Here are ten ways that Tai Chi will help you to grow old gracefully.
1. Improved posture.
Good posture Just like good manners can give you a dignity and elegance that others will envy no matter what your age. A more natural posture can help you with many of the annoying physical conditions brought on by advancing years. Training in Tai Chi will enhance your posture and can help with various complaints such as lack of energy and back pain. Unnecessary physical ailments can be uncomfortable for you and also those around you. Improved posture can often help existing irritations or stop them developing in the first place.
2. Better breathing
Tai Chi places a great emphasis on breathing deeply and calmly. Full and efficient breathing is of great benefit both mentally and physically particularly as we grow in years.
Things that would not bother us in the slightest in our youth can play on the mind of the older person to the point of obsession. Many a youthful warrior turns into an old worrier in their later years. Tai Chi and it’s breathing techniques have been proven to combat stress anxiety and depression. It’s not realistic to be happy all the time unless your on mind bending drugs. Neither do you need a mind that races overtime and makes you anxious and miserable. Tai Chi can slow you down, give you a reality check and enable you to find a balance.
3. Become more relaxed
Being more relaxed as you increase in age is very much about being comfortable with yourself having a balanced healthy lifestyle and a sense of daily purpose and direction.Regular Tai Chi sessions will relax you both mentally and physically every time you practice this ancient art. Ironically by slowing down and really concentrating on yourself in the here and now, you will become more alert attentive and relaxed.
4. Increase coordination skills
Maybe you have always felt that you have never been well coordinated? In my experience as a martial arts teacher over several decades many many people feel like this and it’s often due to a lack of confidence rather than a real deficiency.
What ever your coordination is like consistent practice of Tai Chi over a period of time will greatly improve your agility poise and coordination.
5. Better balance
Being unsteady on your feet and the fear of falls can limit you greatly and blight your twilight years. Regular Tai Chi training will without any doubt improve your balance and your confidence also. Why wait till you have an issue with balance, reading the road ahead and starting Tai Chi at forty fifty
Or sixty is a smart move.
Although Tai Chi is practiced world wide as a health enhancing activity especially for older folk it is also a martial art. The key to Tai Chi as a martial art is the superb balance that it develops through its unique slow motion training methods. Without studying this fighting side you can gain some of its legendary balance ing skills just by making the Tai Chi form part of your regular routine.
6. Learning a new and very different art that has no end.
It could be a class in cooking art or history, to be continually learning and expanding your horizons is probably essential to doing a good job of getting old. If that interest is very different from anything that you have done in the past it will expand your mind even more.
The sad thing about reading a really good book is reaching the end of it. Tai Chi is something that has many levels, more than can be fully explored in a life time.
7. A more philosophical outlook on life
By becoming acquainted with some of the common sense reasoning that underpins Tai Chi you will develop a more philosophical outlook on life. Well taught Tai Chi will face you with cold reality and this can be surprisingly refreshing. A more realistic view of the world ourselves and others is essential to growing old gracefully I believe.
8. Your own sustainable healthy routine.
The very nature of Tai Chi makes it an exercise program that you can sustain to the end of your days. When going to the gym or playing for the team is a dim and distant memory you can still be getting great benefit and pleasure from Tai Chi. We all loose agility as we get older but with regular Tai Chi practice we can slow this process down sometimes so considerably as to amaze others.
9. Something that you can be really good at even at a great age.
There is nothing worse than being a has been. No matter how good you used to be at something unless people knew you back then it really counts for little with new people that you meet, especially the young.
Tai Chi skill however is about the time and effort that you put in under the guidance of a good instructor. No matter how someone try’s a person with only a couple of years training will not match the person who has practiced for ten years regardless of age. In a similar way the person with ten years experience will never match the skill of the person with fifteen or twenty years regular practice. A senior citizen can be instantly and very noticeably be better at Tai Chi than a person forty years their junior even to the untrained eye. A skill that can keep developing even at a great age will give you the respect of others and more importantly keep your self respect.
10.The joy of natural movement and connecting with the great outdoors.
Young or old people love to dance if they can be persuaded to hit the dance floor. Tai Chi has been called the deadly dance for good reason. The joy of dancing and natural movement is captured in the Tai Chi form.
Tai Chi can be practiced anywhere that you have a bit of space to do it in but traditionally it is done in the great outdoors. To slow down and observe closely the timeless cycle of weather seasons and nature is a great reality check.
To be both very realistic and very joyous about life, in my opinion is to grow old gracefully.
One day seminars are run by Dave Friskney, the author of this article in Dorset and Hampshire. If you would be interested in securing a place please feel free to ring on tel 07425173903