If there were a gentle activity you could add to your life that could improve your balance, reduce pain, and even improve your overall quality of life, would you give it a try? Consider this Tai Chi warmup.
Tai Chi is known for its ability to improve balance and stability for those at risk for falls. It has also been studied for its effects on improving pain conditions in the back, neck and knee. Research has shown that practicing Tai Chi can help improve the quality of life for those with heart failure and cancer.
This ancient movement practice combines gentle body forms, breathwork and focused attention. Tai Chi forms are movement patterns that engage different parts of the body and can be adapted to seated or standing versions based on a person’s mobility or needs.
Many describe Tai Chi as a moving meditation. The slow graceful forms bring focused attention to the postures, quieting the mind and providing a sense of peace and relaxation. This can take us away from worries and thoughts of our day. Over time, practicing the forms becomes easier and more familiar, allowing for a deeper meditative practice.
Tai Chi is practiced indoors and outdoors, in group and individual lessons, standing and in a chair. You may notice Tai Chi group classes occurring in public spaces near you, improving health and providing a sense of community where people can gather and participate together.
Tai Chi is gentle and slow, and it places minimal stress on muscles and joints. It is safe and easy to learn for the beginner. Tai Chi is inexpensive, as it does not require equipment to participate. Simply watching and following along is all that is needed.
Follow along with Roger Currier, a recreation therapist and certified applied Tai Chi instructor from the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, FL. He demonstrates a Tai Chi lesson with option for a seated or standing warm-up and session. These videos offer both an introduction and a warm-up Tai Chi practice that you can do anywhere. Make sure you have enough space to move around comfortably while watching the video.
Interested in hearing how Tai Chi has made an impact on Veterans? Watch this video to learn how practicing Tai Chi has improved one Veteran’s life.