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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.
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.
Taijiquan is about spending your energy frugally and using your body carefully.
That way, as you get older, your wear and tear is unusually low for a person of your age.
Invest in your wellbeing
Avoid/offset the common problems associated with 21st Century life:
Lack of mindfulness
Reduced sex drive
No peace of mind
Diminished brain activity
Sarcopenia (muscle loss with aging)
Reduced joint function
Poor lower body strength
Imbalanced body use
Reduced stamina and endurance
Deeply-held muscular tension
Bad poise and posture
Too much sitting
Loss of manual dexterity in the fingers
Lack of ambidexterity
Medical research has proven that a small daily commitment to authentic tai chi practice can produce tremendous results over time.
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.
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 Schools 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.
Not all tai chi is
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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21 May 1997
Last updated 25 April 2017