Why is Tai Chi usually practiced slowly?

In Tai Chi on

It is a common misconception that Tai Chi is only meant for the elderly because most of its movements are performed slowly and gracefully. In actual fact, it takes a lot more effort to perform a particular movement slowly. Try doing a push-up slowly. Is it more strenuous than doing it quickly?

Performing a series of movements at a fast pace may cause us to miss out the finer details. If we slow down, we become aware of our strengths and weaknesses. We tend to be conscious of our breathing, the internal flow of energy (Qi 气) and the mind-body coordination.

We go about our daily life on ‘automatic mode’ sometimes – not totally conscious of our actions. Tai Chi is often called “Moving Meditation” because it forces the practitioner to be truly aware of all aspects of the body during practice. If the person daydreams, he will not be able to remember the routine correctly so focus is crucial throughout the period of practice. The Tai Chi practitioner then brings this heightened awareness into daily life,  resulting in mental alertness and a relaxed state of being.

Moving slowly gives us the opportunity to focus on relaxation during every movement. When the physical body is relaxed, the circulation of oxygen and blood is more efficient allowing all parts of the body to be nourished. Every part of our body is involved when we practice Tai Chi. The entire body works together as a complete, integrated entity.

Slow, repetitive movements of Tai Chi regulates our nervous system. It  keeps our stress levels at absolute minimum. Continuous Tai Chi practice allows us to harmonise our actions and breathing with the regular rhythm of our body. Instead of demanding our body to move at a high speed, we honour ourselves by releasing this unnecessary burden on our system.

As Tai Chi is a martial art, the practitioner develops inner strength progressively over a period of intense training. This inner strength is more powerful in combat than the harsh brute force we see in other ‘hard’ martial arts. Fast reflexes, greater accuracy, the ability to predict the opponent’s next course of action and also better balance are among the benefits documented.

The rewards of slow Tai Chi practice is endless. Give your body a treat and start your Tai Chi practice today!

We offer Tai Chi and Wushu classes in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Contact us at 012-2211430 or email us at huayingwushu@gmail.com for more details


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