Monday, May 19, 2014

Tai Chi – The Best Exercise to Make Friends

While Tai Chi can certainly be practiced in solitude, it also contains a special exercise performed in pairs called “pushing hands.”  This routine involves two people, each with unique movements in a circle while interacting with another person at the same time. Tai Chi practitioners use pushing hands to work on their form and improve their overall understanding of Tai Chi. Here are some benefits:
1. Pushing hands promotes a healthier lifestyle because it encourages people to go out and enjoy this natural exercise with friends.  They breathe, stretch, and enjoy the sequence and rhythm of the movements. Afterwards, they feel satisfied and build stronger friendships through mutual help.
2. People who do pushing hands have a positive attitude because they know they will improve and grow every day within the form. As I tell my students, “Even the slightest improvement should be a motivation to continue your Tai Chi.”
3. They are also better team players because they work in pairs and enjoy helping each other to understand the form and movements.
4. Pushing hands promotes moving with careful consideration and sensitivity. With slow and light movements, participants improve their listening power as they tune in to their partners’ movements.
5. This exercise helps improve balance and encourages interaction with others. Someone may have good balance individually, but it can be thrown off when that person is suddenly pushed by someone else.  Pushing hands teaches us to relax in this situation rather than panic. It’s a great way to root our feet to the ground and strengthen our posture in order to keep our balance.
6. People who do pushing hands build trust and form stronger friendships. A person who has mastered this exercise won’t want to be alone all the time or be a couch potato. With time, the partners will practice more and more, thus building trust. 
No wonder Tai Chi is called the “supreme ultimate” exercise (literal translation from Chinese.)

2014 Copyright by Huan's Tai Chi

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