You Get These Benefits When You Learn Tai Chi Chuan

When you add up all the benefits of Tai Chi Chuan what you get is a complete package of things that are good for you; complete in the sense that it benefits your whole being … your body, mind and "spirit", as well as your whole way of life.

A point worth emphasising here is that the Tai Chi benefits you get will completely depend on the both the quantity and the quality of your training.

"Quantity" in terms of how much you practice Tai Chi Chuan; the physical hours per week you devote to your training. Please don't think that all the benefits of Tai Chi will miraculously land in your lap if you are only attending one class per week. Tai Chi Chuan is quite literally a case of "reward through effort" … the more you put into your training the more benefits you will "unlock" and enjoy.

"Quality" in terms of whether your training covers the full spectrum of the Tai Chi Chuan syllabus. In my school, Golden Rose Tai Chi Chuan, there are 3 interdependent parts:

  1. Song Gung (loosening/relaxing exercises),
  2. Daolu (the actual form work), and
  3. Sanshou (the combat applications).

Each are vital to the learning of Tai Chi Chuan, each feed into and "educate" the other aspects, and if you remove one part then you are not really learning Tai Chi Chuan and thus are not getting the full range of benefits.

With that said lets look at what these Tai Chi benefits are. The benefits of Tai Chi Chuan can be categorized as:

Health Benefits You Get with Tai Chi Chuan

In short Tai Chi Chuan helps to restore and maintain good health. (Please refer to the Tai Chi Medical Research page). There are four basic things that I focus on when I first start teaching Tai Chi to a new student:

  • Foundation strength,
  • Relaxation and looseness,
  • Coordination,
  • Breathing.

Foundational strength is about making sure that you are standing on your feet properly (i.e. weight into the centre of the feet with your stance proportioned correctly) whilst carrying your weight and structure correctly through the core of your body. This means that proper Tai Chi Chuan training will strengthen and coordinate your legs, through into the hips, waist, and abdominals.

You get these Tai Chi benefits:

  • Greater stability (less chance of falls),
  • Boosted metabolism (i.e. due to better muscle tone),
  • Improved mobility,
  • More power and efficiency in movements.

Relaxed looseness, referred to as Song in Mandarin, is one of the most important and well known benefits of Tai Chi. Most people are laden down by a lifetime's worth of stress and poor postural habits. The result is that too many of our muscles are almost permanently tensed up, especially in the upper back, shoulders, and neck areas. Tai Chi is about letting go of that unnecessary muscle tension and learning to use only enough "structural tension" to execute the Tai Chi postures and movements. Meaning that we learn to become aware of our bodies so much that we can learn to engage only what is required to fulfil the movement at hand, everything else is completely relaxed.

You get these Tai Chi benefits:

  • Reduced stress,
  • Improved sleep,
  • Lower blood pressure,
  • Less chance of heart disease,
  • Enhanced immunity with less chance of illness,
  • Improved flexibility and movement range in joints,
  • Faster and more efficient movements.

Good coordination is a natural outcome of learning Tai Chi Chuan. It is quite shocking sometimes to see how uncoordinated people get as they get older. The saying "use it or loose it" is strikingly obvious as we mature. The sophisticated nature of Tai Chi postures and Tai Chi movements demands that you develop an advanced level of coordination. The ability to link the body together and be consciously aware of how parts of your body move as an integrated whole is part and parcel of learning Tai Chi.

You get these Tai Chi benefits:

  • Better balance,
  • Improved brain function (i.e. balancing left/right brain function),
  • Less chance of falls,
  • Better mobility,
  • Efficiency in movement,
  • Improved accuracy.

Tai Chi breathing tops this list of Tai Chi health benefits. Most people only use a fraction of their lung capacity when they breathe, usually restricted to breathing just in the upper chest. With Tai Chi breathing we deliberately engaged the diaphragm trying to open our breathing. We then learn how to coordinate this deep breathing with our movements, the result is that in Tai Chi practice you are breathing and deeper and longer.

You get these Tai Chi benefits:

  • Improved cardio fitness,
  • Enhanced circulation,
  • Greater detoxification,
  • Better oxygenation,
  • Improved concentration.

These are just the basic health benefits of Tai Chi. Isn't it any wonder why Tai Chi is fast growing in popularity across the world!

Tai Chi Chuan Gives You Peace of Mind

You will discover that Tai Chi Chuan fosters a deep level of self-awareness and an all encompassing fusion of body and mind. The demands of getting the "body state" of Tai Chi correct means that the incessant internal chatter must become quiet. There is simply no other way.

This state of mindfulness, where your emotions settle and the chatter quietens, nourishes a level of quietude and peace of mind, which is why Tai Chi Chuan has been referred to as a "moving meditation". You learn how to become tranquil within yourself and the stress just simply falls away. With quality practice you will learn how to carry this through each and every day of your life infusing your relationships and activities with mindful serenity.

You get these Tai Chi benefits:

  • Reduce stress,
  • Increased calm confidence,
  • More effectiveness in life.

Tai Chi Chuan is also firmly founded on the philosophy of Taoism … a naturalistic philosophy that emphasizes "going with the flow" of life and minimal interference. You learn in practical ways how to attune to the Yin and the Yang of your physical reality and how to appropriately apply peace and aggression, defence and attack, yielding and advance, soft and hard. You learn how you can achieve your goals without wasteful struggle or unnecessary control.

You will discover how these philosophical tenets can and do apply in practical ways to every aspect of your life, which in turn nurtures peace and tranquillity where once there was stress and anguish.

You get these Tai Chi benefits:

  • Reduce stress,
  • Increased calm confidence,
  • More effectiveness in life.

Summary of Tai Chi Chuan Benefits

  • Greater balance & stability (less chance of falls),
  • Boosted metabolism (i.e. due to better muscle tone),
  • Improved mobility,
  • More power and efficiency in movements,
  • Reduced stress,
  • Improved sleep,
  • Lower blood pressure,
  • Less chance of heart disease,
  • Enhanced immunity with less chance of illness,
  • Improved flexibility and movement range in joints,
  • Improved brain function (i.e. balancing left/right brain function),
  • Improved accuracy,
  • Improved cardio fitness,
  • Enhanced circulation,
  • Greater detoxification,
  • Better oxygenation,
  • Improved concentration,
  • Increased calm confidence,
  • More effectiveness in life.

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