Does Tai Chi count as exercise?
Although a Tai Chi session is very different from going to the gym and using the machines, it still gives you a whole body workout. Tai Chi is a martial art and uses the entire body in every single movement. In particular, your legs will get a really tough workout.
Chen Tai Chi
2 Reasons Why Tai Chi Is The Perfect Exercise
Reason 1.) Tai Chi is a whole body workout
Tai Chi is the perfect exercise because not only do you work on strengthening your muscles but you also work on flexibility at the same time.
My first Tai Chi instructor was very adamant about having absolutely perfect technique.
He would teach a position, then have the class "freeze" in that position while going over to each student to make sure everyone postures were correct down to the tiniest detail. This process only took about half a minuet for each person to be corrected, but when there are ten people in class that means you are bending your knees for 5 min at a time!
Can you imagine the burning feeling that started to permeate the entirety of both of my legs , and my shoulders? Unless you have felt it before you probably can't
OK, I know what you are thinking, “I don't want to feel pain in my legs.”
I know. Me too.
But I was willing to go through it because I know that the benefits I am going to get out of this workout is not going to manifest themselves tonight but rather tomorrow and the next day. I had the maturity to delay gratification.
And, it is gratifying to see how strong your legs and shoulders get from regular practice of Tai Chi.
Of course it all depends on how low you go down into your stance or postures but holding position while the teacher comes around to correct your form is one of the hardest workouts I have ever experienced.
The Tai Chi form is a challenging leg workout.
In America, we all tend to think about exercise as being running or lifting weights. While these exercises are good, Tai Chi is the only activity that I know that will develop you joints and ligaments.
Keeping the connective tissues of your joints flexible is the secret to having a functioning body well into your 80s.
Tai chi practice involves circular movements of all of the joints eg. shoulders, wrists, knees, and neck. All of these joints are gently stretched and elongated at every practice.
Don't forget that Tai Chi is a martial art as well. What this means is that there are self defense moves that make up the style. What kind of move you might ask?
Well most of the moves of Tai Chi involve wrist-locks and other joint twisting applications.
Now when applied at full strength and power these self defense applications can dislocate joints. However, when applied at 1/3 power these same techniques become partner stretches
Tai Chi Chin Na
Reason 2.) You don't need any equipment at all to train Tai Chi.
You don't even need a special area set aside for Tai Chi practice. Tai Chi can literally be practiced anywhere.
When I look at the gym and the millions of dollars they spend on equipment, I just laugh to myself. Tai chi blows those machines out of the water when you think about keeping your body young and functional.
My favorite place to practice?
At the bank, the post office,Walmart, or anywhere public.
Want to know how that works?
Of course I am not practicing my form inside the bank. But I am practicing my balance while standing in line.
Tai Chi techniques include kicking techniques (remember it is a martial art). Kicking techniques are performed while balanced on one foot. So, the ability to balance on just one leg for extended amounts of time is one of the skills of Tai Chi.
So every time I am at the bank or post office, I always stand on one foot and try to balance for as long as the line is not moving. It is very discreet and no one will ever know that you are a Tai Chi master.
If you wanted to practice Tai Chi in a small constricted space you could easily modify the form so as to break it apart into small sections. There is absolutely no need to have a large area to practice.
Beginner Tai Chi
When practiced daily, tai chi helps with your circulation and balance and can help prevent falls, which is a major cause of hospitalization in people over 55.
Students who practice Tai chi will find their daily lives less stressful, they will find more energy, and be more at peace with themselves and the world. Studying Tai chi is more about studying oneself. It is studying the ability to calm one’s mind and challenge one’s self to always improve and get stronger.
It cultivates the person as a whole and allows students to apply these benefits to their outside lives. If a students can show patience, inner harmony, and balance in Tai chi practice then they can show it in regards to their family life, their careers and in their own creativity.
Tai chi is not the cure for all diseases and problems that you have
However, I for one cannot imagine what it would be like for me if I didn't know how to keep my body young using Tai Chi. I have been teaching martial arts for 22 years now and if I don't keep up my body and skills, no one would want to learn from me. I look at training as my job, my occupation. It is my responsibility to be in top shape and without Tai Chi there is no way I would be able to keep up with all of the young men enrolling into my academy.
Tai Chi Chuan helps you to be more present in everyday life. Tai Chi can be a lifelong endeavor for those who choose to go deep with their knowledge and skill.
Learning tai chi, is as easy as showing up to a class.
Tai Chi Chuan is the martial art based on the concept of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang is an idea that comes from the Taoist religion. Yin and Yang represent the opposite forces. Light and dark, up and down, soft and hard, are all examples of opposites. The entire art of Tai Chi Chuan is made up of these concepts transformed into self-defense techniques.
The art of Tai Chi Chuan originally started out as a combative martial art. It was used for fighting and self-defense. Tai Chi Chuan Today still has practical applications of all of the movements of the form, but most people who train in Tai Chi are not interested in fighting, Rather, they want the enormous health benefits that come from practicing The graceful and beautiful martial art.