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Why Tai Chi Is Now My Number One Exercise

Why Tai Chi Is Now My Number One Exercise

Tai Chi is now my primary form of exercise. Why? Because I like results.

In order to explain it I need to tell you a story. Throughout the northern winter of 2019 I was doing my best to do yoga every day. I usually was managing between 4 and 5 sessions a week. Problem is, rather than becoming more supple, I was actually becoming stiffer.

One of the big problems I had were my feet. They were constantly sore and I was limping everywhere. Going down stairs I had to hold onto the banister and step down tackling just one step at a time. By this I mean my knees were so bad, I had to get both feet onto one step, then move both feet onto the next step and so on. I was starting to move like an old man.

I was worried that the years of heavy weights had taken their toll and this was going to be the new normal for me.

I really had to look at the issues I had and start to address the areas that were of most concern. My number one concern was definitely my sore feet. I decided to try tai chi and see if the flexion and stretching of the feet when doing tai chi would help heal them.

Turns out it did. In addition to that the way of movement gently stretched and flexed my legs, healing my ankles, knees and hips. Without doing yoga I was actually becoming more flexible and mobile.

I could feel a wave of healing going through my body from the feet up, healing each body part day by day, the more I practised tai chi.

For my health goals, which are now mobility and freedom of movement, it ticks boxes.

Analysing tai chi from a western perspective it trains many aspects of fitness. For example there are poses that train you peripheral vision and there are poses that train your proprioception – which is a term for your bodies spatial awareness. It trains balance and also gets your heart rate up.

If you are a martial artist you will realise that the more you practise tai chi you have trained your body to move in a more fluid, coordinated way. It’s hard to explain this but you know it it when you experience it.

Yoga is huge right now. Meanwhile tai chi is considered to be something that old people do in the park when there is no other exercise they can still do. I would like to change this. I would like to encourage everyone of all age to give it a try and feel the benefits.

The way I learned it is by watching the videos I have linked to in this post. I have an advantage in learning it because I have studied various martial arts for years. However if you watch the videos and copy the moves in a “monkey see, monkey do” way you will be able to pick it up.

There are some finer points that I have learned that make it far more effective as an exercise and a healing tool. I intend to actually make a video soon to explain these finer points.

In the meantime here is Erle Montaigue performing the Yang Tai Chi form.

 

 

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