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T’ai Chi in a Chair: Easy 15-Minute Routines for Beginners is now available at Barnes and Noble.
Tai Chi is defined as an internal martial art. That means that all the movements and the resulting flow of energy through the body is directed by the mind and not reliant on highly developed muscles, toughened hands or youthful stamina. For that reason, Tai Chi can be practiced successfully by people of any age or level of physical fitness. Even if you are confined to a wheelchair or have limited mobility because of arthritis, a heart condition or Parkinson’s, you can practice Tai Chi without worrying about exacerbating your condition. Think about your mind as the Director of the activity, working in conjunction with your arms, legs, torso, head or neck. As you go through the following exercises, remember that your mind is leading the process, breath begins each movement and your body follows your breathing. In other words, think about where you want the energy or ch’i to go, begin your inhalation/exhalation and – only then – start moving your arms or legs.
“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.”
We’ve talked before about the importance of breathing properly. Breathing is automatic, of course, so bad habits are also automatic. By practicing these exercises frequently, however, that will change; correct and deeper breathing will become reflexive and habitual.
Exercise #3 – Butterfly
Posture – Sit with your feet flat on the floor shoulder-width apart. Press your back against the back of your chair, allowing for the natural small curve in your spine. Sit up straight with your shoulders pressed down and your head held high.
Benefits – This exercise will open your chest expanding your lungs to their fullest extent.
Begin with your hands at your waist. Move them forward and slightly upward until they are directly in front of your solar plexus.
Turn your hands back to back and push forward until your elbows are straight. As you move your arms forward, inhale deeply through your nose, expanding your diaphragm. Continue breathing in until your arms are as far in front of you as possible.
As you move your arms out to the side and behind you, exhale, tightening your diaphragm and abdominal muscles. Make sure that you are using your diaphragm not your shoulders to move the air in and out of your lungs.
Repeat nine times.
Cross your arms in front of your chest.
At the outer part of your chest, just before your large shoulder bones, measure 3 finger widths below your collarbone. This is the Letting Go pressure point.
Hold your middle fingers at each spot and press firmly for at least 6 deep, cleansing breaths.
-Information in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a physician or medical practitioner. Please see your health care provider before beginning any new fitness program-