Just think about how realized and stress-free you feel after a yoga session.
Well, Tai chi might work better than yoga for you! If you are looking for ways to get rid of anxiety and depression, consider Tai chi. You can use tai chi for stress relief and other numerous benefits. You need to take out at least 15 to 30 minutes for yourself and make sure you are relaxed.
Tai chi is one of the best and most underrated relaxing techniques, practised with relaxed muscles which improves balance, natural posture alignment, inner peace, muscle strength and cognitive functioning, boosts mood, alleviates pain, provides stress relief and enhances the immune system.
Let us learn more about Tai chi for stress relief in the latter part of this article.
All About Tai Chi
Pronunciation- Tie Chee
Origin- Tai chi was developed by Chen Wanting around 1670, which was later modified by Yang Lu-chan. The word Tai chi means “the ultimate of ultimate”, thus describing the immenseness of the universe. Still, the real origins of Tai chi are obscure as there are many mystical accounts of Tai chi in the 8th, 12th and 15th centuries.
About- Tai Chi, usually described as “shadow boxing” “meditation in motion” or “medication in motion”. This mind to body connection method is based on Qigong and noncompetitive martial arts form practised for defence training, meditation and health benefits.
It is composed of stretching with mindfulness meditation, gentle physical exercise and rhythmically breathing.
The exercises included in Tai chi are equally balanced between yin and yang(yin and yang are opposites and are found in all things), which is why it is so efficient and useful.
Family Types- There are 5 main family types of Tai chi that have the same origin and share many similarities yet have their unique features and focus on a particular aspect of the movement.
- Chen Style- Chen style, the oldest form of the five primary family styles is identified by its explosive movements such as strikes, jumps and kicks. It emphasizes silk reeling-spiral movements to develop strength, balance and agility. It rebuilds body systems and can be used as a cardio workout.
- Yang Style- It is the most popular Tai chi style consisting of gentle, elegant and slow movements. It improves flexibility and contracts your body.
- Wu Style- This style emphasizes the extension of the body and serves as a counterbalance.
- Sun Style- This style consists of the mind and body with unique footwork and circular hand movements. It is more like a graceful dance form.
- Hao Style- This is the more advanced style of Tai chi consisting of slow and internally loose movements.
Tai Chi For Stress Relief
- Stand tall with your legs slightly wide apart and both hands at your side.
- Inhale and slowly raise both the hands above your head, making a rough circle like pattern with your hands.
- Exhale and slowly lower your hands back to the initial position, lower your hips too (do a half squat).
- Do take long deep breaths and do 15-16 Reps.
Withdraw and Push
- Take a half squat position and rest your arms on your thighs.
- Inhale and slowly raise both your hands near to the chest level, do not make a circle instead remember to raise your hands parallel to each other.
- Exhale and swing your arms across the body by bending one knee and opening your palms, like this:
- Inhale and draw back both your hands, raise them above your head.
- Again, exhale and push forward (given in the above picture).
- Repeat and do 20 Reps.
- Take a half squat position and hands above your head with open palms.
- Inhale and push both your hands towards the right side, making a circle and reaching the left side.
- Exhale and do the opposite, going to the left side.
- Remember to make perfect circles and sit tight.
- Repeat and do 15 Reps.
- Stand tall with your legs roughly wide apart and place your hands in front of your chest as if you are holding a large ball.
- Inhale and move your bottom hand up as if you are holding the ball up above your head, move your top hand down in the opposite direction.
- Remember to take a slight bend on both the elbows and think you are gently stretching your spine.
- Then exhale and bring the hands back to the initial position but the top hand comes down and the down hand comes up.
- Change hands and do 12-15 Reps on each side.
- Stand tall with your legs slightly wide, make fists and rest them by your sides.
- Inhale and gently take a small step with your right foot.
- Shift your way by doing a little punch with your left hand and exhale.
- Repeat the same on the other side and remember to do the punch with the opposite hand.
- Do 10-15 Reps.
- Take a half squat and join your palms together. Open your knees, legs wide apart and back should be straight.
- Your hands should be touching your chest slightly and your biceps should be out.
- In that position, keep taking deep breaths.
- You feel slight pain in your thighs at first but it will become habitual.
- Keep meditating and breathing for about 10 minutes.
These 6 Basic Tai Chi for stress relief can be done anywhere without any equipment. Tai chi has limitless benefits and is like a stress relief gift for us. The above exercises can also be called the office stress relief exercises as you can take out 10-15 minutes of your stressful job, take some rest and restart with a refreshing mood.
These stress-relief gifts are even greater when paired with meditation- having to be present, focusing on body movements and simultaneously breathing to relax your mind and body.
Tai chi for stress relief has been practised for over 200 years and it is really a stress relief gift for old people, people suffering from depression and people who have health issues. You can even take online classes or get an instructor for yourself but practising the above-mentioned exercises will be enough to relieve all the stress and get inner peace.