Tai Chai provides fitness and wellness minded individuals with the opportunity to learn a form of exercise that is not only beneficial to the body and mind, but also for self-defense. This legendary martial art has changed and evolved over the years, and today is taught not only for moving the body, but for alleviating worry and stress, and even as a means of practicing self-defense, should you be in a situation where physical self-defense might be a necessity. Known to many as “meditation in motion”, Tai Chai moves the body and can soothe the soul.
Dating back to ancient Chinese times, and thought to be founded by a Taoist monk by the name of Zhang Sanfeng, Tai Chai roughly translates into “supreme ultimate fist”, with influences that include both Buddist and Taoist monestaries. There are five types of Tai Chai, and while they are all similar, they are all executed differently, and are based on different principles. These types are: Chen-style, Sun-style, Wu-Hao-style, Wu-style, and Yang-style.
Because Tai Chai does not overly stress any muscles or joints, it’s suitable for anyone of any age and body type to try. And since it requires very little equipment, it can be practiced inexpensively, and in a group or even alone.
In addition to helping to enhance mood and relieve anxiety and stress, it’s found that Tai Chai boosts energy, builds muscle mass, and can even improve aerobic abilities. Additionally, some studies have found that individuals suffering from diabetes, Fibromyalgia, heart failure, and even Parkinson’s Disease can benefit from Tai Chai, as it helps with energy and mood boosting, as well as flexibility.
If you are thinking about trying Tai Chai, you’ll definitely want to get in touch with a fitness professional or a fitness center (such as Fit4Zip, for example) who is qualified to teach you. Most Tai Chai classes are low-cost and extremely flexible with schedules as well as varying levels of experience, and there may even be custom classes available based on what you’re looking for: a beginner’s how-to class, Tai Chai for muscle toning or weight loss, Tai Chai for self-defense, etc.