Unbalanced. Disjointed. Out of sync. These are common words we use to describe our stress-filled lives. And here are two that can help bring about calmness and unity: Tai chi. Watch and learn.
“Tai Chi is a martial art focused on the study, development and integration of movement,” explains martial arts instructor Travis Joern. “As a complete system of study it involves meditation, martial techniques and weapons training, but the key element is form. The tai chi form is a series of movements performed slowly, smoothly and with great relaxation.”
It seems that simply watching someone perform tai chi can bring on a calming effect. Just like any focused movement, actually doing tai chi can help you manage stress by helping to calm your mind and your body.
“The most important things in the practice of tai chi, are patience and awareness,” says Travis. “By aligning your breathing, posture and balance within each movement, you start to notice an effortless power that comes from being relaxed and having proper body alignment. Ultimately, it’s this relaxation that allows your entire body to move as a single unit, and this can help you learn to integrate your mind and body.”
Try tai chi with Travis Joern
It can take years to learn proper technique for tai chi, but you can start to feel its relaxing effects in the learning stages. To help you start learning, follow Travis Joern’s demonstration and instructions, which will walk you through four postures that flow together:
•Basic standing posture (or relaxed horse stance) — begin with this simple posture technique, the basis of any tai chi form.
•Grasp bird’s tail
•Front single whip
•Wave hands like clouds
NOTE: This video is segmented into four “chapters” so that you can concentrate on one posture at a time or run through all four to see how they flow from one to another. Use the section titles at the bottom to navigate through the four chapters.