tai chi - mindfulness in motion
What I love about Tai Chi is that it is a brilliant synthesis of the spiritual and the physical. It is a fantastic meditation practice and well as being an exceptionally refined health and fitness system.
It is true that meditation alone has been shown to confer many very good benefits for physical health as well. This is probably because of the effect of the relaxation response that meditation can induce, reducing stress hormones and calming the mind. However, my feeling is that while meditation is certainly beneficial for physical health as well as psychological health, Tai Chi goes much further in this area.
a synthesis of health, meditation and fitness
This is because Tai Chi is a moving meditation, that cultivates deeper and ever subtler awareness of the body as well as the mind. This allows the body to relax at a deeper a deeper level, and there is also subtle internal stretching, as well as improved biomechanical functioning and alignment. and balancing of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. All of this enables the body to function is a more efficient and harmonious way, which has great long term health benefits.
Having a practice that combines meditation with fitness and health in this way is great for me because it means I don't have to find time to do separate meditation and fitness practices. By practicing Tai Chi I am able to get all the wonderful benefits of meditation, and I stay fit, strong, healthy and flexible.
Boundless Sky run regular Tai Chi classes in south London, especially in the Greenwich area which is also close to Lewisham and Canary Wharf. It is authentic Chen style Tai Chi which is the original form of Tai Chi.