Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art used for defense training and for its health benefits as well. Tai chi exercises have become quite popular, as they are known to provide relief from day-to-day stress in a gentle, soothing manner.
The movements in tai chi are called poses or moves. Connecting the moves together forms a set of poses. Tai chi poses are all gentle and rhythmic ones and they are accompanied by deliberate, slow breathing. Tai chi exercises can provide numerous benefits to the mind and body when practiced regularly.
Tai Chi Exercises – The Poses of Tai Chi
The tai chi poses are 13 in number and are called 13 energies, 13 entrances, or 13 powers. These poses are practiced in various sequences. Mastering these simple-looking Tai chi exercises can be difficult, but very rewarding!
If you’re planning to start with this fitness routine, you must keep in mind that tai chi poses need an instructor to guide a beginner through the various steps.
The long forms of tai chi may take long periods of time to master, as they comprise sometimes 60, 108, or even 150 movements. But the short forms are easier to learn.
It is likely that you’re often unaware of your posture while you’re engaged in everyday affairs, such as walking, playing tennis, hiking, or stretching. But, tai chi pays a great deal of attention to the postures involved in such simple activities. Initially, the postures recommended by tai chi might look and feel a bit weird and unnatural, but ultimately they impart great health benefits.
Tai Chi Exercises – The Thirteen Classic Tai Chi Postures
- Ting (center)
- Chi (press)
- Lu (roll-back)
- An (push)
- Lieh (split)
- Tsai (pull-down)
- Kao (shoulder strike)
- Chou (elbow strike)
- Tui (retreat)
- Chin (advance)
- Pan (look right)
- Ku (look left)
- Peng (ward-off)
The Four Essences Involved In Tai Chi Exercises
Here are the four concepts or Essences that are important while mastering Tai Chi exercises:
- Raising the spirit by lifting the head
- Sinking the elbows by lowering the shoulders
- Softening the chest by bending the back
- Relaxing the hips by loosening the waist
These four essences guide and aid you in improving your postures with each passing day. They help in positioning your body’s center of gravity the right way as your body moves. Also, they help in proper coordination and alignment of your body.
The steps and poses involved in tai chi exercises may appear to be easy, but upon actually practicing them, they turn out to be quite tricky. The mantra here is patience and perseverance. If you commit yourself to learning this martial art sincerely and with total dedication, you can derive its immense benefits for a lifetime.