Have you ever seen a movie with one of those scenes of an older adult doing slow, concentrated movements that look kind of like dance? Most likely - it seems like it’s a bit of a common choice for writers/directors when they’re trying to imply some kind of Eastern Mysticism, wisdom, and health practice. You may not know much past the movie scene though so why don’t we break this down a bit.
Tai Chi originates in China and comes from the concept of Wu Chi, otherwise known as “the Grand Ultimate Space,” where “nothing exists yet the potential for everything is contained.” Tai Chi is then the “journey from stillness to movement.” What an incredible concept: a philosophical space of unlimited possibility. It is very difficult for us to believe that anything is possible; it’s so easy to let the world get us down, to get stuck in the mire, to buy into the idea that we will always be who and what we are in this exact moment. To really believe that anything is possible is an incredibly powerful feeling and a great motivator. As you practice this moving meditation and martial art, flowing slowly from pose to pose with your breath and unblocking the energy in your body, consider the philosophical underpinnings of your practice: balance and harmony, the inevitable following of bad times by good, appreciation, and oneness with all living creatures. Add to these philosophical or spiritual benefits the variety of physical and mental benefits:
1. Stress reduction (which we all know is both mental and physical)
2. Strengthening muscles and improving flexibility
3. Preventing falls and increasing balance
4. Improving bone density
5. Better sleep
6. Weight loss
7. Improved immune function
8. Decrease of pain and fatigue
9. Help preventing or alleviating symptoms of some illnesses, including some chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression, dementia, etc.
All of these things - stress, illnesses, other mental/emotional/spiritual/physical issues cause imbalances and our body and mind, with or without our conscious attempts or understanding, attempt to correct for those imbalances. What Tai Chi does is help our bodies and minds do what they already want to do. So if you haven’t already, it’s well worth a try; at the very least you might earn a spot in the next movie. You can find Tai Chi classes offered at Sweet Water Dance & Yoga on Sunday mornings at 10:00A.
Posted on 10/31/2016 at 8:00:00 PM