With September approaching fast, many are looking for a way to nourish the mind and body as winter approaches. Tai Chi is a powerful internal martial art that can help boost your health and wellbeing.
Tai Chi is a powerful internal martial art first seen in the Imperial Bodyguards as taught by Yang LuChan who learnt if in the Chen village. When practiced regularly, Tai Chi can help anyone benefit physically and mentally, of any age or physical condition. It can be a great tool for recovery, calming the mind, improving flexibility, hydrating the joints, reducing stress or as a complement to other physical disciplines. With the back to school madness or the return from holiday blues, Tai Chi can be a great way to spend an hour or two a week, allowing you to unwind in a relaxed and friendly group, where movement is medicine.
Tai Chi Instructor Nicola Jones runs beginner Tai Chi courses across the Dublin South areas 6, 12, 14 and 16. Her courses teach Chinese lineage Wu style Tai Chi, here she shares the foundations of Tai Chi; namely interconnected physical movement, combining structure, breathe and awareness.
‘Health follows the power lines’. Each move has a martial application that can be tested for power. If the body is misaligned in any part of the form, power is lost and so are the health benefits. Throughout the form the body alignments are kept, ensuring safe movement, bending and twisting with maximum power. Tai Chi can help to drop tension in the shoulders, open tight lower backs, increase hip flexibility, strengthen the legs, help the lymph system pump, keep the joints hydrated through expansion and compression and generally helps to improve posture, coordination and balance.
Movements are combined with deep diaphragmatic breathing, which helps increase oxygen levels, brings blood, oxygen and nutrients to the organs, helps expel waste from the organs, helps improve circulation and kick starts the parasympathetic system to aid relaxation.
By learning martial applications in a slow continuous form this creates a high level of muscular sensitivity so that the student can micro-adjust their structure as they move and retain muscle memory. In Tai Chi, the student needs to know where they are in space at any given time using body awareness without relying on vision. In daily life the mind often creates a stressful situation, whether looking at the past or into the future. The body does not have eyes; it merely interprets what the mind sees and creates a physical reaction. When practicing Tai Chi, by focusing on body awareness, alignment, movement and deep breathing, you remain in the now. There are no distractions or interruptions. Tai Chi forces you into the present, to listen to and feel the body, which in turn helps you move gracefully, relaxing the mind and reducing stress.
Contact Instructor Nicola Jones to reserve a place on the upcoming September courses, bookings before the beginning of September can avail of the ‘early bird’ discount.