Tai chi is a system of exercise and movement developed long ago as a martial or training art that is now widely used for health and wellness. It can be practiced by almost anyone and in almost any situation.
Often known as “moving mediation” tai chi is a series of slow, gentle motions that are patterned after movements in nature. Most of the work is performed while standing and taking small steps, though it can be modified for seated practitioners as well.
Through continued and dedicated practice, tai chi offers many health benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. In many cases, participants will see benefits after just a few lessons or classes. Practicing the same move over and over stimulates muscle, bone, heart, respiration, and other functions in the body as shown through qi gong theory.
Qi gong can be thought of as a movement you do for a certain situation, as opposed to tai chi form, which is a series of movements that work on the entire body in a flowing sequence. For example, qi gong can be one move that helps open the lungs. The practitioner will repeat that specific move until he or she has felt the benefit begin to emerge.
Tai chi and qi gong are adaptable for nearly all fitness levels, do not require equipment and can be performed anywhere you feel comfortable moving. You can start adapted, or modified, tai chi and qi gong at almost any level of movement ability, whether it is from the bed, chair, standing with support or standing freely.