Originating in ancient China,Tai Chi uses slow, graceful movements to promote physical strength, flexibility, balance, and overall well-being. Gently exercising the entire body, the movements of Tai Chi flow smoothly like water in a river, creating a state of relaxed yet focused mental concentration. Regular practice of Tai Chi has been shown to lower blood pressure, enhance memory, and to improve strength, breathing, and cardiovascular fitness. Tai Chi is well known for its ability to prevent falls and improve balance by teaching the smooth transfer of weight from one foot to the other. In addition to these physical benefits, Tai Chi creates a calm, positive mental state and is an effective way to reduce stress.
From the perspective of Chinese medicine, regular practice of Tai Chi is thought to cultivate the flow of qi (pronounced chee) or life force. Qi within the body is the energizing force that maintains health and spirit. Everyone is born with qi, but age and or disease can diminish it. Regular practice of Tai Chi replenishes qi and promotes its circulation through rhythmic movements of the muscles, spine, and joints. Tai Chi is sometimes called “meditation on motion” because of the mind’s focus on creating the smooth, gentle movements. The slow, unhurried pace creates relaxation and calm, lifting the spirit and improving health.
Jo Ann teaches Sun style Tai Chi. The Sun style is youngest of the major styles of Tai
Chi. Sun style uses a slightly higher stance with less bending of the
knees. Its sequences flow smoothly using following steps; when one foot
leads it is always followed by the other foot. Sun style also includes
qigong, a powerful method of creating health by incorporating the
breath with slow, flowing movements of the arms, legs, and spine.