I have had a beautiful journey with Tai Chi as my practice has supported me while healing from various injuries and restoring my body from chronic illness. It has been a key practice for managing stress and deepening my intuition. Allowing me to connect to my healing journey and flow through life with joy and purpose.
My first tai chi classes were in college when I was looking to incorporate meditation as a daily practice but found it very challenging to sit and calm the mind. My mind was overactive and would not calm down to achieve any benefits of sitting meditation. I found the frustration counter-productive.
I explored tai chi, qigong, and yoga. I found tai chi and qigong, in particular, to be exactly what I needed to calm my mind and feel relaxed. I was able to think about my breath and integrate it with my movement. As my arm came across to block, I would imagine myself a beautiful bird spreading her wings looking over the cliff or ocean. I was able to use my mind-body connection and visualizing nature to achieve a state of meditation and peace.
The layers we are taught to think about when we practice tai chi and qigong began reprogramming my mind to be more focused and aware. Taking time to breath more deeply while stretching the body, and encouraging the flow of energy/chi, reprograms our stress response to feel safe, more relaxed, and at peace.
I find Tai chi and qigong to help me manage my stress, anxious thoughts, pain and fatigue from autoimmunity, focus, energy and more. The more I practice, the more I get to know my inner and true self as I bring my breath and awareness in my body. Aligning my body and mind with my heart and spirit.
I am exploring how I can apply what I learn from my practice to every aspect of my daily life such as stress management, enjoying the present moment, enhancing my listening skills and connections with others, being connected to and aware of my environment, having appropriate boundaries and learning how to be assertive without being abrasive, etc.
Tai chi practice can help balance your personality, demeanor and behavior. I personally tend to be more “yang” in nature so I use my practice to help release the excess yang in my life and restore my “yin” so I may continue my journey of being in harmony with my true SELF in relationship to my environment.
We all have different journeys in life. I hope you explore your journey with Tai chi, Qigong, or other mindfulness practices.