Introduction to Tai-Chi

Whilst everyone joins the “new year, new me" hype, I’m over here living my best life with my own twists to common New Year’s resolutions.

The gym is always a big one - January is a classic month for a spike in gym memberships, only for these to lay forgotten at the bottom of your priority list come February. My own desire to hit the gym doesn’t usually kick in until April each year and I like to take it nice and easy before then.

This year, I’ve decided to hit the ground running (so to speak) with a bit of an unusual development. And frankly, unless you’re an action movie buff like me, you may never have heard of it.

Welcome to the world of Tai-chi.

Tai-chi is a type of martial art, but unlike what you may be picturing in your head, it is generally considered a “soft” martial art which is focused on the internal self and well-being, as opposed to hammering Bruce Lee’s best moves and breaking as many boards as possible.

Getting started is very simple, You just need yourself, a flat space to practice in a quiet environment, and ideally, one hour of time. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that you feel relaxed in and which will move easily as you practice your movements. That’s it.

The physical side of tai-chi is deceptively simple. All you need is everything I mentioned above and you’re good to go. But to really feel the full benefit of tai-chi, you need to take some time to focus on your internal self.

Your attunement to nature, or rather, gaining a stronger attunement to not only the nature around you, but also within you, is at the heart of tai-chi. The spiritual tradition of Taoism which is where tai-chi finds its roots.

Some medical studies suggest tai chi can help to improve a host of medical conditions including, but not limited to: muscular pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, cardiovascular problems, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Diabetes and ADHD. If you’re experiencing any aches and pains, it could well be worth giving tai-chi a try.

Personally, I decided to start tai-chi as a solo practice at home, using online guides to help me along the way. You could also have a look around for classes in your local area if you would prefer someone to teach you, but if not, there’s a helpful beginner’s tutorial here.