This form of martial art involves slow movements focusing on all the parts of our body. It’s a form of meditation or medication but with motions and people can pursue it at every fitness level. This martial art which involves body and the mind originated in China,but it’s now practiced widely all over the world as a form of health treatment. Two of the major things in Tai Chi is slow, synced body movements and breathing accordingly as only slowly shifts from various movements imitating the animals. There is a scene from the movie Karate Kid where a lady seems to be imitating the snake’s movements, well Tai Chi comes somewhere along those lines,but you wouldn’t have to do it while standing on the edge of a wall,and also it’s much simpler. It’s quite different from the other forms of exercises which leave your muscles tensed and stressed. The motions flow freely and not forced, hence proves as the best form of exercise for seniors. The muscles are relaxed, joints aren’t completely bent or extended,and connective tissues aren’t pulled to cause stress on them. It can be practiced by anyone, from fairly fit to people recovering from surgeries. The recent research provides enough evidence that Tai Chi benefits for seniors can be effective in prevention and rehabilitation of conditions commonly associated with age.
Major Concepts: Tai Chi teaches the principles of cultivating and balancing Qi. It is said to unblock the negative energy trapped within us and promote proper flow of energy within us.
Ying and Yong: These are the two opposites of the universe, good and the bad. Tai Chi helps us strike a balance of the both in our life.
What’s in store for you in a Tai Chi class:
There are many Tai Chi benefits for seniors that makes it inevitable to pursue, some of them are as follows:
Warm-up: A round of warm-up to release all the stiffness in your muscles, joints, and help loosen up. These include basic hand rotations, neck rotations, leg rotations and hip rotations. Good warm-up makes all the later movements easier and is always to be practiced.
Tai Chi movements: They include a various number of movements which includes short ones as well as long ones, the elderly are suggested to practice the short movements. These are free-flowing motions which wouldn’t cause any stress to your muscles and joints. It looks like dancing with hands in slow-motion.
Qigong (or chi kung): These are a series of breathing exercises that can be done either sitting, standing or along with the movements. They focus on the breathing part to stabilize oxygen flow within our body.
The above three are a very integral part of the Tai Chi and to be practiced by the instructions from your instructors.
Better health for a better today and tomorrow:
Cardiovascular fitness: A study showed that people who practiced Tai Chi regularly showed better heart-lung capacity and hence prevented and reducing the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
Strengthening: Muscles protects the joints and pumps blood all over the body,and hence by strengthening them we are indirectly protecting our joints and the blood flow throughout the body. Tai Chi helps in strengthening of muscles.
Flexibility: It is required for our daily range of motions to help us move freely without any obstructions within ourselves. Tai Chi helps you improve your flexibility and to lead an active life. As our body ages, our moments become more constricted and restricted but this is only due to lack of exercise and Tai Chi for seniors,and all age-groups is the best way to beat the stiffness in your body.
Posture: It’s the most ignored element when we exercise,but Tai Chi stresses on it. A simple exercise to prove how posture makes a huge difference in our lives. Sit straight and take deep breaths, now try doing the same by slouching, find it difficult? It is because there is more lung space when you sit straight and hence making easier for the proper flow of air in your body. Good posture promotes balance and prevents us from injuries resulting due to lack of balance when old age strikes.
Mindfulness: Mind controls the body and your actions, keeping the mind in control is the most important aspect of all our lives. Tai Chi focuses on building self-control through mind-body exercises.
Stress: In this competitive world it’s difficult to avoid constant stress and not be affected by it. Stress cannot be treated by stressing your body more and hence the relaxation obtained through Tai Chi movements help you relax and to manage stress more effectively. By practicing Tai chi regularly, you’ll be able to cope with stressful situations better. See more mental benefits of Tai Chi.
Spirit: The term ‘spirit’ refers to simply feeling good or the sense of happiness. A good spirited person has better chance to look at all the right things in life when compared to someone with less of that. When you perform Tai Chi, it leaves you feeling good about yourself.
Tai chi for a better you:
Tai chi is non-competitive, non-judgmental and doesn’t restrict itself to particular age-group, body-type and hence suits everyone. They don’t exert your body but lets you sink in with the movements and to connect with yourself.
Your body and mind become stronger with your ability to stay in sync with your movements and let go all the negative energy you contain. You become like an old tree, calm on the outside and firm on the inside. It lets you express yourself in a better way and to stay balanced at all times.
It teaches how to love yourself and, thus bringing more harmony into your life. Also brings a sense of fulfillment to your life and helps you connect better with people. With all the benefits Tai Chi provides you, there can be no reason for not wanting to do it. Open yourself to this new experience for a better life and better health.
Check out seniors trying Tai Chi in this video: