Chen Tai Chi is a beautiful art and a way of living, harmonizing internal with external, an ancient Chinese discipline involving a continuous series of controlled usually slow movements designed to improve physical and mental well-being.
It is universal, uplifting and strengthening for everyone, of every age. Tai Chi can be literally translated as ‘supreme ultimate fist’. My personal experience of it, since 2007, is a constant change that builds up my stillness and strength.
What is important is that despite your level of fitness you can start your training at any time as the warm ups and the relaxing but strong movements stretch and prepare the whole body gradually. You feel refreshed, balanced and contented. First classes are designed to relax your body and build up your strength – internally and externally. You begin by learning the spiral movement which is developed through so called silk-reeling exercises. The impulse of the movement always comes from the centre of your body, which remains stable and alert, finding its strength from the legs. The legs and, more importantly, the mind give us our foundation and stability.
The more the mind is relaxed and calm the more our nervous system, and all our internal organs, are ‘content’. The blood flows better and every part of the body is energized. Often the Tai Chi moves are called ‘an internal massage’ and this priceless meditation through movement enables the whole body to derive its strength from the inside out. The practice is like a refreshing part of the day for those whose lifestyles are busy, involving a lot of ‘demanding’ time with children at home or sitting at work in a stressful environment. And also for those with active lifestyles, such as dancers and people who play a lot of sports.
And, what is more, if you are interested in the self-defence part of this system, usually after 3 years of proper training you can learn routines with partners such as push hands and also Tai Chi sword form (solo routine). The Chinese method of teaching is focus first on ‘getting to know yourself’, being focused, centred and relaxed. The more aware of your body and relaxed you are, the better you will progress with your practice. Your sense of balance and stability in yourself will become multiplied.
It is often much easier to keep our minds calm while sitting down. When we have to move, get things done, drive here and there it is not always so easy to tame the mind, and keep it from travelling from one thought to other. Tai Chi helps us to find calmness within movement.
This is something I am happy to practice, improving my balance and clarity while being fully engaged with life, with all its impulses and changes.
Movement and stillness co-exist together, they cannot be separated.
Part 1- Find Inner peace through mindful tai chi moves