For centuries, people who wanted to achieve a healthy mind and body have been turning to Tai Chi exercises. This ancient form of gentle martial arts has been practiced not only as a form of exercise for the elderly, but as a meditative way to get stronger, achieve balance, and maintain flexibility. Tai Chi employs such slow movements that you don’t need to wear sweats or gym shoes because you will barely break a sweat. Because of this, it has long been a question whether Tai Chi can help in shedding off those excess pounds. Studies have shown that yes indeed, regular Tai Chi helps promote weight loss. If you’d like to try this as part of your workout regimen, here are some Tai Chi exercises and movements for beginners.
1. Grasp Bird’s Tail
This Tai Chi form helps promote balance.
Bring your right foot forward at a 45-degree angle while your left foot is resting on your heel. Bring your arms forward in a circular motion. Then turn your body towards your right leg while you bring your left foot forward and shift weight evenly on both feet. Put your right palm down, while your left palm faces up. Then with your left foot, take a step back as you shift all your weight to it and you bring up the toes on your right foot. Rest both hands by your side. Bring your right foot back towards your left foot while you push your hands out front. Your weight should now be evenly distributed on both feet.
2. Pushing the Wave
This Tai Chi exercise helps tone your arm muscles, while at the same time strengthens your knees.
With your knees slightly bent and your feet apart, turn your body to your left as you shift your weight from your right foot to your left. Push your arms out in front of you with palms facing outward. Then shift your weight back towards your right foot as you pull your arms back with palms facing upward. Breathe in and out and do this several times. Reverse the wave by bringing your arms forward with palms up and swinging them up towards your head. Do the same with your right side.
3. Repulse the Monkey
This Tai Chi exercise promotes balance and exercises both your upper and lower body.
With your right foot forward and pointing out at a 60-degree angle, rest your left foot on the heel. Knees slightly bent, make sure your weight is evenly distributed. Stretch your right hand forward while you bring your left hand up to your waist with palm up. Shift all your weight to your right foot and bring your left toes up. Pull back your hand towards your waist while you push out your left hand. Move your left foot towards your body while you push your right hand back out again and your left hand back in. Move your left foot back again at a 45-degree angle while you shift your weight to your left. Do this several times.