For students who are feeling achy or just down right not well, tai chi can be an excellent way to refresh and restart the mind and body. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art and art form which centres around the flow of chi within the human body.
Chi (qi) is the balance of energies within the universe and tai chi is thought to be the way to stimulate and regulate the balance of chi.
Tai chi is an excellent fitness alternative because it can be practised practically anywhere. It is performed at whatever rate a person is comfortable with and the moves are easy to do.
There are many different types or styles of tai chi. Tai chi chun training has five styles: taolu, solo hand and weapons routines, neigong and qigong, breathing movement and awareness exercises through meditation, tuishou, response drills, and sanshou, for self defence.
Some of the health benefits that come from practicing tai chi are a relaxed mind, increased muscle strength and flexibility, as well as balance and mental awareness. A study by Harvard describes tai chi as “circular movements that are 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 is for people of all ages, and is a great way to aid an illness, disability or pain, as the study describes, “Tai Chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.”
For those who have not seen tai chi performed, it is similar to a dance in slow motion, where each movement is executed with calm intent. Students interested in tai chi can attend many of the studios Edmonton has, for example, Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi, Ji Hone Wu Shu and Tai Chi College and Shand De Tai Chi Praying Manti. For students on a budget, not to worry, most tai chi studios only require a donation or a small fee for the courses you as a student would like to take.