There are many martial arts out there, all amazing in their own way. Why did I settle on Tai Chi? It seemed at the time to be not very popular. Slow and gentle with images of old people in the park. So what’s my reason?
It teaches me how to move my body
Before I started, my knees always used to hurt when I walked. My steps were heavy, jolting my whole body and joints. I was pushing 12 stone at 5ft 5 which didn’t help by adding more strain on my already laboured joints. Ever since I’ve started, my steps have become lighter. I can now walk around in flat shoes with ease. I have become more coordinated.
It teaches me to respect myself
The well-being of my body and mind is essential to allow mindfulness in practice. Becoming mindful starts with knowing yourself, without this you cannot start this journey of self-cultivation. Tai Chi has enabled me to gain confidence; not just against physical attacks but mental and verbal assaults which would have otherwise disturbed me.
It calms my mind
I find that with my Aspergers, my mind constantly thinks. The monkey brain is hyper all the time. I now find that after an hours class, my mind is clear from the chatter. It brings me peace when I am at war with myself. It helps remove the negativity I feel towards myself as I become mindful and present within my body. There is a calm alertness I feel following practice. This last point is the one which has made it so addictive to me
This last point is the one which has made it so addictive to me when everything else has failed. The moving meditation is easier for me to do as the coordination prevents distraction, allowing stillness of the mind whilst my body is in motion.
Do you practise Tai Chi? Any other martial art? Why do you play? Let me know!