Are there any hobbies or activities you’ve always wanted to try? The ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi is high on our list. As Dr Michael Moseley explains in his BBC Radio podcast Just one thing, it’s a form of exercise involving a series of movements which gently flow from one to the next. It’s not difficult to learn and is practised by millions of people all over the world.
‘Meditation in motion’
Avril Williams, a Tai Chi teacher from south Wales, says that the exercises are designed to improve your health and wellbeing: the gentle stretching and rocking movements involved massage the internal organs and improve circulation and digestion. The upper body exercises and breathing techniques used are good for the lungs and the overall effect is to reduce stress and physical tension. Working through the sets of poses can be very relaxing and Tai Chi is sometimes called ‘meditation in motion’. Part of the appeal is that the names of the poses are very evocative – the Qigong Shibashi variation includes moves called ‘Wind blowing at the willows’, ‘Mischievous boy kicking his legs’, ‘Twin dragons emerging from the sea’ and ‘Carrying the Moon’.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Tai Chi, Avril recommends taking a look at the Youtube video here. As well as a large selection of videos and courses you can explore online, it’s also possible to find Tai Chi group classes where an instructor will lead you through the exercises, often accompanied by soothing music.
Are you tempted to try Tai Chi or is there another hobby you’d like to start? Do let us know in the comments below.
Until next time,
Claire and Sam
P.S. If you’d like some more ideas for keeping fit, we have an introduction to Pilates here.
Images from Pixabay, with thanks to Peter H and Kaneori.