By Alexandra McCray
I’ll be honest.
Used to be – when I heard the words “Tai Chi” – I’d have visions of slow-moving people in a serene field. I didn’t exactly think “dynamic workout.” But this ancient Chinese tradition, originally created for self-defense, turned out to be more of a physical and mental workout than I ever expected!
During a recent Team Activity Day with the Best Self team I had the chance to experience this firsthand with a “Chen Taiji Quan“ Tai Chi class taught by professor Florin Szondi.
The first, and arguably most interesting, thing professor Szondi taught us was that the word Chi means energy. And that Tai Chi centers around releasing that energy to flow through you and to utilize it to its fullest potential. Just like those of us who scoff at the thought of yoga being a workout because of its slow pace, I soon realized the most strenuous part of Tai Chi isn’t the physically exertion. It’s the making of slow, controlled and thoughtful movements…all while allowing oneself to relax physically and mentally while floating from move to move.
In a world where we are constantly going, going, going, it’s refreshing to do a workout that doesn’t involve mindless repetitive motions. Instead, Tai Chi unites the mind, body and spirit into a workout that is refreshingly different.
Maybe those “serene people in the field” are onto something. Maybe the next time you’re looking for a mind-clearing workout you should consider something with a slower pace, instead of hitting the same old trails or weight room.
I know I sure will.