T’ai Chi Ch'uan is classed as an internal martial art. Movements are soft and yielding and rely as much on the development of internal energy or chi as they do on physical technique.
Because the movements are practiced in a slow, focused manner this calms the chatter of the mind and focuses attention so that the movements become like a moving meditation. The body remains relaxed yet energised and the joints open, that is to say for instance that the knees stay unlocked and the elbows and wrists bent, through out the entire movement range.
This mode of moving encourages better circulation, lowers blood pressure and increases the lymph flow around the body and has proven health benefits.
T’ai Chi consists of a series of postures, all of which have martial applications if you wish to learn them, which are strung together like a rope of pearls to form one continuous flowing pattern of movements. The movements alternate between collecting or gathering energy and expanding and emitting energy, the constant interplay between yin and yang.
The study of T’ai Chi leads to greater self awareness, better concentration, greater balance and grace and better co-ordination. Increased mind / body connection is also encouraged and a growing recognition of the life force or chi.
Video of Sun and Yang Style T'ai Chi Ch'uan and some morning T'ai Chi broadsword practice
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COMING SOON from MWI Publishing
Tai Chi Chuan - BEYOND FORM by Phil Young
As the title suggests this is not your average book on Tai Chi Form. In this book Phil explores the tricks, half tricks and real magic in Tai Chi practice. He draws on the wisdom of masters of the art, movement experts such as Feldenkrais, Laban, and Alexander, and his own experience as a Tai Chi teacher over the last 30 years, to give a unique perspective that will take your practice to a higher level.