Friday, July 15, 2011

My Five Benefits of Tai Chi

Oftentimes we hear about how Tai Chi is good for this or good for that. But those anonymous benefits tend to fade into the blah blah blah of the constant streams of information we get these days. Today I'm going to share with you what practicing Tai Chi has done for me.

1. I became more graceful.

When I started Tai Chi I was a very clumsy kid who could barely walk and chew gum at the same time. I bumped into things and fell a lot. However, after I started learning Tai Chi I slowly got more and more graceful and became more comfortable in my own body.

2. I am better able to cope with adversity.

About a decade or so into my Tai Chi practice I lost my mom to cancer. It was a very rough time for me as my mom had raised my younger brother and I as pretty much a single parent. We muddled through and one of the only things I can remember about that time is doggedly practicing the 37 movement Yang Style Form everyday twice per day.
More recently about ten months ago I lost my son in an automobile accident. It has been the most devastating experience of my life. I will not lie and say that this is easy but I will say that Tai Chi practice has been the one thing I have felt in control of in this awful experience. It doesn't make the loss easier but it does help you have a center while everything else crumbles.

3. I am in better health than most of my peers.

I am 35 years old as I write this and am on no daily medications whatsoever. I don't get headaches, I suffer from no allergies or chronic pains, I haven't had a cold or the flu in years, my blood pressure is normal, I sleep soundly, and nothing gives me heartburn. I kinda doubt this is genetics because my non practicing brothers do have all these problems. So I feel that Tai Chi has really benefited me on this front. Also despite my loss and grief I have not had to resort to antidepressants and other happy pills.

4. I am in better control of my temper.

When I was younger I could fly off the handle into a blinding rage. I was angry all the time and felt pent up. Slowly as the years pass and my Tai Chi practice becomes deeper I find myself not moved to such extremes of emotion. This makes me much easier to be around and makes my friends and family very happy.

5. I am overcoming overeating.

Back in the day when I was in High School and college I ate a tremendous amount of food. I did so up into my late 20's so that by the time I reached 30 I was over 314 lbs. That was nuts I was starting to feel bad. So thanks to my favorite Vietnamese Qigong teacher I took myself in hand started out eating low carb, then slowly just began eating a normal diet but eating less of it. I cut out soda, iced tea, hot tea, and any caffeinated beverages. As a result I'm very slowly and steadily losing weight. I realized through my teacher's guidance and my own practice that I control what goes into my mouth in a very real and visceral way. I wasn't fat from genetics. I was fat from stuffing my maw.

So... it's a process. That is what Tai Chi is about. The ancient Chinese used it as a form of internal alchemy and now I understand what they meant. Alchemy is about making lead into gold... transmuting the base and the not so appealing to the more pure and appealing. Only thing is Tai Chi doesn't turn metals to metals but helps to make you better in a gradual and reliable way.

No comments:

Post a Comment