The Difference Between Tai Chi And Qi Gong


The opening moves will be familiar to anyone who has practised yoga, breathing, meditation or mindfulness


Zoe Williams: ‘I know how lớn stvà but learning how to lớn feel could take years.’ Composite: Kellie French; Getty Images
Zoe Williams: ‘I know how to stand but learning how to lớn feel could take years.’ Composite: Kellie French; Getty Images

Tai đưa ra used to be something you’d see people vì in parks, two decades before anyone did any other kind of exercise in parks. The natural world is psychically important lớn the practice. If you see an image of a pose, it’s always someone beneath a glowing sun, on top of a majestic roông xã. But sure, parks have sầu nature, too, & they are better than your living room.

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I always thought tai đưa ra looked ridiculous – the movements are so slight & distinctive sầu & smooth: “Move like the water that flows, without any hesitation,” instructs tai bỏ ra master Chris Pei (on YouTube). You simply couldn’t mistake it for anything else, & khổng lồ a busy, frenetic sort of person, it looks pointless. Then I asked an aunt why she did it và she said it was good for period pain and I thought, truthfully, this is the most ridiculous thing ever.

Why am I so judgmental? It has a wide range of benefits, roughly aligned with those of yoga. It’s good for sleep, flexibility, mood, weight loss & especially for later-life conditions: poor balance that might make you afraid of falls, Parkinson’s, chronic heart conditions, arthritis, COPD. However, while people don’t explicitly say as much, it’s way better lớn start it before you get to lớn those conditions, if you want to lớn reap any benefits.

In an igiảm giá khuyến mãi world, you would start at a class, not because the moves are complicated, just because it helps bring your overall tempo down. This being a world so far from igiảm giá it’s not even funny, I started with Pei’s online tutorial and was tickled by the terminology: parting the wild horse’s mane, separating the way the wild crane spreads its wings.

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The opening moves will be familiar khổng lồ anyone who has practised yoga, breathing, meditation or mindfulness. “Learn how lớn feel. Learn how to lớn stand,” Pei summarises. I thought, well, I already know how lớn stand, but learning how khổng lồ feel could take years.

Cthua trận your eyes. Focus on how you breathe. Concentrate on your toàn thân, one part at a time. Feel the blood rushing into lớn your hands. Concentrate harder. Breathing is just so gigantic, isn’t it? You take three minutes out of your schedule khổng lồ exhale more slowly, and inhale more deeply, & wsi mê, you’re a different person – more present, less buzzing. I think back lớn the time I learned just lớn breathe a couple of years ago and castigate myself for not sticking at it.

So it’s a good few minutes before actual moving starts, one leg lifted, infinitely slowly, at the knee, planted a small distance away, before the arms come up – again, the movements are so distinctive (in what other activity would you be flexing your hands up from the wrists, then baông xã again?). But they don’t process as exercise. It is more about learning how khổng lồ feel, reconnecting with your body toàn thân via the focus it takes to transition smoothly from one movement to lớn another. I was right, this could take years – but hopefully, before I start to fear a fall, I have a few years.

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What I learned

Do it daily, even if for just five minutes, rather than intermittently, to make concentration second nature.