Tai Chi is a gentle art. Irrespective of your physical condition or age, you can enjoy the benefits of Tai Chi.
If you want to minimise stress or anxiety and improve balance, you should consider this form of meditation.
While Tai Chi was originally a form of self-defence, it has evolved into a graceful exercise for relaxation and treating various health conditions.
Tai chi combines breathing exercises with slow and deliberate movements of martial arts.
The goal is to calm your mind and body using slow, repetitive choreography and breathing.
That is why each pose gently flows into the next to maintain constant motion.
These poses improve blood circulation, alignment and balance while building your strength.
Whether you are starting or at an advanced level, here are the Tai Chi techniques you will likely encounter.
Tai Chi Meditation Techniques
1. Chen Style
Chen is the oldest Tai Chai technique developed by the Chen family. The technique features silk reeling, a flowing movement that begins from your feet to your hands.
Apart from the slow movements, Chen style involves kicking, jumping and striking.
You need to alternate the graceful movements with forceful kicks to build strength and agility.
Chen tai chi also rebuilds body systems, thereby improving balance.
Apart from providing a good cardio workout, it is a great meditation technique for people with knee and back problems.
Yang is a widely practised Tai Chai style worldwide due to its less athletic adaptation, but it effectively improves flexibility.
With the technique, you can expand and contract your body using sweeping movements executed gracefully.
Since it does not require quick movements and powerful stances, it is suitable for all fitness levels.
Wu Ch’uan-yu, the developer of Wu, trained under Yang before coming up with this meditation technique.
It takes a unique approach from other tai chi techniques due to the difference in positioning.
Unlike Yang and Chen, which require standing in a centred position, Wu requires leaning forward or backwards to extend the body.
When practising the technique, you will use your back leg as the counterbalance to allow you to extend your body.
Wu styles also require a medium stance with small but compact movements to improve balance.
If you love dancing, then you will enjoy Sun style.
The soft and silk-reeling hand movements paired with footwork resemble a choreographed dance.
Sun Tai Chi focuses on internal martial arts, which promotes the use of your mind to move your body.
Most of the forms you will try out include the stepping method of Bagua and leg and waist methods performed in smooth, fluid movements and swift footsteps.
While it is the least popular style, it effectively controls internal movements and focuses on qi (internal force). With the increased internal movements, it can trigger subtle outer movements.
While Hao style improves focus, I would not recommend it if you are a beginner.
Which Tai Chi Meditation Technique Will You Use?
Tai Chi is an excellent meditation technique that helps you relax. However, Tai Chi also improves your fitness level, posture and balance.
Whether you decide to practise Yang, Chen, Hao and Sun, you will reap tremendous health benefits.
Evaluate your physical abilities and goals to determine the best style for you. For instance, if you have an injury, Chen will boost your recovery.
If you wish to explore Tai Chi, identify the best forms to practise.