Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong

“Feel movement in stillness and seek stillness in movement”

Wu Yuxiang (1821-1880)

What is Tai Chi Chuan(Taijiquan)?

Tai Chi Chuan is a gentle and natural ancient Chinese martial art that has been practiced for hundreds of years, often seen in the parks and gardens of China, and it is widely known throughout the West as Tai Chi.  

Taiji (Tai Chi) means supreme, ultimate, whilst quan(chuan) translates to martial arts. The practice involves stepping to the side, forward and backward with turns and kicks which build into an intricate sequence of movements known as the Tai Chi form.

The movements of Tai Chi have been handed down from one family to another throughout its history and as you may imagine this has created many different styles such as Chen Men Ching, Chen, Wu, Yang, Sun and Li. Yang style is the most popular and it is the style that I teach in my class.

What is Qigong?

Qigong has over three thousand years of history and it is an important component of traditional Chinese medicine. As with acupuncture it is based on the concept of ‘Chi’ (Qi) (sometimes translated as ‘life force’ or ‘vital energy’) and the way it is believed to circulate around the body. Qigong is a mind and body exercise which seeks to stimulate the flow of Qi (or Chi, the elemental life force) along the energy channels and meridians. The symptoms of blocked energy are first felt as tension and stress and the practice of Qigong helps release those physical blocks as well as mental or emotional ones and so help to prevent illness.

Qigong exercises involve standing in one place using slow graceful movements, stretches and controlled breathing techniques and are easy to learn. It is suitable for people of all ages and all levels of physical ability.

Qigong is included in my class as part of the warmup and preparation for the Tai Chi that follows.

Benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong

The benefits of regular practice are plentiful and some if not all of the following are experienced by both myself and my students:

Boost the immune system

Calm the nervous system

Relieve stress and tension

Ease depression and anxiety

Promote relaxation

Improve quality of sleep

Help improve confidence

 Heal the body, mind and spirit

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