Tai Chi has provided me with the tools to train my body, mind and spirit in a gentle, subtle yet profound way. I have been taking regular classes now for about a year and Tai Chi continues to present new challenges each time I practice.
For those who doubt the workout benefits of Tai Chi, I would just recommend taking classes for a month. You will certainly see that you get a workout from the practice of the art form. I really enjoy the mental workout each practice presents. There are an infinite number of things you can focus on each time so really it’s more about picking one or two things to keep steady in your mind while going through the movements. Every session shortens the mind body gap as you get better awareness of your movement and more conscious of the choices and decisions you’re making with each movement. It’s really an exciting journey.
Then spirit…Tai Chi provides so much opportunity to cultivate that which can’t be seen. I think we can all agree that there is much inside of us that cannot be seen. How do you see an emotion, a thought, a dream? What we actually do and express each day is a tiny fraction of what is going on inside of us. Tai Chi allows you the opportunity to meditate while moving. Each practice gives you a chance to quiet all of that “stuff” that’s going on inside of you and either focus on some aspect of “the stuff” or leave it all behind and be present with the motions your body is going through at that moment. Generally, I choose the latter. It’s a wonderfully calming and peaceful experience to be so focused on the movement, the practice, that everything else is just background to what “is” right now. What I’ve found even more fascinating is the power of the mind. That while I am so focused on the present, my mind is still working in the background. I’ve come away after a class with answers to questions I didn’t even know I was contemplating!
If you’re up for something new and have ever contemplated taking Tai Chi, I couldn’t recommend the practice of Tai Chi highly enough.
All the best to you and your wellness,
Chris Burton Jácome
PS…I practice Tai Chi at Phoenix Shaolin. Sifu Robert Gardner is a great teacher of the art.