T'ai-Chi Ch'uan (also called T'ai-Chi) is a centuries-old system of Chinese exercise that emphasizes graceful, flowing movements and inner energy, rather than muscular strength. As a result, T'ai-Chi can be practiced by old and young, male and female, strong and weak.
T'ai-Chi is considered a healing exercise because of its reputation for alleviating many ailments, such as hypertension, gastric disturbance, arthritis, heart disease, and anemia. It improves circulation, balance, and helps relax and strengthen the nervous system.
The stretching movements make the body limber, tone up muscles, and help release tension. Practitioners find that it creates a sense of well-being.
As meditation, T'ai-Chi is a way of harmonizing mind and body dynamically. It fosters an inner quiet that nourishes a continuing awareness.
As a martial art, T'ai-Chi is one of the inner schools based on yielding and cultivating inner energies. It avoids the use of external strength.
The philosophy of T'ai-Chi is rooted in Taoism, which advocates natural effort, and in the I Ching, or Book of Changes. The movements and inner teaching are derived from the complimentary relationship between Yin and Yang, two fundamental forces that create and harmonize the Universe by their interaction.
For some more T'ai-Chi history, click here.
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