The physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of tai chi

Carol Emerson

Tai chi is a deep and multifaceted practice that can benefit practitioners in many ways. It has been practiced all over China for hundreds (some say thousands) of years for health, well-being, and self-defense.

Here are just a few key aspects of a consistent tai chi practice. First, and most obviously, there is the physical component. You will gain a better balance and lower body strength, as well as increased flexibility in the ankles, hips, and shoulders. Tai chi can be beneficial for many medical issues, such as blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, and some heart conditions.

Secondly, there can be significant mental benefits as well, including reduced stress and anxiety, an increased ability to relax, and a greater sense of ease and well-being.

Finally, the spiritual part of tai chi often generates a feeling a greater connection to life itself, an increased awareness of one’s inner world, and a willingness to let go, trust, and go with the flow.

It may take you only a few weeks before you begin to experience these benefits, and once you become familiar with the movements and the sequence of the form, it is easy to relax and sink into the exercise. Tai chi practice gives the gift of stepping out of your everyday life with its stresses and busyness and entering into a world of softness and peace.

There are tai chi classes each week in SaddleBrooke, with the beginning class on Tuesdays from 9:05 to 10:05 a.m. at SaddleBrooke One Fitness Center, and the intermediate and advanced classes at SaddleBrooke TWO on Wednesdays at 1 to 2 p.m. and 2 to 3 p.m., respectively. All classes are $10 per session, and no experience is necessary.

For more information, contact Ken Emerson at 520-784-1475 or Carol Emerson at 520-373-3778.