tai chi exercises
You might think that is was fairly easy to define and identify tai chi exercises.
But its not - tai chi is mainly comprised of collections of movements or postures called a form - and there are hundreds of forms. Some are very popular like the Beijing 24 and practised by millions others are rarer like the traditional 108 forms.
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There are named moves within the forms this one on the right is called "snake creeps down" which you could say equate to a western exercise like "hamstring lunge" (if there is such a thing). The difference is that "snake creeps down" is integrated into an overall pattern of precise, controlled movement
Tai chi exercises tend not to be taught as complete forms. So when you hear of someone doing taichi exercises they are probably performing one of the many forms.
There are other exercises used in classes that are actually qigong exercises - often used as warm up exercise and cool down exercises for before and after the form practice.
In itself each move or posture in tai chi is an exercise in balance, co-ordination, physical control and regulation of breathing.
If you want to try out some tai chi exercises then have a look at the qigong shibashi exercise because this is often taught as the forerunner to learning the simplified 24. Many of the moves "wave hands in clouds", "and carry ball to the shoulder" are repeated in the Simplified 24 form.
Have a look in the video clip section and see if any of the forms or qigong forms appeal to you.
These are the most common forms you are likely to come across (if the taiji form name is underlined we have more information on them )
- Beijing 24 | Simplified 24 | "4 step form
- Short Yang Form - 37 moves yang style tai chi
- Long Yang Form - 108 moves old style yang tai chi
- Compact tai chi - a modern circular space saver
- 32 sword form - one of the newer standard tai chi forms
- Competition form 42 - modern mixed style tai chi
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