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General News · 1st November 2014
Catharine Bushe
It is said that the smaller movements and more restricted style of the Wu Form (in comparison with the Yang Style) has its origin in the elaborate and restrictive clothes of the Imperial Court. In order to be able to practice combat in this apparel the movements of the original Yang Style had to be modified somewhat.

If our energy supply is low due to illness or excessive emotion, we experience low vitality and lack of drive. Tai Chi practice therefore places extreme importance on cultivating and maintaining energy to strengthen ones connection with the life giving universe and oneself.

Tai Chi plays a central role in Taoism as one of the most efficient and effortless ways of cultivating Chi and experiencing ones own energetic origins.

The precise Tai Chi postures open and undo energetic blockages in energy channels; the slow and gentle movements stretch these meridians and keep them strong and supple. The rhythmic movements of the muscles, spine and joints pump energy through the whole body. Thus Tai Chi is an exercise that gives one more energy than it uses up, so after a round of Tai Chi one feels relaxed and invigorated.

The ancient Taoists firmly believed that any change in the physical body produces a similar change in the mind and emotions. Conversely, changes in the mental and spiritual being manifest through the physical body. The integration of the structure achieved through Tai Chi is eventually reflected in a more balanced energy level, better health and greater emotional and physical stability.

One of the most important benefits of Tai Chi practice is improved posture, as Tai Chi generates a state of self awareness of the energy moving within the meridians, and the internal structure that the energy is moving. Structural alignment is a natural function of the human body, but we tend to lose it after childhood.

The improved energy circulation experienced through meditation and Tai Chi has a regenerating affect on the nervous system.

The improvement in energy circulation and the transformation of negative emotional and mental states are significant factors in the elimination of chronic illnesses.

Being able to move freely, calmly and effortlessly is one of the natural traits of the healthy body. However holding on to emotions and not releasing them fully is one of the main causes of tension and stress, creating blockages of energy flow and eventually leading to illness.
Little by little one is able to notice in one's movement the subtle areas of tension and holding. Discovering this one can become aware of the emotional pattern behind the 'body armouring' that is causing the tension, and release negative emotion through the meditative Tai Chi movements.

Recent studies have focused on the role of connective tissue in energy transmission. The connective tissue network has bioelectrical and biochemical properties that form an electrical communication system linking and integrating every cell in the body.
Tai Chi benefits the connective tissues; through simple movements the lattice like structure compresses generating bioelectrical signals along the meridians or energy channels.

Tendons and ligaments, unlike muscles, are not necessarily affected by age and are easy to maintain to a ripe old age through Tai Chi.

With strong tendons and relaxed muscles the connective tissues circulate life force or Chi much more efficiently providing an "inner" or intrinsic strength.

Tai Chi at the Gorge Hall will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays days at 9 am.
Anyone interested in experiencing the benefits of this discipline is welcome to join us to see if Tai Chi is something you would like to practise.
Classes are $5.00 each. Everyone welcome. All money goes to the Gorge Hall.