MOV­ING MED­I­TA­TION

“IT IS THE WIS­DOM OF YOUR OWN SENSES, YOUR OWN MIND AND YOUR OWN BODY TO­GETHER AS ONE PROCESS” – CHUNGLIANG AL HUNG

Scout Magazine - - Wellbeing... -

It’s likely that you’ve never given tai chi a go, but once you ex­pe­ri­ence the mind calm­ing and body strength­en­ing ben­e­fits of this Chi­nese mar­tial art, we can guar­an­tee you’ll be hooked.

A favourite for peo­ple young and old, tai chi is a weight-bear­ing ex­er­cise (that is, one done while on your feet, so you bear your own weight) and a form of Chi­nese mar­tial art. Much like acupunc­ture and herbs, it is an im­por­tant part of Chi­nese medicine – it is a holis­tic ex­pe­ri­ence, in­creas­ing blood and en­ergy flow through the gen­tle con­trac­tion and re­lax­ation of the mus­cles, and pro­mot­ing a state of med­i­ta­tion through deep breath­ing and con­cen­tra­tion.

“Tai chi is so much more than phys­i­cal ex­er­cise,” ex­plains tai chi in­struc­tor Denise Bloom. “It’s re­lax­ing and en­joy­able, and one should feel calm, reen­er­gised and in com­plete bal­ance by the end of the hour.”

With an em­pha­sis on bal­ance, tai chi works both sides of the body equally and, un­like other forms of ex­er­cise, is done very gen­tly. Denise teaches two kinds of tai chi classes – one is more ca­sual and eas­ier to fol­low, while the other focuses on form and re­quires greater ded­i­ca­tion. Both classes be­gin with deep breath­ing, med­i­ta­tion and move­ments that mo­bilise the joints and move en­ergy through the whole body.

“Peo­ple re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the op­por­tu­nity to move in this quiet, re­laxed way, and the tech­niques we work on – like deep breath­ing, for ex­am­ple – can be taken away and used to calm one­self any­where, any time,” says Denise. “When we un­der­stand that we’re much more than our phys­i­cal be­ing – we are mind, body, spirit and en­ergy – when some­thing isn’t flow­ing prop­erly, we cer­tainly be­come aware of it as our bod­ies let us know. Tai chi aims to keep things flow­ing… like a river.”

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