The Magic of Tai Chi
By April Brazier
Working on weight-loss but not really up for a strenuous
and ferocious workout? Tai Chi might be your answer. In
Asia, particularly in Taiwan, early morning parks are
packed with people working on their Tai Chi. There, it
is commonly believed and strongly recommended by Chinese
doctors that Tai Chi is among the least stressful ways to
strengthen your muscles and increase your metabolism. It
can healthfully decrease and control one's
weight without putting a burden on the knees, back and
shoulders. In fact, a lot of people in Asia are
resorting to Tai Chi as their ultimate daily physical
therapy for maintaining good health.
The good health magic involves no high jumps or
speedy rushing movement, instead it cultivates a steady
strength that flows through its peaceful and slow
movements of the body. Here are some famously known Tai
Chi postures that you may have seen and their
Standing Meditation the Posture of
Getting Ready (Yu Bei)
The First Posture of the Form
The first posture of the form is also
the posture used for standing meditation. Quotes from
Master Yang Chengfu (right).
The spirit of vitality should
be naturally elevated. The mind should be calm,
without a trace of distracting thoughts.
This posture is the foundation for
all of the movements that follow!
What the master is saying is that when practicing the movements
first takes place in the mind and then the movement of
the body follows.
Single Whip is one of the most well
known postures of the Tai Chi form. It is easy to learn,
relaxing to hold and exciting to watch.
one arm advances the other follows. The two arms are
mutually linked, the movements are round and lively."
The name 'Single Whip' comes from a
weapon that was popular in previous dynasties. The whip
is a weapon used like a sword, but with no sharp edges.
Its rough shaft helps to damage the opponent's sword.
Usually made from a metal such as steel
or bronze, it is very heavy and requires great strength.
The techniques of this weapon use weight as an
This is a picture from the form Tiger
Tail Whip, part of our curriculum.
Play the Pipa
||"When performing the movements
of Play the Pipa, one must have an inward
momentum of sinking down, but one's spirit must
still possess the idea of nimble dexterity and
Tai Chi is the least stressful way to strengthen your
muscles and increase your metabolism. There is no
gasping for breath or running around. But the continued
movement from one low posture to the next activates the
body's metabolism and produces internal heat. If you
have not tried Tai Chi yet, be sure to practice it the
next time you encounter a Tai Chi teacher
Quotes taken from the excellent book Mastering
Yang Style Taijiquan-Translated by Louis Swaim