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Tai Chi & Chi Kung
Tai Chi and Chi Kung (Chinese Yoga)
We seem to love the food from this part of the world –but have you tried their exercise? 48 million Chinese can't be wrong! That's how many reputedly get up and exercise this way at dawn. You may have seen film or images of the almost slow motion, "floating in space" nature of these healing arts.
Tai chi is like the more flowing, ballet version of Chinese Yoga- a set sequence of movements that is actually a Martial Art- despite the grace of the form. Over successive classes students are taught additional poses until they have an understanding of the whole sequence.
Tai chi has been medically proven to improve a range of health conditions including:
poor balance and co-ordination
high blood pressure
Essentially, the slow manner in which all movements are conducted slow down the brain waves thereby inducing a greater degree of calm in the nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
At a physical level lightness and fluidity develop within the practitioner and one is guaranteed to feel calmed, relaxed and almost floating out of a tai chi session. Serenity is the most commonly reported benefit articulated by regular practitioners.
Chi Kung is a little more like yoga in that it is a series of individual exercises rather than a set form. The simple goal is to create energy and remove the ill-effects of a high stress lifestyle. The ancient Taoists who invented this form were great believers in longevity and in ones ability to keep sickness and old age at bay through the correct form of exercise.
Chi Kung is the most ancient form of traditional Chinese medical practice. It's gentle movements, sounds, breathing and meditation techniques promote the circulation of blood and Chi (or vital energy) within the body. Just a few minutes of practice can evoke states of internal stillness, centeredness, balance and a feeling of well-being.
Chi Kung is also practiced to strengthen the internal organs and the immune system-but is above all a method of removing energy blocks and creating positive energy flow in the body. A perfect antidote to fatigue.
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