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Tai Chi for a Fitter You

This is a discussion on Tai Chi for a Fitter You within the Weight Loss forums, part of the Health | Fitness category; Tai Chi for a Fitter You Instead of spending a boring Sunday lying around on a couch, would you rather ...

Old 07-29-2011
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Tai Chi for a Fitter You

Instead of spending a boring Sunday lying around on a couch, would you rather emulate the martial art greats in their zen-like poses of complete and utter calm? If yes, then all you have to do is join a Tai Chi class and identify yourself with this ancient Chinese practice. Tai Chi, which is also known as Taiji or Tai Chi Chuan is one of the most graceful Chinese forms of exercise which aids in building strength and stability, both mentally and spiritually.

Various types of Tai Chi.
Three most popular styles of Tai Chi are:

  1. Yang: This style involves in total 24 moments and is quite taxing as it calls for wide stances which call for bending your knees most of the times.
  2. Wu: Wu involves 24 to 36 movements and is generally gentler than yang as the knees are not as bent as in the yang style.
  3. Tai Chi Chih: In this kind of style, 20 movements are required and again it is quite taxing because it calls for transfer of weight from one leg to another.

How to do Tai Chi.
Learning Tai Chi is not a one-day process, it is about repetition and practising moves that can only be perfected over time with a lot of hard work. Here’s how you should proceed:
  • Aim at practicing two moves together, then head on the next move. The more the number of repetitions, the better your body responds to it.
  • It is a must to keep your head straight when practicing Tai Chi as it helps in maintaining balance. The chi node right at the top of your head is a central meeting point for the meridian lines of the body which helps in releasing negative energy from the body.
  • Also, make sure that you keep your back straight as it helps in accumulation of energy in your stomach. Your core forms the centre of gravity when performing Tai Chi.
  • Keep distance between your toes. This help in maintaining correct balance, particularly when you are standing on one leg.
  • Go for fluid motions and avoid jerky movements when performing Tai Chi. Finish each move so smoothly that the next move merges perfectly with the earlier one.
  • Breathe out when you are making an outward movement and breathe in when you are making an inward movement.

Benefits of Tai Chi

  • It helps in exercising all the joints and muscle groups in a rhythmic motion and helps in maximizing your lower body and core strength.
  • It is said that if you perform Tai Chi in the morning, you can move much more freely all day long without any joint aches and pains.
  • Tai Chi leads to a better body posture and makes one confident.
  • Like Yoga, Tai Chi is a great way to de-stress as the continuous and deep breathing exercises are designed to soothe the joints muscles and connective tissues.
  • It is an effective way of massaging your feet as the blood rushes all through the body, stimulating the acupuncture points in the body which aids in upping your circulatory and balance movements.
  • An effective way to lose weight, Tai Chi helps in bringing peace of mind by keeping you healthy.

Word of caution while performing Tai Chi

It is essential to learn the correct way of practicing Tai Chi in order to remain injury-free. The best way forward is to study Tai Chi in a group or under a trainer’s supervision, which will help in understanding the right approach of Tai Chi before it becomes a habit and after that you can continue on your own.

*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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