Often described as “meditation in motion”, Tai Chi is a form of martial art that originated in ancient China. It has now evolved to become a long term impact bearing form of exercise that is practiced widely in the West. Practiced in a variety of styles, Tai Chi involves slow, gentle movements, deep breathing, and meditation. Experts believe that Tai Chi improves the flow of energy through the body, leading to better wellness and a wide range of potential benefits including several medical conditions including arthritis, low bone density, breast cancer, heart disease, heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, and othe sleep problems. Tai Chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.
Christopher Fernandes, of Sevangee — a fitness insititute in Worli, is a well known Tai Chi teacher trained at the Beijing Institute of Physical Education. He has mastered this art for the last thirty years. “Tai Chi is a higher form of yoga based on the concept of Yin and Yang. It is a powerful form of meditation that is practiced in the Himalayas. It is used to promote personal energy for self healing and wellbeing,” he says.
The Tai Chi model is based on the premise that there is bio-energy system in our body. The bio-energy or Qi gets carried round the body in energy. Tai Chi works because the muscle movements in the exercises are designed to stimulate the flow of Qi through the body and the major organs. When Qi flows smoothly people gain strength. Tai Chi exercises involve the cultivation of Qi leading to longer life, better health and faster recovery from accidents.
Sandeep Desai who has been teaching Tai Chi in Mumbai for the last decade says, “In today’s world, where we are constantly battling for survival and running around in circles, Tai Chi helps us slow down internally. It helps us to accept the highs and lows of life with a balanced mind. It is the next big thing after yoga.”
Those who intend to bring about a positive change in their lives where health and fitness is concerned this New Year; Tai chi offers a unique experience. With simple energy harnessing and meditation exercises one can explore a world of health and healing.