Tai chi (taiji) is an art embracing the mind, body and spirit. Originating in ancient China, tai chi is one of the most effective exercises for health of mind and body. Although an art with great depth of knowledge and skill, it can be easy to learn and soon delivers its health benefits. For many, it continues as a lifetime journey.
At the heart of it, Tai Chi is a moving meditation in the form of a series of gentle exercises that create harmony between the mind and body. The ultimate purpose is to cultivate our inner life energy (qi) to flow smoothly and powerfully through the body. This can be a spiritual experience, as much as a physical one.
Movements are fluid, graceful, circular and slow. Breathing is deep, aiding visual and mental concentration. This relaxes the body and allows the life force to flow freely.
On a physical level, Tai Chi improves strength, flexibility, aerobic conditioning and balance. It’s been proven to improve cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, prevent falls and help people who have arthritis.
If you think tai chi looks easy, think again. Not only does it work your mind as you try and memorize the movements, it also is a physical workout that works your glutes, thighs, arms and core.
Mark Lorenzo has practiced tai chi for many years, and currently teaches beginners tai chi at True Balance Studio. He continues to take classes with his teachers, improving his technique and passing his knowledge on to his students.