About Tai Chi & Qi Gong
Tai Chi (correctly spelt Taiji, or fully as Taijiquan) is perhaps the most effective way to develop balanced health for the body and the mind. It develops:
- Improved overall health
- Calmness and focus of mind
- Increased energy
- Suppleness, strength, co-ordination, balance, and agility
- Relaxation and freedom from stress
- Strengthening of the internal functions of the body, such as the immune system, metabolic functions, and cardiovascular system
- Understanding of the body's processes and self-healing
- Harmony with the natural laws of human life
Throughout history, Tai Chi has been used by Chinese scholars, monks, sages, artists, intellectuals, emperors and their imperial guards, princes and commoners, because of its extraordinary versatility and proven effectiveness. Whilst drawing from all the strands of Chinese spiritual and philosophical thought, Tai Chi is not tied to any religion or dogma, but is available to any interested student.
Students develop increasing physical and mental skills, as awareness and understanding of all aspects of their self increases. You can learn and practise Tai Chi at your individual pace, and, as there are ever-new levels, throughout the rest of your life. These disciplines rely on a mindful re-discovery of the body to enrich and inspire one's experience of any aspect of life.
Tai Chi consists of 'Four Pillars' or types of practice, as well as a variety of physical exercises and meditative practices. The Four Pillars are Qigong, Form, Pushing Hands and Application.
Each Pillar develops the ability to coordinate the body, internal energy, and sensitivity to oneself, the space around, and other people, to a higher degree.
Qi Gong (often spelt Chi Kung) is a powerful type of health exercise, which has been practised for centuries by millions of Chinese people. It is based on repetitions of very precise sets of movements, specifically designed to benefit health on many different levels.
Qi Gong is easy to learn and enjoyable to do. Even a few minutes of practise can have an invigorating and rejuvenating effect. Regular practice brings about a deep strengthening effect for the whole body and its various systems (nervous, digestive, respiratory, skeleton-muscular, hormonal, gynaecological, etc). Its ability to help in healing a large variety of chronic and acute injuries and illnesses has been the subject of various research programmes led by the Chinese medical authorities.
Some Qi Gong movements are very gentle, others more vigorous. Some movements are very large and expansive, others are more subtle, almost imperceptible. All are different and have a very specific effect on body and mind. The deeper one practises, the more one can understand the purpose of each movement, allowing the Qi Gong practice to become ever more enjoyable.