Tai Chi & Qi Gong
Tai Chi (Taichichuan)
Tai Chi (taichichuan) is an ancient exercise system practiced for health, meditation, stress reduction, and core strength training. It consists of a series of whole-body movements and sequences of movements known as “forms,” which are performed at a slow and controlled pace. Tai Chi is sometimes referred to as “moving meditation.”
Tai Chi provides many benefits, including the development of core strength, better balance, stress management, and relaxation. Sources such as the Mayo Clinic and the National Institute of Health cite numerous health benefits of Tai Chi, including reducing anxiety and depression, reducing falls in older adults, lowering blood pressure, relieving chronic pain, and increasing endurance and agility.
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Qi gong form is a specific mental and/or physical exercise or coordination of a series of exercises all prescribed to train, develop and condition the mind and body for the purpose of health, healing, longevity, and opening wisdom. Qi gong practices have been prevalent in China for 2000-3000 years. The term qigong in the sense that we are using it, the practice of cultivating and refining qi, is a relatively new usage. In ancient China, these exercises were commonly called “dao-yin” (leading and guiding the energy”).
The grandfather of Chinese Taoist philosophy, Lao Tzu, describes dao-yin practice in his Dao De Jing (or Tao Teh Ching) written in the third and fourth centuries B.C. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine recommended dao-yin exercises in the first and second century B.C. to cure colds and fevers, to attain tranquility, and to cultivate vital energy. A folded piece of silk from the second century B.C., called the Dao-yin Tu, shows four rows of painted figures representing “all major categories of modern qigong: breathing, stances, movement, and self-massage from standing, seated, and supine positions.