I saw my first Kung Fu movie at a run-down movie theater in my mother’s neighborhood in Trinidad a long, long, long time ago. I was about 7 years old. I remember sitting in the pit, which required a lot of neck strength because you had to look up to see the screen. (there were house and balcony, which were much more comfortable and more expensive).
But I didn’t care one bit about being in pit, I was totally in awe of the fluid movements, which somehow didn’t look like fighting. It looked more like a slow dance. Immediately, my alter ego wanted to move like that. There was this sense of peace that washed over me when the fighters took their stance to begin fighting.
But I didn’t care one bit about being in the pit, I was totally in awe of the fluid movements, which somehow didn’t look like fighting. It looked more like a slow dance. Immediately, my alter ego wanted to move like that. There was this sense of peace that washed over me when the fighters took their stance to begin fighting.
It was no wonder that years later – after faking many Tai Chi moves – I seriously discovered the healing benefits of this ancient Chinese form of movement. The best thing was, It fit like a glove for my demeanor. I’ve tried many forms of exercise. I love Zumba. I’m ok with Yoga. I’ve attempted pilates. However, this is it for me; Tai Chi Qigong!
We’re all different, and what works for the goose may not work for the gander. It’s important to find the form of movement that fits you best. I’m not saying I’ll quit doing other forms of exercise. What I am saying is that Tai Chi is my primary and preferred form of exercise, you know, like a BFF, we’ve bonded for life.
So what is Tai Chi? Some of you may remember Jet Li in the Tai Chi Master, a Chinese blockbuster from many years ago. Perhaps you’ve seen elderly folks in the park moving their limbs very slowly and fluidly. Either way, you get the picture.
Tai Chi is a series of slow continuous movements. One movement flows right into the other, and each movement is repeated several times. It is an extremely simple set of movements that are very easy for anyone to learn regardless of age. The stretching movements make the loosens the limbs.
So what’s so great about this form of movement? And why am I gushing over it and singing it’s praise the way I am. Well, here are some of the heck yeah, benefits of Tai-Chi:
- It tones muscles
- It improves balance and coordination
- It will trim your waist
- Helps you to relax
- It improves posture and alignment
- It reduces fatigue
- It improves flexibility
- It releases tension and releases stress
- It improves breathing and ultimately enhances the parasympathetic nervous system
What works for you? Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, Zumba, Aerobics (do they still do this?), running? Share with us down below.
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com