Tai Chi literally means 'supreme ultimate fist'. It is a centuries-old Chinese discipline for health, relaxation, meditation, self-defence and self-cultivation. The interaction of Yin and Yang is vital to the practice of Tai Chi, since physically and mentally the practitioner is continually shifting between empty and full, soft and hard, stillness and motion, to achieve a proper and evolving equilibrium.
Principles of Tai Chi include: alertness, control, calmness, natural breathing and being centred, using willpower – not muscular force, circular movements, coordination, continuity and harmony.
Tai Chi physically improves posture and circulation, generates greater energy and stamina, relaxes nervous tension and tight muscles, develops strength and flexibility, better breathing and balance, relieves hypertension and pain.
It's also claimed that Tai Chi clarifies awareness and consciousness, improves concentration and focus, emotionally soothes stress and depression, releases suppressed emotions and frustrations, induces peace and happiness within, spiritually harmonises oneness with creation and heightens an appreciation of one's inner self.
What is it good for?
Tai Chi is a wonderful treatment for stress, fitness and wellbeing.
Chai-Chinese Healing College
For more information, take a look through "Help Yourself: an A-Z of natural cures for common complaints" by Mim Beim and Jan Castorina. It's published by Doubleday and is available through all good bookstores.