It’s great to see new members flooding in this week, January always sees many new people join and start their tai chi journey with us. Remember that you can subscribe with 25% off annual subscriptions all the way through January. Just use the coupon code newyear2022 to claim your discount.
The benefits to regular tai chi practice are immense. I’m sure you’ve done the Google research yourselves: books, articles, blogs, scholarly articles, medical research… there’s quite a body of work out there, from both and Eastern and Western perspective…
Need to relax stiff shoulders? Tai chi can help.
Stress and anxiety levels too high? Tai chi can help.
Need to reduce Heart fire? Tai chi can help.
Suffering from an in-balance of Yang energy? Tai chi can help…
You can put a whole multitude of injuries, diseases, mental and physical health conditions – from mild to life threatening – into an online search and find out how tai chi can help. These don’t even take into consideration how the practice of tai chi helps keep illness and injury at bay, reduces the stresses and strains of our daily lifestyles. Pre-habilitation, as it’s known.
Quite often, none of these reasons are enough for us to start training regularly. I’d like to propose another reason to start tai chi, one which I consider to be more of a hidden benefit.
Tai Chi for Your Hobbies
I have had many friends, family members, colleagues, associates, etc, who have been into a sport or an activity that the’ve had to stop when getting to a certain age…. usually around the 30, 40, or perhaps 50, mark.
Football, rugby, running, climbing, athletics, racquet sports, triathlons, competitive martial arts… are some of the more physically demanding activities that we put our bodies through.
Whilst it’s probably not feasible, however well you look after your body, to be able to do some of the above to a highly competitive level well into advanced age, I am convinced that in most cases if a person whose main passion was one of the above sports or activities (or something similar), had come to train with me earlier, I could have enabled them to continue for much longer.
I know from my own experience that when taking part in many sports you aren’t told about the importance of relaxation, correct breathing, posture, flexibility, strengthening tendons and ligaments (not just muscles), balance, coordination, calmness, fluidity of movement, timing, precision, yielding, rooting – all vital and key components of tai chi that can carry over to other activities – offering immediate improvements, as well as longevity.
If we enter into the realms of Chinese thought for a moment, all of the above activities are relatively Yang…. your power, strength, energy, vitality is being externalised in order to perform. Doing this day in / day out over a number of years will naturally have a depleting effect. Particularly on our Kidney energy.
Where tai chi comes into play is that it is Yin, meaning it is more restorative, particularly if practiced with qigong and meditation. You are increasing the natural healing properties of your body, restoring your energy. Increasing your longevity.
Tai Chi for Your Life
It is not only physically demanding sports and activities that tai chi will help increase your longevity in. You may be a keen gardener, you may be into home renovation, your job may take its toll on your body over several decades – either physically or emotionally.
There are many situations which if we focused on a little daily restoration activity, we can keep doing these things for longer. From my own perspective, I know I want to be active with my grandchildren (if my daughter is reading this… I’m not ready quite yet!), I want to be having adventurous travels, I don’t want to feel like I am physically having to slow down (too much), as I get closer to my 50’s, 60’s… and beyond…
To summarise, perhaps the most important thing to remember about regular tai chi practice is that it adds years to your life, and life to your years.
Tai chi doesn’t even have to become your main hobby but it is a very powerful way to keep doing those activities that we love, as well as being as fit and healthy for those that we love… and most importantly for ourselves.
As ever, if you need some help and advice on your tai chi journey, whichever stage you are at, I’m always happy to help, just get in touch by email: [email protected]
Enjoy your practice!