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1950's China

Faced with a major health crisis, the People's Republic of China turned to Yang style taijiquan for a solution.
Just think about what that means...
Yang style taijiquan's reputation for health was so well founded that the government of China thought to employ the Art officially as a means of improving wellbeing.
The Art was introduced to schools nationwide.


Wear & tear

Suppose you buy a car in 2010 and use it very rarely. In 2016 you decide to sell the car and take it to a dealership.
The mileage is unusually low for a car of its age. Yet the car is still 6 years old chronologically.
In terms of wear and tear the car is 6 months old.


Daily exercise

Dr Michael Greger (author of How Not To Die) recommends 90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day.
The three doctors who wrote The Okinawa Program maintain that taijiquan - with its ancient origins and incredible health benefits - is the ideal form of exercise for modern people.
 

If we didn't tense our muscles, we're in good balance, not interfering with our breathing, and if we're free, tall and expansive in stature, and used a minimum of effort, then we could say we had done the job really well.

(Noel Kingsley)

Moderation

Tai chi is about using your body carefully.
That way, as you get older, your wear and tear is unusually low for a person of your age.
The training is intended to improve health and wellbeing through frequent, regular practice using low effort.


Motor learning
 

For many people, their fitness regime does not take into account
'motor learning'.
Motor learning is about the process of using the body, rather than simply exercising the body.

Agility, mobility, relaxed spontaneous movement, balance, structure, alignment, biomechanics, efficiency, ambidextrous body use, joint health, coordination, skill, emotional wellbeing or psychological flexibility.
Tai chi combines exercise with motor learning.


Invest in your wellbeing


Avoid/offset the common problems associated with 21st Century life:

• Stress
• Memory loss
• Headaches
• Stiff neck
• Lack of mindfulness
• Low energy
• Reduced sex drive
• No peace of mind
• Diminished brain activity
• Poor focus/concentration
•
Sarcopenia (muscle loss with aging)
• Reduced joint function
• Unbalanced/unsteady
• Bad circulation
• Heart problems
• Respiratory problems
• Poor lower body strength
• Imbalanced body use
• Reduced stamina and endurance
• Deeply-held muscular tension
• Poor awareness
• Restlessness
• Poor sleep
• Agitation
• Limited flexibility/suppleness
• Bad coordination
• Not relaxed
• Bad poise and posture
• Slouching
• Too much sitting
• Obesity
• Arthritis
• Reduced mobility
• Back problems
• Knee problems
• Unfit
• Poor condition
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Loss of manual dexterity in the fingers
• Lack of ambidexterity 
• Sports injuries
 

Imagine waking up each morning full of energy and vitality yet also feeling calm and relaxed about the day to come. It sounds like a miracle yet this state of abundant health and wellbeing should be our birthright. In our natural state we would face each day with joy, peace, and a deep connection with our bodies.

(Jane Alexander)



Tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion." There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren't in top shape or the best of health.

Tai chi differs from other types of exercise in several respects. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched. Tai chi addresses the key components of
fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning.

(Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publication, May 2009)



When you do taijiquan, you shouldn't sweat.
Sweating is a sign that energy is being dissipated.
It comes from tension and it's as if you are depleting your bank account.
Doing taijiquan, you want to accumulate energy, not spend it.
So, if you sweat, you should stop and rest.


(Cheng Man Ching)



Our energy is more precious than all the gold in the world. It is a more powerful anti-aging tool than anything else.
 
 Energy regenerates our liver and other tissue cells, flushes toxic waste from the body, helps maintain our ideal weight, keeps our skin smooth and our hair healthy.
 The more energy we have, the better we feel and the more beautiful we become.

 
 (Kimberly Snyder)


Consider this: Most people live lives that are not particularly physically challenging. They sit at a desk, or if they move around, it's not a lot. They aren't performing manoeuvres that require tremendous balance and coordination. Thus they settle into a low level of physical capabilities - enough for day-to-day activities or maybe even hiking or biking or playing golf or tennis on the weekends, but far from the level of physical capabilities that a highly trained athlete possesses.

The reason that most people don't possess extraordinary physical capabilities isn't because they don't have the capacity for them, but rather because they're satisfied to live in the comfortable rut of homeostasis and never do the work that is required to get out of it.

The same thing is true for all the mental activities we engage in. We learn enough to get by but once we reach that point we seldom push to go beyond.

(Anders Ericsson)

Not all tai chi is the same

Choose wisely...
Not all tai chi classes are the same.
There are different qualities and grades of tai chi; some approaches/classes are far more potent than others.


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Page created 21 May 1997
Last updated 09 December 2017