T'ai chi ch'uan

T'ai chi ch'uan is an ancient Chinese exercise art, a system of activating the body for the simultaneous development of physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

The art is conceptually linked to the Yin Yang theory of cosmic emergence in the Confucian text I-Ching, later developed in Taoism and Neo-Confucianism.

Composed of a slow, continuous series of circular movements, it is said to develop balance, stamina and grace. In practical terms, T'ai chi ch'uan involves the practice of a ‘form’, a flowing sequence of movements and postures, plus ch’i kung exercise, training in the use of various weapons and partnered sparring practice.

The aim of practicing T’ai chi ch'uan as physical exercise is twofold: the substantive or that which aims at making up the ‘body’ of the exercise; and the functional, or that which aims at securing its pragmatic value.

T'ai chi ch'uan is a long exercise, continuous for twenty-five minutes. This basic length of time is an essential ingredient.

 As a system devoted to wholeness and unity, it is truly an integrative experience – it is a silent mediation, an energizing exercise, a joyful dance, a precise system of self-defense, a daily ritual and prayer and a living expression of a way of being in the world.
T'ai chi ch'uan

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