Both Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong are ancient Chinese arts that promote relaxation, stress relief, health, and longevity through cultivation of chi—the life force within and around us. Movements are slow and gentle, combining mindful, deeply calming gestures, precise alignment and coordinated breathing.
Tai Chi progresses across the floor in dance-like steps, while Qigong is practiced mostly standing. Both include arm gestures and torso turns designed to stimulate chi.
But Tai Chi Chuan, which translates as Grand Ultimate Fist, is also a martial art. Called a “soft” martial art, its movements are slow and relaxed as opposed to “hard” martial arts that are practiced with speed and muscular force.
Tai Chi Chuan is a series of pushes, pulls, punches, kicks, blocks and the defensive moves that accompany them, all practiced gently, precisely, and mindfully.
Tai Chi provides thorough, low-impact training for the entire body. Because of the breathing techniques, Tai Chi is also an aerobic workout.
The movements are easily modified, making them suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, from young athletes to older adults to people with chronic illness or disability.
Tai Chi is one of the most popular forms of exercise, practiced by millions of people around the world.