There are many different wonderful and obscure ways to look after your self these days. Some more obvious than others.
Today I want to talk to you about Tai Chi, at a first glance you would perhaps recognise it as a group of people moving very slowly in harmony, maybe doing something or perhaps not doing anything at all… It depends, mainly on what you can see and what you are looking for, being such an esoteric practice there is often a lot more to it than meets the eye!
The fact is that Tai Chi has been around since as early as the 12th century, well I don’t know about that, I mean a lot of it is folk lore and myth, but I guess there’s no smoke without fire.
What I do know however is how incredibly beneficial this art can be for anyone. Often called ‘moving meditation’ Tai chi uses slow physical movement combined with breathing exercises that leads to increased blood circulation as well as reducing stress.
Having been to a class or two I can tell you it is potentially one of the most challenging yet rewarding exercises I have ever taken. Not only improving your flexibility, posture, state of mind and your physical health your energy goes through the roof. It is an incredibly uplifting experience which is why a lot of people who suffer from depression attend these classes.
As accessible as it is to everyone these days, it is still a very exclusive artform in the sense that only a few percent of people will pick it up and stick at it. It isn’t something where you get to a certain point and you have learnt all that there is to learn – you are now the master of the world! It’s more like a bottomless pool, a continuous challenge that enriches your being with fruits like which you may have never known otherwise. Having worked with people who have practised for years, it is incredible what they can do, the open warmth that radiates from them and the presence they are able to command.
There are many different classes teaching a huge array of forms and styles and most of them are very easy going and very accessible to everyone. Depending on what you actually want from this practise it generally is the case that you only get out as much as you put into it.
There are classes that will just focus on a basic form as well as Chi Kung, however there are other more in depth classes that also offer the martial arts side of things; self defence, wrestling, and evasions to touch the surface as well as more complex and challenging forms.
If you are at all interested in trying a class out in York then please by all means have a look at some of the York classes available here . I have been to some of these classes; they are open to all ages and well worth a go for anyone. You also get a free series of videos to whet your appetite.