Tai Chi (pronounced "tie jee") is considered both a martial art and a health art in that its practice helps you attain a greater sense of resiliency and self-empowerment, both physically and emotionally. Literally translated as the "Supreme Ultimate," Tai Chi recognizes the supreme potential (Tai) we're all born with — to be able to overcome the ultimate challenges (Chi) we face in life.
Often performed very slowly and gracefully — like the flowing water of a river meandering through a forest — the methodical movements of each Tai Chi form heighten your awareness of how you feel both physically and emotionally as you execute a variety of precision martial arts techniques such as punching, blocking and kicking.
Tai Chi's intense precision also provides an aerobic workout equivalent to a brisk walk — strengthening the body as it focuses the mind.
Studies show that Tai Chi can improve leg strength, flexibility and range of motion and reduce falls in seniors by up to 45 percent. In addition to these evidence-based benefits, the practice of Tai Chi provides such health advantages as:
Tai Chi can also help improve the balance of people with neurological problems such as Parkinson's disease. All of which makes the practice of this ancient Chinese art a part of Aurora's holistic approach to integrative medicine.
Originally created as a fighting art, Tai Chi and the principles behind its practice also support you in achieving your personal goals no matter how emotionally and physically challenging.
The four simple yet profoundly powerful principles of Tai Chi are:
The good news is you don’t have to learn an entire Tai Chi form to learn the basic principles of practice. But learning a Tai Chi form is recommended as it allows you to experience such benefits as strengthening the body, improving joint stability, improving balance and enhancing mindfulness.
Aurora offers instruction in the practice of Tai Chi exercises through a course called “Tai Chi Fundamentals.” The course trains participants in the fundamental movements of Tai Chi and Qigong and is open to the public.
Cost for the eight-week class is $60.00.
To enroll in this course or another Tai Chi class, visit the Aurora Health Care Classes & Events page and search for "Tai Chi."