Tai Chi (Taiji) To Relax - Guarding the One
Learn how to Relax While Standing Walking, Sitting or Lying-Down – Taiji Guarding the One.
I spent 30 years practicing 2 or 3 different types of meditation – one type at a time for, in some cases, 8 years and other cases several years at a time. What I found after practicing a Taiji (Tai Chi) for ten years – the last five years at least an hours five days a week - is that the art helps you to practice awareness while doing many activities. This makes “being present” and aware of the moment a lot easier.
In Tai Chi we are taught stand correctly, walk efficiently, and move with awareness of our mind and body. This practice simply rocketed my levels of self-awareness. It’s not that all the meditation work in earlier life didn’t help me in my Taiji (Tai Chi) practice; but learning to be present and aware while walking, sitting, standing or lying down significantly helped my ability to enjoy and simply be present in the moment. Not least, the Tai Chi also teaches how to sit, stand, walk and lie-down with the minimum of exertion and maximum efficient structure, so that your body is supporting you, grounded with minimum muscle use in a healthy posture.
If the objective of your meditation is to be present in the moment and to be aware of your thoughts and the way your body moves – which leads to a significantly greater enjoyment of life – I would seriously recommend Taiji (Tai Chi) …
The thing is – Taiji also is very good for your health and general wellbeing. Sitting for long periods of time when we usually sit at the computer for many hours, and/or have quite sedentary lives does not usually help your health. Our bodies a made to move. In Tai Chi we use the analogy of a river as being healthy -flowing Qi, rather than a lake or pond – unmoving could promote being stagnation which is not what we want.
A recent TV programme that tested the health improvements of students who practiced Taiji and Zumba found that Taiji had all the same health benefits of doing a hard-core Zumba exercise – but without the strain on the body. Read the article about the TV programme on the BBC’s website here: Tai chi v Zumba: Do you have to work up a sweat to get fit?
I feel the title of this article is a little bit of a misnomer, because we do sweat I some classes, which I believe can be important for detoxing. But in our classes, we don’t sweat in every class, it is often gentle movement that can be practiced by most people.
In our school we don’t like to use the term “meditation” as it has so many various connotations, but rather we use the traditional term which is “Guarding the One” – simply being aware of the present moment and exactly what you are doing.
Combined with this Guarding the One we work on how to stand, walk and breath using the minimum resistance or energy, so that we can preserve our energy and keep relaxed while we move or sit. The breath controls our state of mind, we practice easy to learn breathing exercises that improve oxygenation, balance the mind and body and help us to relax. You can do these exercises pretty much anywhere.
Therefore, not only can you relax more fully while doing day to day activities, but also improve your health and ability to be present in each moment, to relax and enjoy each moment for what it is rather than searching for improvements, desires or worrying about the past.
To simply BE in the moment is a great liberating experience, and you can do this while walking, standing, sitting, lying down, or doing exercise, it just takes a little practice.
Then, once your health level is improved you can start to increase the balance in your life and listen to your true self to enable your deepest goals in life for peace sustainability and unity…