Tai chi: Improved stress reduction, balance, agility for all.
The ancient art of tai chi uses gentle flowing movements to reduce the stress of today’s busy lifestyles and improve health. Find out how to get started.
The graceful images of people gliding through dance-like poses as they practice tai chi (TIE-chee) are compelling. Simply watching them is relaxing. Tai chi, in fact, is often described as “meditation in motion” because it promotes serenity through gentle movements — connecting the mind and body.
Originally developed in China as a form of self-defense, tai chi is a graceful form of exercise that has existed for some 2,000 years. Practiced regularly, tai chi can help you reduce stress and enjoy other health benefits. (from the Mayo Clinic web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tai-chi/SA00087)
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”
The word yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit.
Many people think that yoga is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body, mind, and spirit (not just body) through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement (vinyasa-style yoga) or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose. The poses are a constant, but the approach to them varies depending on the tradition in which the teacher has trained.
Hot Yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-100 degrees. As you can imagine, a vigorous yoga session at this temperature promotes profuse sweating which rids the body of toxins. It also makes the body very warm, and therefore more flexible.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to by his title ‘O Sensei’ or ‘Great Teacher’). On a purely physical level it is an art involving some throws and joint locks that are derived from Jujitsu and some throws and other techniques derived from Kenjutsu. Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you. It is not a static art, but places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement. The kneeling, ukeme(falling/receiving throws), stretching involved in Aikido make it a very healing art greatly improving ciruclation, strength and flexibility.
Chi Kung (Qi Gong)
Chi Kung is the umbrella art that encompasses all Chinese energy arts including accupuncture, Tai Chi, and other systems of energy work and martial arts. Qigong comes from two Chinese words: Qi (chi) means energy and gong (kung) means a skill or a practice. Qigong therefore means a skill or practice of cultivating energy.
There are various kinds of qigong — broadly categorized as internal and external. Internal qigong is much like meditation, with visualizations in order to guide the energy. External qigong includes movement accompanying the meditation.
Qigong is famous in China for curing chronic disease and promoting health.