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Tai Chi And Yoga Combined

Tai Chi And Yoga Combined

I have been doing Tai Chi on and off for many years now. I have been doing yoga (also on and off) for a lot longer.

I am self taught with Tai Chi for the most part. I must warn people who want to do this that it’s a lot easier if you have extensive background in martial arts. When I used to do kung fu, my teacher taught me the standard Beijing 42 form. I  instead prefer to do Tai Chi as taught by the late Erle Montaigue. The form is here on youtube.

I have recently rediscovered Tai Chi after not doing it for a while (A time poor thing usually, and prioritising yoga over Tai Chi).

what I have found out is that combining the two is some really powerful stuff. Tai Chi is something that is deceptive in it’s effectiveness. The older you get and the more creaky you get the better you can appreciate the work that it is doing.

Firstly it really works the wrists , with continual flexion and extension of the wrist joints. I don’t know of any other exercise that actually works the wrists in such a manner.

Next the same flexion and extension works the lower legs from the ankles to the knees. Also to a lesser extent the hips and hamstrings are stretched. As you go through the form it gently stretches the entire body, almost without you realising it is doing it.

What I have found is that when you perform yoga and Tai Chi together, the effects are extraordinary. Once again (in my opinion) the combination of the two works in synergy and the two become greater than the sum of their parts.

I start with Tai Chi. The slow gentle moves warm up the body, so that by the time you begin your yoga, you are more flexible than you would otherwise be.

I did some today. I found that by the end of the session (half an hour) my body just felt different. I can’t describe it in a better way. It is something that needs to be experienced. There is a tingling in the fingers and a looseness and warmness in the hips that is beyond what is experienced with yoga alone.

I know a lot of people these days do yoga and have experienced the “yoga high”. That is where the endorphins flood your system in response to the exercise you have been doing. This is similar by the way to the “running high” that runners experience.

I have experienced the yoga high many times so I know what it feels like. This was not it. It was a deeper richer warmness. A wonderful feeling. I recommend trying it.

Image Source: Facheng – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44647084

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