Lao Tzu, who developed the philosophy of Taoism in the sixth century B.C., believed that human beings could find peace and serenity by understanding and acting in accordance with the flow of nature. The slow, fluid movements in T'ai Chi reflect the constant ebb and flow of opposing universal energies, called the yin and yang.
T'ai Chi has many benefits. The graceful movements can be easily learned, with practice, by people of all ages. No special equipment is needed, and the exercises can be performed in a relatively small space.
T'ai Chi provides good exercise, lays the foundation for self-defense techniques, increases mental alertness, and improves meditation abilities. As individuals progress, they often develop a more tranquil frame of mind. T'ai Chi incorporates movement meditation along with quiet meditation, based on Taoist meditation and breathing techniques.
T'ai Chi developed as an internal martial art that emphasizes wisdom and development of the mind over body. It allows practitioners to balance internal energy, called ch'i, in order to improve general health and generate new power. The use of vital energy from within becomes a self-healing modality as well as a potent force for self-defense.
T'ai Chi practitioners become highly aware of the benefits of cultivating this energy (ch'i): more rapid recovery from injury and illness, increased energy and libido, greater physical strength and flexibility, better balance and stability, improved stamina, and a stronger immune system.
Many senior citizens have found that the regular practice of T'ai Chi exercises helps them to remain more flexible and active.
February 3, 2007
Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, March 27, 2007
Copyright 2011 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.