Today is World Tai Chi Day--also less commonly known as World Healing Day.
Begun in 1999, it celebrates the disciplines of Tai Chi throughout the world on the last Saturday of April each year. Though I have heard wonderful things about the practice and have seen it featured in multiple films, I have never tried Tai Chi. Today is my chance. Like many cities around the globe, my town is hosting an outdoor World Tai Chi event at a local park. The blurb for this event is as follows:
...Tens of thousands of people across the globe [will] practice the ancient art of Tai Chi. This very special event will feature basic instruction in the Sun style for beginners and various demonstrations of other styles. At 10 am, everyone will join together to practice Tai Chi as it moves in a wave across the earth. No previous experience necessary.
Wow. What a great opportunity to practice mindfulness and connect with others.
In case you're interested in learning more about it, below are a few resources to inform yourself on the benefits and uses of developing a Tai Chi practice.
- Tai Chi: A Gentle Way to Fight Stress, by the Mayo Clinic
This article by the Mayo Clinic Staff does a nice job outlining the benefits. Why try tai chi?
When learned correctly and performed regularly, tai chi can be a positive part of an overall approach to improving your health.
The benefits of tai chi include:
Some evidence indicates that tai chi also may help:
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Increased aerobic capacity
- Increased energy and stamina
- Increased flexibility, balance and agility
- Increased muscle strength and definition
- Enhance quality of sleep
- Enhance the immune system
- Lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Improve joint pain
- Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure
- Improve overall well-being in older adults
- Reduce risk of falls in older adults
- The Health Benefits of Tai Chi, by Harvard Health Publications
In this article, the Harvard Health Publications Staff enumerates the many benefits of "meditation in motion" and even lists a number of specific health conditions which can be treated with a combination of Tai Chi and standard treatments, including:
Low Bone Density
This list is surprising and exciting! If you're suffering from any of these, speak to your doctor to discuss how you might combine your current treatment with Tai Chi for maximum benefits and maximum results.
This is likely what I'm in store for at the park today. I'm ready! Are you?
To me, it sounds like tai chi is quite similar to yoga--relaxing, fun, and easy to do for just about anyone. It's particularly attractive due to all of the wonderful health and feel good benefits. I am excited to try something new and see how the slow movement and constant flow compare to my yoga practice. Any way to make mindfulness happen in my day helps make the day even better.
Are you interested in giving it a try? Check here to see if there is a World Tai Chi event near you. Or, if you going to a public event isn't happening today, give Tai Chi a try at home. The worldwide plan is to create a 10:00 am "wave" across the planet, so get up and get out!
Labels: Body & Mind, Go Ahead--Try It!, Yoga Fundamentals