* Tai Chi is an ancient form of exercise and meditation
* Get started with classes or books
* These essential items will help ease you into the practice
Underrated, Tai Chi is both a form of exercise and meditation, and has been practiced in China for thousands of years. New studies show it can even have medicinal effects, such as alleviating back pain and decreasing muscle tension. SPY has found eight ways you can get started today, to bring a new practice into your daily routine.
1. Tai Chi Shoes
These rubber-soled, black canvas shoes are comfy and easy to slip on, ideal for outdoor Tai Chi sessions. Washing machine-friendly, they’re simple enough to go with most outfits, and help you connect with your inner Bruce Lee.
2. Mr. Bangkok Thai Fisherman Yoga Pants
These harem-style pants are made of soft, pre-washed cotton, and the foldover waist is vintage from hill tribes in Northern Thailand. Great for Tai Chi or yoga sessions, they’re breathable and easy to move in, and even include a handy side pocket.
3. A Morning With Grandpa
A lovely book by Sylvia Liu, it explores the bond between grandparent and grandchild as the eager youngster tries to participate in her grandfather’s Tai Chi session. It may look like a children’s book, but the story is one for all ages, as it explores the practice’s graceful movements with heart and humor.
4. The Healing Promise of Qi
In this book, an expert in Chinese medicine and healing practices explores how the art of Qi, developed over millennia, can increase your longevity and vitality. Explained on practical terms, it shows you how you can access the powers at play in the universe within you.
5. Improve Your Physical and Mental Success with Tai Chi
This beginners course can be taken online through six hours of video, and only requires a twenty minute daily commitment for you to master the initial steps of Tai Chi. It covers not only the physical basics, but the various mental aspects involved in Tai Chi.
6. Essentials of Tai Chi and Qigong
This DVD explores the health benefits of Tai Chi, and how you can trade in high-intensity workouts for the grace of Tai Chi. Through 24, half-hour lessons, it shows you how the art can help your balance, while improving strength and breathing techniques.
7. Tai Cheng DVD Workout
This DVD workout helps you to master the 18 fundamental moves of Tai Chi in 90 days, and combine them into one fluid routine. Increase your energy and balance, while also promoting toning and circulation.
8. Tai Chi Ball
Made in the USA, this 3 lbs wooden Tai Chi ball is ideal for newcomers to the sport, and you can graduate to larger, heavier balls as your skill improves. It adds intensity and depth to your workout, and will help you become stronger and more flexible.