Tai chi originally evolved as a martial art, but over time, it’s grown into a gymnastic discipline to help balance the mind and the body. For the body, it builds flexibility, strengthens the muscles and the back, and helps improve overall health. Tai chi is also seen as a great way to relieve insomnia! For the mind, it improves concentration and boosts the memory. It’s also believed to help you “tune in” better to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness.
How does tai chi work ?
Basically, tai chi involves a sequence of movements called “forms”, which often take as little as 4 to 8 minutes of your time. The best known is the Beijing form, which includes 24 movements.
While it looks unremarkable, this sequence of movements requires you to transfer your weight from one leg to another in a sort of continuous dance that teaches the body flexibility and balance, while encouraging you to breathe in meditation-like fashion. Many movements have poetic names, such as “Part the wild horse’s mane”, “White crane spreads its wings” or “Needle at the bottom of the sea”!
Short on time? Need a little breather? Although we recommend learning tai chi through a course, it’s possible to pick up the basics of this ancient art on your own, through a few simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your kitchen. For exercises to help tone the body and relax the mind, click here, and may the chi be with you!