As I came out into the sunny garden this morning I contemplated the fact that I have been practicing Tai Chi for over twenty years now. It has become a part of my life and has guided me through some turbulent times.
It has always been an amazing support and continues to accompany me on my journey of inner exploration.
The magic of Tai Chi is not just to be found in the actual practice of it. This is just a part of the whole picture.
Tai Chi provides a complete way of life that extends way beyond the practice room or the sunny garden! We call this the ‘Tao’ or ‘Way’.
The principals of moving the body effortlessly yet powerfully, whole-body breathing, exercising the mind and engaging with our own energy body have complete relevance to our everyday living.
I find it enormously fascinating finding new ways to apply these ancient Taoist principles to a modern setting.
The discipline of practising regularly is in itself a wonderful way of instilling the notion of self discipline into other areas of our lives.
The benefits can be far reaching.
T Harv Eker says this: “How we do anything, is how we do everything!”
If we approach life with this powerful attitude you have the power to change everything!
The regular daily practice session is a moment where we can ’see‘ ourselves, explore our inner being and allow an inner transformation to evolve, the effects of which will ripple out and touch all areas of our lives.
It will encourage an inner shift of gear to allow us to reach even greater understanding of ourselves leading us to discover our ‘inner gold’.
Here are a few ways that Tai Chi can have a positive impact on your day:
1. Become Centered
The body becomes better aligned when we connect with the earth and become centered both physically and mentally. This is a great place to start the day. It is like the rudder of the boat, keeping you stable as you flow through the events of your day no matter what comes up.
Being centered means that we will be in a better position to notice the events that lead us into getting caught up in our emotional reactivity.
When we are wrapped up in our reactivity we are not in full control. In fact we are living out a story from our past, from our past experiences, hurts or conditioning.
Realising that we can be both physically and emotionally de-centered & being fully conscious of when that happens is a powerful shift in understanding our core being.
2. Awareness of the body
We are encouraged to take note of how we are feeling from moment to moment. This way we are aware of tension as it arises and can then release it instead of getting caught up in an endless cycle of stress.
The body is constantly talking to us! The trouble is most of us are not good listeners. We tend to run through our day with little connection with our body. We literally live in our head.
If we practise ‘not listening’ to the body over a long period of time we can become quite ‘numb’ to what is going on in our own body. It is only when something suddenly hurts like a migraine or joint pain that we are aware of it. But by then it’s too late. The pain has arrived.
The unfortunate thing is that we tend to get very good at ignoring the build up and tell tale signs that something is going wrong.
Learning to listen to the body signals gives us a chance to act before the situation gets out of hand.
Prevention is without question the better option!
The good news is that we can learn quite quickly how to listen to the body and respond immediately to what it is saying.
Very often the emotions are at the root of our physical symptoms and getting a better understanding of the connection between the emotions and the body will initiate a powerful and deep healing process of the mind, body and soul.
3. Find our flow
The gentle flowing movements of the Tai Chi form teach us how to move effortlessly from one position to another with the least amount of resistance. This can only come from releasing tension and resistance from the mind.
I have found this to be an amazing base from which we can ease through our daily lives just as effortlessly!
By finding out where and why we are resisting in our lives or holding back and having the courage to let go and move forwards, even though it might stretch you out of your comfort zone, will lead you closer and closer towards living an authentic life. A life in which you fulfill your soul purpose.
This is the adventure we can have if we choose it!
4. Find an inner resilience
The actual practice of Tai Chi can be both physically and mentally demanding. Learning how to let go of the resistance and tension blocking your path, clears the way for you to find a more effortless way of being that has huge meaning in today’s fast paced and stress filled world.
It requires mental and physical discipline to perform the movements of the Tai Chi or Qi Gong form. Being able to carry on even under challenging circumstances, not listening to the many self limiting messages that can appear when the body and mind are challenged will gradually forge and shape the mind and increase your capacity and inner resilience to new horizons. You will discover a new found confidence and inner knowledge that will support you in overcoming or dissolving any obstacle that comes your way.
The seemingly gentle and slow movements of Tai Chi have deep and far reaching effects on every level.
When we combine these movements with more effective ways of breathing, exercising the mind in specific ways and learning how we can strengthen our energy levels, then this ancient exercise truly comes alive and raises our general state of health and well-being to new heights.
By getting to know ourselves and finding the real you behind all the ‘masks’ that we create to show the world, can mean that we relate to ourselves and to others in a much more honest, authentic and loving way.
True healing relationships spring from here!
What has made the biggest impact on your health and happiness? Share your ideas in the comments below.