Tai Chi harmoniously combines body movement, mental concentration and conscious breathing to improve the quality of life of people. It is estimated that today more than 250 million people practice it worldwide.

This is meditation in motion, where the physical body, mind, and relaxed breathing interact to achieve, at least in theory, peace, serenity, and harmony.

Unlike karate or taekwondo, tai chi It is not a martial art, but a focus on the silent strengthening of the mind and body.making it recommended for the elderly or for those who have been injured.

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“In Colombia, we study and practice it as a form of meditation in motion, where the physical body, mind and relaxed breathing interact to achieve, at least in theory, peace, serenity and harmony,” the famous magazine EL TIEMPO told a journalist. Gloria Cecilia Gomez, who met him through her husband in 2007 and Since then, he has been doing this almost every day..

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In his opinion, this is the “big challenge” of taijiquan, because It takes perseverance, discipline and effort. In addition to learning technique, it is also expected to cultivate “calmness, simplicity and aloofness,” as often repeated by his teacher Qingxun Liu, who was born in Beijing and taught in Colombia for 30 years.

Gloria Cecilia, anchor of five newscasts, director and producer of television programs such as women online And glory daysinterviewer of prominent figures of national life, believes teacher Liu “a wise, simple man with a wonderful sense of humor.”

During his three decades in Colombia, Liu taught taijiquan to “more than a thousand people,” said teacher EL TIEMPO. He does not currently have a school, but It has about 50 students and runs classes for groups and individuals.

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Liu studied tai chi, or taijiquan as he calls it, in China with two prominent wu masters: Wang Peisheng and Ma Changxun have been teaching in this modality for three decades.

admit, that There are several styles of tai chi such as yang and chen, among others, which are also practiced by thousands of people in the world.

The most popular yang style, which consists of 108 different movements, is dominated by long and soft movements.which do not change the rhythm of breathing or strength and are recommended for beginners or older people.

Chen is harder because he goes from relaxing to exploding without a break. in one movement and that is why experts recommend taking into account the physical condition before choosing any modality.

Liu explains that the tai chi quan he teaches, based on the philosophy of Tao, is a martial art, that “most people today study it for personal well-being. Practitioners not only benefit from health benefits, but can also use it as a spiritual path.”

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The philosophy of Tao refers primarily to the path that a person blazes in order to conduct himself in private and public life, and became visible in the philosophers of the Confucian school, who emphasizes ethics and individual worth to build a stable society and government. The famous and respected Chinese thinker Kong Fuzi, romanized as Confucius, was his inspiration.

Gloria Cecilia claims she never heard or saw anything about this Chinese martial art until she started seeing and practicing it at home 15 years ago. “The first thing that seduced me was these strange, but beautiful and graceful movements. WITHsmooth and slow practice, extremely hard and difficult as far as I could see.”

“I practice it almost every day, except when I’m traveling or experiencing physical discomfort, the flu, or a headache. Although it lasted more or less 50 minutes. an advanced practitioner would spend an hour or more doing 108 movements.. Slowness is one of the secrets to good wu-style tai chi practice,” he adds.

Origin and Benefits

Tai chi originated in China about four centuries ago, but very little is known about their true origins. It was created by the Shan monk San-Feng with an emphasis on meditation.

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Their movements, slow, light and elegant, would be based on the movements of animals and would resemble those that “flow like water.” which is an element of the yin and yang symbol in Chinese culture.

It is claimed that enable you to work, strengthen and make your hips, ankles, knees and arms more flexibleWith. Power and wide body movements are performed progressively.

Experts say that daily practice of taijiquan helps to calm the mind, promotes relaxation, increases mental clarity, to strengthen muscles and the fact that his classes, along with breathing before bed, fight insomnia and improve the quality of rest.

Tai Chi is different from yoga, native to India since its origins. Also in motion: this is done while standing, while yoga uses all parts of the bodyincluding hands to cope with body weight.

Tai chi is now practiced by millions of people because of the many mental and physical benefits attributed to it that can be appreciated in a short time. Although this exercise is performed slowly and gently, it engages all the muscles in the body.strength, flexibility and balance.

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Among the benefits attributed to it, controlling asthma by using different types of deep breathing with each movement. This requires natural, even, calm, deep, continuous and rhythmic breathing.

If tai chi is practiced regularly, It would also increase the mobility of joints such as the shoulder joints., knees and back and will affect the maintenance of aerobic capacity, which declines with age. The practice of tai chi is also recommended for the relief and prevention of back pain.

In tai chi, the concepts of yin and yang (opposing forces) are used to restore the flow of “qi”.

Smooth tai chi movements will also improve digestion because they reactivate bowel functionas well as the nervous system, because its harmonious realization would affect its balanced tone, and would also contribute to attention and calmness.

The combination of gentle exercise and breath control in tai chi not only has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, improves muscle strength and endurance, balance and flexibility, but also provide better mental health, according to experts.

“According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, an energy known as ‘qi’ (pronounced ‘chi’) passes through our bodies. If you are stressed or not feeling well, it is believed that the qi flow has been altered,” medical specialists from Sanitas centers and hospitals report on the company’s platform.

They explain that in tai chi, “the concepts of yin and yang (opposing forces) are used to restore the flow of qi and maintain balance in the health of our body.

Although these concepts are not recognized in modern medicine, they indicate that some research supports the physical and mental benefits of Tai Chi and the improvement in the symptoms of certain diseases.

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Tai Chi can help with osteoarthritis, for example. “relieve pain and stiffness in the joints, especially in the knees”Sanitas doctors say.

They say it’s also useful for rheumatoid arthritis and helps improve flexibility, especially in the ankles, and lower high blood pressure in people who have had a heart attack.

“The benefits of tai chi in the long term are not well known, so it is necessary to more precisely determine how this practice affects the functioning of the body. However, It is a safe and healthy form of exercise that stimulates mental health, be able to promote well-being and happiness,” they elaborate.

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In addition, other studies show that tai chi can improve balance and mobility even in people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

But this martial art not only improved the mental and physical health of those who practiced it, but also slow down aging. Experts recommend not practicing it automatically while thinking about something else, but doing it with concentration focused on changing the activity of each movement.

Gloria Cecilia admits that her life has changed since she started tai chi. “My work and sentimental interests no longer coincide. Even I developed a connection, a greater understanding with animals through my cat Flora, who has been with me for six years. This is the first time I have a pet; that I share my daily life with a living being, without an ego, and this experience was a revelation to me.”

For Ma Yuelian (1901-1998), famous Manchu taijiquan master and chief student of Wu Jianquan, the founder of wu style taijiquan taught by Master Liu in Columbia, “Tai chi has no mysticism. What is difficult is perseverance. It took me ten years to discover my chi and thirty years to learn how to use it. Once you see the benefits, you won’t want to stop.”



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