Tai Chi For Health Protected content
Why Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is a philosophy that originated in China around four thousand years ago. Tai Chi translates into Supreme Ultimate. All Taoist believe that in the beginning there was a big void with no extremities, a vacuum and it was called Wuji. From Wuji came Tai Chi, and Tai Chi is the mother of Ying and Yang, left right, up down, front back, male female, cold hot etc. Tai Chi is the catalysts that make things happen. Tai Chi is neither Wuji nor Ying Yang.
Tai Chi Chuan
Chuan translates into fist, so Tai Chi Chuan stands for Supreme Ultimate Fist. Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art that is about Protected content old. It originated in Taoist monasteries with a dual purpose of self defense and spiritual enlightment. Today it is used primarily for improving health and it’s practiced by millions of people all over the world. The slow graceful movements of Tai Chi Chuan balance body, mind and spirit. It improves your balance, agility, blood pressure, concentration, reduces stress, improves circulation, and relieves anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that it reduces falls by the elderly. You can find many other health benefits listed all over the internet, but not all have been tested and proven correct. Many people today use the term Tai Chi to describe Tai Chi Chuan and it has been widely accepted.
How does Tai Chi relate to Tai Chi Chuan?
When we begin the Tai Chi Chuan form we are in a state of Wuji, perfectly balanced. The weight is evenly distributed between both feet, the knees are relaxed not locked, the back is strait, and the head is upright as if suspended from the ceiling, the Tung in touching the roof of the mouth and your hands are hanging relaxed by our side. There are no extremities no left or right, no up no down etc. Once you start the movement you have created Ying and Yang. When you move you move up or down, left or right, and you put weight on one foot or the other. You have created Ying and Yang. What was the catalyst that initiated the movement? Your mind is the Tai Chi that initiated it. Therefore, your mind is the supreme ultimate within you.
Taoists believe that Chi is a vital force that permeates everything in the universe. This viral force in modern terms can be described as an electromagnetic force. It flows through our bodies via meridians that were mapped out Protected content ago, and these meridians are still in use today in Acupuncture. As long as Chi is flowing unobstructed through our bodies, we are healthy. Obstructions are what cause illness. That’s how Acupuncture works. The needles they use, clear the passage of Chi to the affected area, and correct the imbalance causing the illness. When we practice Tai Chi Chuan we are opening the meridians and allowing the Chi to flow unobstructed. That is how we stay healthy by practicing Tai Chi Chuan.
There are many stories about who originated Tai Chi Chuan, but the one that is most widely accepted is that of Zhang San-Feng. The legend states Zhang San-Feng, was interrupted from his meditation by a fight between a crane and a serpent, the graceful movements of one and the harmonious reaction of the other inspired him to develop the fighting technique of Tai Chi Chuan.
There are many styles of Tai Chi Chuan, and variations within each style. You may practice Yang style and see someone else performing it in a different way. That is because the art is alive and creative. Each master tweaks it and adds something of him into it. The first style was the Chen style, then the Yang, the Wu, and the Sun. There are many more but these are the most common ones. Yang style is the most practiced worldwide. Yang has the short form that consists of 24 moves, and the long form which has Protected content 108 depending on how they are counted. There is also the 49, and they all contain duplication of movements, for example there are about 46 actual moves in the Protected content depending on how they are counted), and the rest are repetitions. While practicing Tai Chi, we have weight on one leg or the other. The leg with the weight is considered a full leg (Yang) and the leg without weight is an empty leg (Ying). During the whole form we are constantly evolving from Ying to Yang and back again.
Ying Yang Symbol
When we practice Tai Chi, we have to remember that Ying and Yang are constantly evolving. The Ying Yang symbol, which is a circle that represents the roundness of Tai Chi Chuan, is divided into black and white with a curved line in the middle which represents the harmony between Ying and Yang, where one side represents Ying, and the other Yang; The Yang side has a spot of Ying, and The Ying a spot of Yang. This shows that Yang or Ying is never absolute. And you can see that when Yang becomes too big it starts to evolve into Ying, and vise versa. When we practice the physical form it is external, it is Yang. When we Meditate it is internal and that is Ying. So we have to balance it out by doing both. We have to practice the form and we have to meditate or do Qigong.
The Chinese and Panamanian Cultural Institute will be offering classes on Tai Chi on June 4th Protected content . They will be held at the institute on Mondays and Thursdays Protected content . It will be a block of instruction that will span 8 weeks twice per week.