T'ai Chi and Qigong are ancient Chinese practices that combine slow, deliberate movements, meditation, and breathing exercises. According to many studies, the benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong include better sleep, improved mood, increased physical energy, more complete rest, more clarity and focus, reduced depression, stress and anxiety. These gentle forms of exercise can help maintain strength, flexibility, and balance . They can also help restore your energy, called chi or qi (pronounced "chee") . Tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion" .
The best way to learn and practice T'ai Chi and Qigong is with an instructor. You can find an instructor near you and talk to them ahead of time about observing a class before you commit . If you prefer to learn at home, there are many instructional videos available online, including on YouTube . You can also check with local community centers or organizations that may offer classes.
When attending a Tai Chi or Qigong class, it's important to wear loose-fitting, light, and comfortable clothing. Clothing should be made from cotton for breathability and to avoid overheating. You should either practice barefoot or with light, flexible, thin-soled shoes ¹⁴. Avoid wearing perfume or jewelry . Loose-fitting or “roomy” pants and a baggy, flowing shirt or t-shirt are recommended .
There are many resources available for learning Tai Chi and Qigong. You can find local classes through organizations such as the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association . Classes may be held in martial arts schools, community centers, hospitals or clinics, and even at some public parks . If you prefer to learn at home, there are many instructional videos available online, including on YouTube. The Tai Chi Foundation also offers a DVD called Roots and Branches Five Element Qi Gong™ .
There are many books available on Tai Chi and Qigong. Some popular titles include "Tai Chi Classics" arranged by Master Liao ¹, "Qigong and the Tai Chi Axis" ¹, "The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan" ¹, "Tai Chi Chuan Classical Yang Style: the Complete Form and Qigong" ¹, and "The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi" ¹. Another book that is often recommended for beginners is "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tai Chi & Qigong Illustrated, Fourth Edition" by Bill Douglas and Angela Wong Douglas ³.
In your first Tai Chi or Qigong class, you can expect to learn sequences of movements, basic body alignments, coordination, and how to protect your joints ¹. The environment will be quiet and meditative ⁵. Tai Chi and Qigong are mind-body practices that involve focused breath and movements . The movements are slow, intentional, and coordinated with breath and/or focused attention ².
Some common mistakes beginners make when practicing Tai Chi or Qigong include exaggerating movements, which can cause long-term blockages in the flow of energy (qi) . It's important to learn proper body alignment and coordination to avoid these mistakes. It's also important to practice moderation and protect your joints .
The information contained in this blog posting are the opinions of "bing." Only your physician should provide you with medical advice and always talk to your doctor prior to starting any exercise or diet program. The painting at the start of this blog was created by the blogger using AI and is the property of bcalmbzen.com.