Based on ancient Chinese principles, T'ai Chi is about life energy or 'chi' flowing around the body. There are nineteen principle movements and one pose in T'ai Chi, all of which are designed to help the flow of energy through your body.
You can practice on your own or while holding an 'energy conversation' with someone else. T'ai Chi classes have grown enormously in popularity as a great way to improve fitness, for relaxing your mind and body and for overall wellbeing.
What are the benefits?
This form of exercise is very calming and relaxing. It is not a martial art and is entirely non-aggressive. No particularly high levels of fitness or flexibility are required so it can be practised by young and old alike.
The movements are fluid and gentle yet have a powerful ability to put you in touch with your inner life force. Circulation is improved as well as breathing. Regular practice can not only increase physical stamina but also flexibility and balance. By raising your energy levels, you will feel stronger and less tired in yourself. It's also a very good way to let go of stress and to get in touch with your physical body as well as your inner self.
It is intended to be a means of personal growth and a way of better understanding your relationship to gravity as well as your environment. Long term practitioners report a greater sense of creativity and spiritual awareness. They often describe feeling younger and more joyful about life.