Sifu Marc Webster demonstrates Tai Chi Chuan Chenresie, Flame of Peace and Compassion performed by Oliver Shanti and Friends
What mental attitude should we use when warming up?
The Chinese say "Use your mind to lead your Qi." Everyday our body directs Qi to various areas to take care of automatic functions and also to deal with stresses. But with the added focus of your mind to lead the Qi and blood, more of each can be led to specific areas for the purpose of preventing injuries and maintaining health.
Tai Chi Forms
Forms are used to train patience, endurance, strength, and energy. There are several ways to practice your forms for different emphasis and outcomes -
Slow : allows focus on weight distribution / breathing, allows the student to fill their body with Qi and to direct it to the arms and legs.
Fast : allows focus on maintaining the accuracy of the movements at speed / focuses on balance.
Sense of enemy / sun : allows the student to raise the Qi and Spirit.
Eyes closed : emphasis is on balance.
Hitting power : allows the student to learn the correct sequence of body mechanics and relaxation to emit maximum power.
Tai Chi Weaponry
The following quote is from Tai Chi Sabre, Sword and Spear by Cheng Tin Hung.
"The Tai Chi Chuan expert practices the hand form in order to cultivate the mind; he practices the sword to nourish the qi; he practices the sabre to strengthen his resolve; he practices the spear to increase wisdom; he practices internal strength to develop jing (focused power). The hand form is the foundation for the effective usage of weapons. If the hand form is skillful then nothing will go wrong."
We use weapons in Tai Chi to learn to concentrate and focus our spirit more and to learn how to extend our Qi and Ging beyond our hands. Tai Chi weapons include the fan, walking stick, flute, ruler, sabre, and sword (short) and the spear and staff (long). There are solo form sequences and two man sticking/matching and sparring forms.
The Health Benefits of Tai Chi Chuan
The health benefits of Tai Chi are many and varied. Below is listed several of them.
Highly effective in maintaining the cardiovascular system, normalizing blood pressure, and improving circulation.
Tai Chi benefits to pumps of the body - heart, lungs, and muscles.
Tai Chi improves immunity.
The correct posture utilized in Tai Chi aids the digestive system and the joints of the body. It can alleviate back pain and headaches.
Joint mobility is enhanced, thus improving blood flow through them.
Tai Chi benefits the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
The reproductive systems are exercised during Tai Chi.
Tai Chi exercises the body, mind, and spirit. It can help you balance your thoughts and emotions, to be calm, and to find stability.
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