Tai Chi Chuan is a very popular type of exercise. It's thought to be a form of perfected Kung Fu art. It combines meditation, martial arts and calisthenics. There're a lot of known health benefits from Tai Chi Chuan done regularly.
This form of Tai Chi is a good health exercise that has its origins in ancient China. It's considered the physical manifestation of the Tao (that is, a way of approaching life, the world and reality). It can be performed by men and women of all ages. Furthermore, it's inexpensive to perform. Everything one needs is a place to do it and the knowledge.
This form of exercise was originally practiced throughout China. When literary translated, it means Grand Ultimate Boxing. This for of exercise was practiced by the Shaolin monks.
Those who have seen men and women in the local park moving quite slowly doing workouts have probably witnessed the practice of Tai Chi Chuan. Usually it's practiced in open areas such as fields.
It's considered to be the physical manifestation in the human form of the Tao. The use of animal poses fall in line with the whole idea of Taoism as being naturalistic. Practitioner starts with an initial pose and then transitions into the second, completes it and then on to the next posture.
All styles of Tai Chi Chuan (Chen, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu and Sun) are thought to be martial arts.
For example, in the Yang style, there's a total of fifty four poses. These poses are fir and powerful, open and large, heavy but still light. These postures include Press Forward, Eight Moving Patterns, Pushing Hands, Step Forward, Parry and Punch, Shoulder Stroke and Fan through the Back.
Yang style postures are simple and contain various subtleties incorporated within them. One has to seek out professionals who can show and demonstrate such levels of teachings. Without it, beginners usually get stuck at beginner level (or quit entirely) and are unable to progress. It's not unusual at all to see beginners giving up or using EXTERNAL martial arts to explain the basic principles of Tai Chi Chuan. The latter approach leads beginners further and further away from understanding of the real meaning of INTERNAL martial arts.
Key to Tai Chi Chuan is the breath. Literal translation of "Chi" is "breath" or "air". Chi refers to the living energy in all things. If exercising regularly practitioner increases his or her life force. Therefore, both this form of exercise includes a set of breathing techniques. Going in and out of a pose into the next one requires breathing in, then breathing out at key points in the poses.
Proper breathing as well as deliberate and slow movements will improve, strengthen, and oxygenate 95 percent of the practitioner's joints, making it perfect for older men and women. Many researches show that it enhances muscle strength, balance, sleep quality, and focus. The turning slow motions massage both muscles and joints. What's more, internal organs are massaged and their functions improved.