the Chi is spiraling in the body. The movement also stimulates energy into the hands and gives the fingers the sensation of fullness.

Tai Chi Rhythm & Movements; Slowness and Timing in Flows

The slow and continuous movement of Tai Chi is conducive for healing. It can balance the body and remove any blockages. It is also an effective way of entering a meditative state.

Tai Chi Rhythm & Movements; Slowness and Timing in Flows

Tai Chi Rhythm & Movements; Slowness and Timing in Flows

Eventually, people in Tai Chi should be able to move slowly but with so much energy. When done slowly, the chi flows through the body and unifies it as a whole.

Sung

Sung is releasing any tension in the body and mind. All the muscles in the body as well as the mind should be in sung, then each joint and muscle is dropped towards the ground. Sung is indispensible in the practice of Tai
Chi. The more relaxed you are, the more chi you have.

Rooting

‘Rooting’ means that the body is rooted to the ground by sinking the body weight. The whole body must be relaxed so that the energy can flow to the upper body. It allows the chi to connect with nature and take energy from the earth.

Waist power

All movements must be directed by the waist. This enables the power to flow from the lower to upper body. This generates a lot of force by turning from side to side. Twisting your torso also prevents the accumulation of excess fat on the waist and oblique. If another part of the body directs the movement, then the power and energy is reduced and you won’t get the full
benefits.


Uniting the lower and upper body

The lower body should move half a second before the upper body. This massages the diaphragm and internal organs. Once the lower and upper bodies are connected, the two can then move as one. The movements of the legs will be coordinated with the arms.

Connection

Each movement must be connected to the next pose. This ensures the smooth flow of energy in which each part of the body is joined to the other parts. Every connection is maintained but one connection might be
emphasized over others. Remember that each part of the body must be connected with the entire body. In Tai Chi, the body moves effortlessly that it appears to move at once.

Avoiding Double-weight

Double-weight is referred to having 50% of your body weight on one leg and 50% on the other. You should always have more weight on one leg.

When the body weight is constantly shifting from one leg to another, it results to a natural flow of movement.

Integration

Tai Chi is not only about getting fit; it is also about being aware of the energy and spirit around you. Tai Chi is a great way to connect your physical, mental and spiritual energies. Tai Chi is also a great way to
activate any dormant senses and help you increase energy.

Tai Chi and Spirituality

All great spiritual training methods aim to connect the inner self to the spiritual world. The spiritual aspect of Tai Chi allows you to experience spiritual joy irrespective of your religion. Tai Chi is a great way to cultivate the spirit and train your energy to be in unison with the spirit.

The Cosmos

The cosmos and the spirit is the same. It may be expressed in terms like divine being or little Buddha. Every person is already a part of the cosmos and people are connected to it.

Going with the flow

Since the human body and human functions follow the same law as the cosmos, it is beneficial if your try to flow with the cosmos instead of fighting it. In everyday situations, it means that if you feel hungry then you must eat or rest if you feel tired. Anything that does not feel normal is going against the flow. If a person drains his energy or accumulates too much stress in his body, he becomes weak and may lack energy to sustain his
activities. On the other hand, if you enhance your energy flow by performing exercises like Tai Chi, you are able to attain longevity and vitality.
The principle of yin and yang applies to humans just like it does to the cosmos. Calmness can generate movement and your body always tries to balance itself even without you being aware of it.
All human activities are dependent on the energy and spirit. If your spirit is low, your interaction with other people and how you deal with different circumstances are also affected. Constantly giving in to stressful thoughts can negatively affect the spirit. Tai Chi helps people nourish the spirit and experience joy and freedom.

Pure and Impure

The pure energy rises to the heaven while the impure energy sinks to the ground. Tai Chi enables people to clear their mind and get rid of any impure energy that may manifest in the form of pain, illness and negative thought.

Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient form of practice that has originated in Ancient China. If you like to try this exercise you should know what you can expect from a Tai Chi workout? It is an effective exercise for the mind and body. Although learning Tai Chi is a lifelong journey, it is easy enough for beginners to learn and can also deliver many health benefits in just a short amount of time.

Physical Benefits

Many people practice Tai Chi because of its health benefits. It is especially effective in improving a person’s cardiovascular health, muscular strength
and flexibility.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Cardiovascular fitness is all about attaining better heart and lung health.
Proper blood and oxygen circulation is essential in maintaining good health.
Studies show that people who practiced Tai Chi have better cardiovascular fitness and even have lower blood pressure.

Muscular Strength

By keeping the muscles strong, you are able to protect the joints and keep
them more stable. Many athletes were still able to perform at their peak level despite suffering injuries because their muscles are strong enough to protect their joints. However, if they retire and discontinue their training, their muscles start to weaken and joint problems starts to arise. Tai Chi keeps the muscles strong and the joints protected.

Flexibility

Flexibility improves your range of motion and makes the body more
functional. Being physically active keeps the joints and muscles healthy. Tai
Chi encourages continuous movement which improves circulation in the body and increases flexibility.

Mental Benefits

The mind is an important aspect of overall health. Tai Chi is one of the most effective exercises for the mind. It enables people to tap into their inner strength so that they can practice better empowerment and self control.
Everyone who practices Tai Chi acknowledges its relaxation and concentration benefits. Tai Chi is a great exercise if you want to cope with your modern busy activities by learning how to appreciate the nature around you.
In the long run, people who practice Tai Chi are more capable of handling stress. This means that they don’t experience the same symptoms of stress like tight shoulders and headaches and are more capable of handling difficult situations better.

Spirit

The ‘spirit’ in Tai Chi refers to the inner spirit. Remaining in good spirit is not so easy. Your inner spirit and mood is largely controlled by the subconscious mind.
The daily stress and negativity that you experience can accumulate and dampen your spirit. Being close to nature or taking part in cultural activities gets your spirit in balance. Tai Chi can help promote balance between mind, spirit and body. Tai Chi’s main objective is achieving harmony with nature and seeking balance with mental and physical strength.

Tai Chi Vs. Yoga

Unlike other forms of exercise, yoga and Tai Chi focus on a precise body posture that transition from one movement to another. Yoga and Tai Chi both attempt to coordinate the body and the mind. Although yoga and Tai Chi have similar goals, they also have their differences.
The body position in yoga and Tai Chi vary drastically. In Tai Chi, the focus is more on achieving relaxed movements. There is no pause in between each movement and constant flow of energy is observed. In yoga, the focus is emphasized on stillness. Each pose is held for few seconds to a minute. This allows the body to generate positive energy in each move. Both
practices focus on controlled breathing and relaxation.

Physical Benefits

Both yoga and Tai Chi have been noted to relieve stress and pain. One study in Harvard Health Publications shows that Tai Chi can alleviate arthritis and high blood pressure. Similar studies also show that yoga can relive physical pain and reduce heart rate. Practicing yoga and Tai Chi regularly can have
positive benefits on your daily life.
Reduced stress and improve balance Both yoga and Tai Chi use a mind and body approach which can calm the body and mind. People who practice yoga can also benefit from Tai Chi.
The constant movement in Tai Chi can allow you to move from one pose to another seamlessly.
Some practitioners also combine yoga and Tai Chi. Here is a sample circuit of yoga and Tai Chi fusion.

Camel

Start by kneeling on the floor with your legs slightly apart. Open up the hips by placing your hand on your heels.

Thigh Stretches

Slowly release from the camel and lean forward while placing your hands to your sides. Lean back slightly to feel the stretch in your thighs then return to the starting position.

Rising lunge

From the thigh stretch, place the left foot in front of you and bend your knees in a 90-degree angle. Make sure that the right knee is straightened in front of you. Lift your arms as you raise your body and lower it when you sink back down.

Tree Pose

Stand with feet slightly apart. Place your right foot on your left inner thigh while keeping your knee to the side. Extend your hands to the ceiling and join your palms together.

Single leg circle

Release your leg from the tree pose and stretch them out in front of you.
Keep your abs tight as you trace large circles with your foot. You can place your hands on your hips or extend them overhead. Do the same thing with the other leg.
Rooster stands on one leg Remain standing on one leg then bend the knees at a 90 degree angle. Bend to a squat while keeping your weight in your heel. Bring your arms in front of you as you squat down. Raise your hands above you head as you straighten your leg.
Warrior I Stand with your feet apart. Bend your left knee at 90 degrees while keeping your knee aligned.

Tuck and extend

From Warrior I, place your arms on the floor. Step back in a plank position then lift the right leg off the floor. Make sure to keep your leg straight. Sweep your knee under your body. Straighten it again then bring it towards your body. Do 7 repetitions on each side.

Slow Kick

Lower your right foot and roll up in a standing position. Lift your leg and bend your knees at 90 degrees. Slowly kick forward with your foot and push your arms forward. Lower your arm and foot then repeat on the other side.

 How to Get Started with Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient form of marital art that uses gentle and continuous movement. This can promote stress relief and mindfulness of the present situation. It has a lot of benefits like lowering blood pressure and promoting better sleep.

Warm Up

Just like any form of exercise, warming up is also very important in Tai Chi. Warm ups open up the body and promote a relaxed mind. One basic warm up exercise is called waist loosening. Stand with your feet apart. Relax your arms to the side. Rotate your hips
slowly from side to side and allow your arms to freely flow through the movement. Let your arms flap on your sides as you rotate your body. When your body has warmed up, move to your neck and shoulder. Repeat the same rotation and make sure to move smoothly as possible.

Windmill Exercises

Windmill exercises are one of the basic Tai Chi movements that can improve your flexibility. Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Relax your arms and let it hang loosely on your side. Place your hands in front of you, right by your pubic bone. Your fingers should be pointing towards the floor. Gently inhale and raise your hands over your head. Point your fingers on the ceiling. Stretch your spine and slightly lean backwards. Exhale and bend forward towards the floor. Move your hands to the center of your body. Bend at the hips and allow your hands to loosely hang in front of you.

Knee rolls

Knee rolls is a good movement to encourage circulation in the spine and knees. This exercise can also improve your balance. Stand with your feet slightly apart. Place hands on the knees. Your fingers should be pointing to
each other. Gently rotate your knees like you are tracing large circles on the floor. Perform this exercise in circular motion, first clockwise then counterclockwise.

Hand Exercise

Tai Chi hand exercise can release tension in the shoulder and promote flexibility in the arms and fingers as well. Stand with your feet slightly apart. Raise arm in front of you. Make sure that it is parallel to the floor.
Stretch your hands as wide as possible and rotate them clockwise then counterclockwise.

Pushing Waves

Pushing waves is a great stance to enjoy the meditative benefits of Tai Chi.
Start in a basic Tai Chi stance and push your body forward while driving
your back foot on the ground and straightening your leg. Push back and let
your hands retreat with you. Keep your elbows bent slightly. Repeat 20 times before repeating on the other side.

Closing Posture

The closing posture is done at the end of each Tai Chi session to promote balance and restore energy in the body. It also helps relax you and get rid of any stress. Make sure that you relax your shoulders and stand with your feet hips wide apart. Cup your hands in front of your pelvis. Your palms should be facing up. Take a deep breath and imagine the energy being pulled upward as your lift your hands to your chest. Exhale and push your palms down. Imagine the energy going down towards the floor. Perform several repetitions.

This “Tai Chi” Article contains proven steps and strategies on how to improve your Tai Chi practice through different methods.

What Is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient form of martial arts that originated in China. It incorporates gentle movements that can improve circulation, strength and flexibility. Tai Chi is often referred to as meditation in motion. It focuses on
slow continuous movements. Tai Chi can be differentiated from other forms of exercise in several aspects; it is usually done in circular motions and
follows the natural flow in the body. According to some historians, elite Tai Chi masters are able to throw their opponent on the ground without anyone
knowing how it was done. The movements in Tai Chi are generated using internal energy and are too subtle for outsiders to see.
Tai Chi is gentle enough to be adapted into any lifestyles. It requires no fancy equipment and is simple to understand. You can experience better
benefits if you start practicing it before you develop any chronic illness.
Although Tai Chi is gentle and slow, it provides great physical, mental and spiritual benefits. There is even a growing body of evidence that links Tai Chi to the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions that are related to aging.
There are also many aspects to Tai Chi and this article  gives you an idea of how you can integrate Tai Chi practice into your daily life.

History of Tai Chi

The best way to truly understand a certain practice is by learning its history and knowing the people that contributed to its development. Each style of Tai Chi was developed for a particular reason and each master of Tai Chi focuses on a certain aspect of the practice. Knowing the history of Tai Chi also helps you appreciate it better.

The exact origin of Tai Chi is clouded in mystery. Some people say that it was taught by Ta Mo – a monk from India who traveled to China during the 5th or 6th century. It was said that he taught monks a series of external
exercises called the Eighteen Arhat Hands after seeing that monks neglected their bodies due to too much meditation.

 

Zhang Sanfeng

 

Zhang Sanfeng was said to have trained with Shaolin monks and Taoist sages before settling in the Wudang Mountain. In one of the stories, Zhang Sanfeng itnessed a crane and a snake fighting. He watched the animals as they play their lethal dance and this have inspired him to create the ‘thirteen movements’.

Wang Zongyue

 

Some believe that Zongyue was the student of anfeng. He elaborated on the theories of his master and was the first person to string the thirteen movements into a single sequence. His student Chiang Fa introduced the art to the village of Honan.


Chen Wangting

He is the first verifiable originator of Tai Chi. It was said that he developed his own methods of Tai Chi from his experience as a military general and his experience in martial arts.


Chen Changxing

He combined styles from Kung Fu and traditional forms of Chen and taught it to an outsider of the Chen family, Yang Lu-ch’an. He was called as “Mr. Ancestral Tablet” because of his straight posture.


Yang Lu-ch’an

Up to this point in history, Tai Chi was taught exclusively to the Chen family only. The story of how he managed to learn the secrets of the Chen family has many variations. One story goes that he disguised himself as a servant and secretly observed the training session of the Chen family and practiced when he was out of sight. He was eventually discovered but instead of killing him, Chen Changxing saw an opportunity to revitalize some aspects of Tai Chi which he thought was lacking in the Chen family.
He was then entered into the Chen family tournament where he ultimately won. There are a lot of stories regarding his amazing feats and was named as ‘Yang the Invincible’.

 

Yang Chengfu

He represented another turning point in Tai Chi. He was one of the masters who placed emphasis on the physical benefits of Tai Chi. He was also credited for the development of modern Tai Chi.

Principles of Tai Chi

There are many forms of Tai Chi and most of them follow basic and ancient principles.
Circular and spiraling movement All Tai Chi movements are circular and spiraling. The circular movements
allow continuous movement. The spiraling works with the body since it is believed that the Chi is spiraling in the body. The movement also stimulates energy into the hands and gives the fingers the sensation of fullness.


Slowness and Timing

The slow and continuous movement of Tai Chi is conducive for healing. It can balance the body and remove any blockages. It is also an effective way of entering a meditative state. Eventually, people in Tai Chi should be able to move slowly but with so much energy. When done slowly, the chi flows through the body and unifies it as a whole.

Sung

Sung is releasing any tension in the body and mind. All the muscles in the body as well as the mind should be in sung, then each joint and muscle is dropped towards the ground. Sung is indispensible in the practice of Tai
Chi. The more relaxed you are, the more chi you have.

Rooting

‘Rooting’ means that the body is rooted to the ground by sinking the body weight. The whole body must be relaxed so that the energy can flow to the upper body. It allows the chi to connect with nature and take energy from the earth.

Waist power

All movements must be directed by the waist. This enables the power to flow from the lower to upper body. This generates a lot of force by turning from side to side. Twisting your torso also prevents the accumulation of excess fat on the waist and oblique. If another part of the body directs the movement, then the power and energy is reduced and you won’t get the full
benefits.


Uniting the lower and upper body

The lower body should move half a second before the upper body. This massages the diaphragm and internal organs. Once the lower and upper bodies are connected, the two can then move as one. The movements of the legs will be coordinated with the arms.

Connection

Each movement must be connected to the next pose. This ensures the smooth flow of energy in which each part of the body is joined to the other parts. Every connection is maintained but one connection might be
emphasized over others. Remember that each part of the body must be connected with the entire body. In Tai Chi, the body moves effortlessly that it appears to move at once.


Avoiding Double-weight

Double-weight is referred to having 50% of your body weight on one leg and 50% on the other. You should always have more weight on one leg.

When the body weight is constantly shifting from one leg to another, it results to a natural flow of movement.


Integration

Tai Chi is not only about getting fit; it is also about being aware of the energy and spirit around you. Tai Chi is a great way to connect your physical, mental and spiritual energies. Tai Chi is also a great way to
activate any dormant senses and help you increase energy.

Tai Chi and Spirituality

All great spiritual training methods aim to connect the inner self to the spiritual world. The spiritual aspect of Tai Chi allows you to experience spiritual joy irrespective of your religion. Tai Chi is a great way to cultivate the spirit and train your energy to be in unison with the spirit.

The Cosmos

The cosmos and the spirit is the same. It may be expressed in terms like divine being or little Buddha. Every person is already a part of the cosmos and people are connected to it.

Going with the flow


Since the human body and human functions follow the same law as the cosmos, it is beneficial if your try to flow with the cosmos instead of fighting it. In everyday situations, it means that if you feel hungry then you must eat or rest if you feel tired. Anything that does not feel normal is going against the flow. If a person drains his energy or accumulates too much stress in his body, he becomes weak and may lack energy to sustain his
activities. On the other hand, if you enhance your energy flow by performing exercises like Tai Chi, you are able to attain longevity and vitality.
The principle of yin and yang applies to humans just like it does to the cosmos. Calmness can generate movement and your body always tries to balance itself even without you being aware of it.
All human activities are dependent on the energy and spirit. If your spirit is low, your interaction with other people and how you deal with different circumstances are also affected. Constantly giving in to stressful thoughts can negatively affect the spirit. Tai Chi helps people nourish the spirit and experience joy and freedom.

Pure and Impure

The pure energy rises to the heaven while the impure energy sinks to the ground. Tai Chi enables people to clear their mind and get rid of any impure energy that may manifest in the form of pain, illness and negative thought.

Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient form of practice that has originated in Ancient China. If you like to try this exercise you should know what you can expect from a Tai Chi workout? It is an effective exercise for the mind and body. Although learning Tai Chi is a lifelong journey, it is easy enough for beginners to learn and can also deliver many health benefits in just a short amount of time.


Physical Benefits

Many people practice Tai Chi because of its health benefits. It is especially effective in improving a person’s cardiovascular health, muscular strength
and flexibility.


Cardiovascular fitness

Cardiovascular fitness is all about attaining better heart and lung health.
Proper blood and oxygen circulation is essential in maintaining good health.
Studies show that people who practiced Tai Chi have better cardiovascular fitness and even have lower blood pressure.


Muscular strength

By keeping the muscles strong, you are able to protect the joints and keep
them more stable. Many athletes were still able to perform at their peak level despite suffering injuries because their muscles are strong enough to protect their joints. However, if they retire and discontinue their training, their muscles start to weaken and joint problems starts to arise. Tai Chi keeps the muscles strong and the joints protected.


Flexibility

Flexibility improves your range of motion and makes the body more
functional. Being physically active keeps the joints and muscles healthy. Tai
Chi encourages continuous movement which improves circulation in the body and increases flexibility.


Mental Benefits

 

The mind is an important aspect of overall health. Tai Chi is one of the most effective exercises for the mind. It enables people to tap into their inner strength so that they can practice better empowerment and self control.
Everyone who practices Tai Chi acknowledges its relaxation and concentration benefits. Tai Chi is a great exercise if you want to cope with your modern busy activities by learning how to appreciate the nature around you.
In the long run, people who practice Tai Chi are more capable of handling stress. This means that they don’t experience the same symptoms of stress like tight shoulders and headaches and are more capable of handling difficult situations better.


Spirit

The ‘spirit’ in Tai Chi refers to the inner spirit. Remaining in good spirit is not so easy. Your inner spirit and mood is largely controlled by the subconscious mind.
The daily stress and negativity that you experience can accumulate and dampen your spirit. Being close to nature or taking part in cultural activities gets your spirit in balance. Tai Chi can help promote balance between mind, spirit and body. Tai Chi’s main objective is achieving harmony with nature and seeking balance with mental and physical strength.

Tai Chi Vs. Yoga

Unlike other forms of exercise, yoga and Tai Chi focus on a precise body posture that transition from one movement to another. Yoga and Tai Chi both attempt to coordinate the body and the mind. Although yoga and Tai Chi have similar goals, they also have their differences.
The body position in yoga and Tai Chi vary drastically. In Tai Chi, the focus is more on achieving relaxed movements. There is no pause in between each movement and constant flow of energy is observed. In yoga, the focus is emphasized on stillness. Each pose is held for few seconds to a minute. This allows the body to generate positive energy in each move. Both
practices focus on controlled breathing and relaxation.


Physical Benefits

Both yoga and Tai Chi have been noted to relieve stress and pain. One study in Harvard Health Publications shows that Tai Chi can alleviate arthritis and high blood pressure. Similar studies also show that yoga can relive physical pain and reduce heart rate. Practicing yoga and Tai Chi regularly can have
positive benefits on your daily life.
Reduced stress and improve balance
Both yoga and Tai Chi use a mind and body approach which can calm the body and mind. People who practice yoga can also benefit from Tai Chi.
The constant movement in Tai Chi can allow you to move from one pose to another seamlessly.
Some practitioners also combine yoga and Tai Chi. Here is a sample circuit of yoga and Tai Chi fusion.


Camel

Start by kneeling on the floor with your legs slightly apart. Open up the hips by placing your hand on your heels.

Thigh Stretches

 

Slowly release from the camel and lean forward while placing your hands to your sides. Lean back slightly to feel the stretch in your thighs then return to the starting position.

Rising lunge

From the thigh stretch, place the left foot in front of you and bend your knees in a 90-degree angle. Make sure that the right knee is straightened in front of you. Lift your arms as you raise your body and lower it when you sink back down.


Tree Pose

Stand with feet slightly apart. Place your right foot on your left inner thigh while keeping your knee to the side. Extend your hands to the ceiling and join your palms together.


Single leg circle

Release your leg from the tree pose and stretch them out in front of you.
Keep your abs tight as you trace large circles with your foot. You can place your hands on your hips or extend them overhead. Do the same thing with the other leg.
Rooster stands on one leg Remain standing on one leg then bend the knees at a 90 degree angle. Bend to a squat while keeping your weight in your heel. Bring your arms in front of you as you squat down. Raise your hands above you head as you straighten your leg.
Warrior I Stand with your feet apart. Bend your left knee at 90 degrees while keeping your knee aligned.


Tuck and extend

From Warrior I, place your arms on the floor. Step back in a plank position then lift the right leg off the floor. Make sure to keep your leg straight. Sweep your knee under your body. Straighten it again then bring it towards your body. Do 7 repetitions on each side.

Slow Kick

Lower your right foot and roll up in a standing position. Lift your leg and bend your knees at 90 degrees. Slowly kick forward with your foot and push your arms forward. Lower your arm and foot then repeat on the other side.

 

How to Get Started with Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient form of marital art that uses gentle and continuous movement. This can promote stress relief and mindfulness of the present situation. It has a lot of benefits like lowering blood pressure and promoting better sleep.

Warm Up

Just like any form of exercise, warming up is also very important in Tai Chi. Warm ups open up the body and promote a relaxed mind. One basic warm up exercise is called waist loosening. Stand with your feet apart. Relax your arms to the side. Rotate your hips
slowly from side to side and allow your arms to freely flow through the movement. Let your arms flap on your sides as you rotate your body. When your body has warmed up, move to your neck and shoulder. Repeat the same rotation and make sure to move smoothly as possible.

Windmill exercises

Windmill exercises are one of the basic Tai Chi movements that can improve your flexibility. Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Relax your arms and let it hang loosely on your side. Place your hands in front of you, right by your pubic bone. Your fingers should be pointing towards the floor. Gently inhale and raise your hands over your head. Point your fingers on the ceiling. Stretch your spine and slightly lean backwards. Exhale and bend forward towards the floor. Move your hands to the center of your body. Bend at the hips and allow your hands to loosely hang in front of you.

Knee rolls

Knee rolls is a good movement to encourage circulation in the spine and knees. This exercise can also improve your balance. Stand with your feet slightly apart. Place hands on the knees. Your fingers should be pointing to
each other. Gently rotate your knees like you are tracing large circles on the floor. Perform this exercise in circular motion, first clockwise then counterclockwise.

Hand exercise

Tai Chi hand exercise can release tension in the shoulder and promote flexibility in the arms and fingers as well. Stand with your feet slightly apart. Raise arm in front of you. Make sure that it is parallel to the floor.
Stretch your hands as wide as possible and rotate them clockwise then counterclockwise.

Pushing Waves

Pushing waves is a great stance to enjoy the meditative benefits of Tai Chi.
Start in a basic Tai Chi stance and push your body forward while driving
your back foot on the ground and straightening your leg. Push back and let
your hands retreat with you. Keep your elbows bent slightly. Repeat 20 times before repeating on the other side.

Closing Posture

The closing posture is done at the end of each Tai Chi session to promote balance and restore energy in the body. It also helps relax you and get rid of any stress. Make sure that you relax your shoulders and stand with your feet hips wide apart. Cup your hands in front of your pelvis. Your palms should be facing up. Take a deep breath and imagine the energy being pulled upward as your lift your hands to your chest. Exhale and push your palms down. Imagine the energy going down towards the floor. Perform several repetitions.

 The Takeaway

For many people, tai chi is a sport, with regular competitive events, in which people can put their solo and partner skills to the test in a potentially stressful situation. Competitions can be valuable forums for interclub or intercultural exchange, when people who practice tai chi have an opportunity to meet and trade views, approaches, and techniques. Some schools are specifically geared to competitive events.