What is Tai Chi? Is it like yoga? Tai chi and yoga are both excellent forms of exercise and meditation.
Both draw a devoted following. But when considering tai chi vs. yoga, which would be the best for you? Read on to learn about each before you make your decision.
There are five different tai chi schools: chen; yang; hao, or wu shi; sun and wu.
All of the schools practice a form of this soft martial art, which is designed to exercise all of the major muscle groups and joints in a gentle, low impact manner.
In addition, tai chi moves energy throughout the body, promoting serenity as you flow through the different movements.
The differences between the five schools pertain to stances, the speed of the movements and how large the movements are. Yang is the most popular form of tai chi.
Practicing tai chi can improve strength, balance and flexibility. In addition, tai chi can reduce stress levels, increase stamina and increase energy.
Almost anyone can learn tai chi, including those who have medical problems such as arthritis.
However, you should consult with your physician before you start with tai chi or any other exercise program.
Like tai chi, yoga has many different schools. Some of the more commonly known yoga schools include Hatha yoga, Raja yoga, Bhakti yoga and Tantra yoga.
All schools are based on exercise, breathing and meditation to help improve both physical and mental well being. The most common type of yoga is Hatha yoga.
Practicing yoga also has many benefits. These benefits include increased flexibility, better balance and reduced stress.
You can also use yoga to help control or reduce weight. Yoga might help you if you have existing medical conditions, such as asthma or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Not all yoga positions are for everyone; if you are pregnant or have joint problems, some poses may cause you discomfort or medical problems.
You may not be able to practice yoga if you have glaucoma, osteoporosis or have a risk of getting blood clots.
In addition, yoga is not recommended for children under the age of 16.
Talk with your doctor before starting to practice yoga particularly if you have an existing medical problem.
How to start
Where can you find tai chi or yoga instruction? Your city, senior center or local community college may offer classes, and many studios offer introductory lessons or open houses for prospective students.
Make sure that your instructor has the appropriate tai chi or yoga certification to teach and has an understanding of any medical problems that you may have before you commit to taking a class.
By Laura E.