Learning Video Collection/Alpha Tech Corp.

T’ai chi has been practiced for more than 2,000 years. Originating in China, t’ai chi conditioned warriors to tap energy from within the body and spirit instead of relying on muscle power. This graceful martial art combines slow, balanced movements executed with a focus on shifting your body weight from side to side while concentrating on how your motion affects movement of the rest of the body.

T’ai chi focuses within to allow the inner life force, known in Chinese as chi, to enhance balance, coordination and flexibility through interaction with the earth’s power (yin) and heavenly energy (yang). Mastering t’ai chi requires relaxation, precision and a combination of "sinking" and "rooting", which refer to relaxation and lowering of the body to form a solid connection with the ground. This awareness increases knowledge of your posture and movement of your muscles and consciousness of how your body weight is evenly distributed. Breathing proceeds deeply from your diaphragm. The strength of the t’ai chi stance originates in focusing your weight through your lower back down through bent knees, continuing down to the floor.

We all know that exercise and physical activity is beneficial to our health. You don’t have to buy any equipment or start perspiring, t’ai chi with it’s gentle controlled movement provides health benefits even if you’re elderly or pregnant. T’ai chi allows you to move slowly and comfortably. No quick, jerky movements or pounding the floor as with aerobic dance and jogging. T’ai chi tones muscles, improves circulation and increases balance and flexibility. A study in the "Journal of the American Geriatrics Society" showed that t’ai chi, when taught by an experienced instructor, can significantly lower the risk of falls among the elderly.

To perfect your t’ai chi form, look for classes at martial art studios. A t’ai chi video is a great way to learn at your convenience, or enhance your lessons.

Recommended learning and reading:

Learning Video Collection offers videos on all levels of performance.

The Complete Book of T’ai Chi, by Steward Mcfarlane.

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