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Why Tai Chi Classes are growing in popularity

30th April 2015

Why Tai Chi Classes are growing in popularity
Tai Chi, which has grown in popularity throughout the world is a martial art and fitness regime using the Taoist principles of Yin and Yang to develop a healthy body and tranquil mind.

Originating in China in the 13th Century as a Martial Art, Tai Chi has evolved over centuries into emphasising the physical, mental and health benefits of practising the forms.

This sport is practised by millions off people world wide as part of their fitness regime. In the UK, more people are taking up Tai Chi, especially older people who are looking for a low impact and gentler form of Martial Arts.

What's Different about Tai Chi?

Tai chi, combines deep breathing with slow, deliberate, repetitive movements based on co-ordination and relaxation rather than muscular tension. Tai chi is characterised by slow, graceful, continuous movements that build strength. This distinguishes itself from other Martial Arts.

Tai chi, is a low-impact form of exercise, which means less pressure on bones and joints it is believed by focusing the mind solely on the movement, a state of mental calm and clarity can be achieved.

Basic Principles of Tai Chi

A basic principle in Tai Chi movement concerns the concept of roundness of movement. Basic exercises create a clear sense of roundness, emphasising the presence of a central axis and dimensional layers related to pairs of forces: up-down, front-back, right-left.

BENEFITS OF ATTENDING TAI CHI CLASSES

It is a form of inner martial art and wellness. It's principles and methods make it readily accessible to people of all ages and ability. Here are just a few benefits of attending a Tai Chi class.

Improve Blood Flow to the Heart and Muscles

Doctors acknowledge that Tai Chi improves arterial flexibility, the expansion and contraction of the arteries, which is crucial for good heart health. Martial Arts strength training alone reduces arterial flexibility.

In other words if you suffer from poor circulation, a regular Tai Chi class will help improve arterial flexibility and over time it should improve the rate of oxygen supply to the heart and muscles.

Helps Reduce Stress

The grounding nature of the moves and emphasis on bringing awareness to the lower body can help people who are"stuck in their heads" after a day in the office.

Deep relaxation exercises and mental calm allow the world to be seen from a clearer and more balanced perspective.

Reduced Blood Pressure

Researchers have found that people who regularly attend Tai Chi classes were less likely to suffer from high blood pressure and were physically stronger compared to people who did no exercise. Tai Chi is recommended by the British Heart Foundation to people suffering from heart failure.

Improves Breathing

Tai Chi classes involve exercise to improve breathing. Breathing increases lung capacity and calms the mind, which may explain why we have found it to be of benefit to people who previously experienced respiratory difficulties such as asthma.

Helps improve Mobility and Balance

According to Professor Roberto Benetti"Increasingly we see evidence of scientific studies, which shows that regular Tai Chi training improves postural stability, walking ability, and less falls in patients with moderate Parkinson's disease". Weight-bearing exercises in Tai Chi classes help to keep bones strong and healthy and is recommended by the Osteoporosis Society and by many physiotherapists.

Tai Chi Chuan is a very powerful instrument for everybody and particularly for those who suffer from neurological disorders, which result in movement problems according to the professor.

Boosts Memory and Brain Activity

Tai Chi uses sophisticated methodical choreography which encourages the mind and body to work together. This not only develops co-ordination and balance but also boosts the brain and memory as efficiently as mental exercises and strenuous aerobic workouts.

Where can I find A Tai Chi Class?

Over 800 Tai Chi instructors in the UK. Finding a Tai Chi class has never been easier. Use the search to find a Tai Chi class near you. Use the class finder and choose Tai Chi add your postcode.

Shop around until you find a good teacher. Tai chi must be tailored to meet your individual needs, and teachers should be able to help you spot your own weak points and imbalances.

It's worth bearing in mind, therefore, that different schools will emphasise different approaches, so check out the type of class before you attend or sign up.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you suffer from a medical condition consult your medical practitioner before attending a class
Source: NearYou websites