Sifu's Training Insights

Reduce Stress with Tai Chi
Tai Chi Class

You are always subject to stress. Stress is your reaction to demands made on you because of change and life is always changing. However, you can learn to manage and control stress.

Tai Chi may be thought of as an approach, philosophy, health or therapeutic system or lifestyle that you can effectively and easily use to help you cope with stress. You may use the exercise of Tai Chi as an example or tool to learn to manage stress. To do this you need to understand some of the basic concepts of Tai Chi.

The fundamentals of Tai Chi lie in your ability to become deeply relaxed. This is an active relaxation, not an absence of strength or mobility. Correct Tai Chi demonstrates a high degree of relaxation, deep breathing, smooth controlled and graceful movements, increased awareness of self and your environment and a calm and peaceful demeanor.

These qualities will be become a natural part of all your daily activities as you incorporate Tai Chi principles into your understanding and perception.

You may achieve this harmonious physiological and psychological state by the daily practice of Tai Chi exercises, under a qualified instructor, and by the practice of simple relaxation and visualization techniques. The following is a visualization exercise that will help you on the road to a calm and peaceful life.

  • Sit comfortably, shoulders, arms and hands relaxed. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Imagine that with each exhalation you release excess tension from your body and mind. Continue with this visualization for a few minutes.
  • Now, recall a time when you felt completely relaxed and at ease.
  • Remember as much detail about that experience as you can. Re-experience that wonderful feeling of relaxation and calmness. Realize that you have the ability to enjoy this deep level of relaxation whenever you choose to do so.
  • Enjoy this feeling for a while. Then, slowly open your eyes, staying relaxed and centered.

    You will achieve a profound level of calmness by the regular practice of this exercise. Over time, as you continue with this visualization or by performing Tai Chi movements, you will find yourself maintaining a calm, controlled and aware state of being that others will notice instantly. Your life will proceed efficiently, smoothly and with less strife as you more easily handle stress.

    Please Note:
    This article is not meant to imply that anyone should substitute Tai Chi exercises for any traditional course of physical therapy. Discuss Tai Chi as an alternative with your doctor or physical therapist before beginning a Tai Chi program.