Tai Chi-ing Around Portland. One thing that I hear over and over again is how easily people get bored with their workout routine. With swimming you chase walls, and running you pound into the same pavement. Aerobics classes can burn you out, with lifting weights you’re chained to a stuffy gym.
Tai Chi-ing Around Portland
Diversifying the way you utilize your muscles and mind is incredibly important to maintain physical and mental health. Tai Chi is a practice with a long cultural history and with an even longer list of health benefits. It focuses on building strength through self-awareness and control. There is a wide array of standing poses each with its own function and purpose. The long form, a prescribed order of slow movements, has its own set of full body and mind exercises.
With Tai Chi each session can be different. Going through the form while focusing on your breathing, hips, knees, or even hands, will enhance your awareness while developing better mental and physical conditioning. Once you get a handle on a few positions you can practice independently without confining yourself to the gym. Muscle memory and self-awareness can allow you to practice anywhere you feel comfortable.
Tai chi can be practiced anywhere
Even your ten or fifteen minute breaks at work can become opportunities to calm your body and mind with a simple standing pose or breathing exercise. Sitting in traffic you can run through a couple different breathing exercises or do some abdominal conditioning. The form is flexible enough that as long as you have enough room to move, you can practice in any open air space.
So, if you’re looking to add something new to your exercise regimen, consider Tai Chi. If you’re already a practicing student of Tai Chi, now is the time to consider outdoor practices. In addition to the classes offered by Northwest Fighting Arts, you can expand your experiences by running through a few poses or the long form throughout the Portland area.
Check out a Free Private Tai Chi Lesson at NWFA Today!
Since Tai Chi has proven to be beneficial to such a diverse range of lifestyles it also has the propensity to bring people together. Whether it’s just for a sunny day or a weekly occurrence, there are groups throughout the Portland area that are brought together by practicing Tai Chi. Outdoor Tai Chi and Qigong classes are sprouting up throughout Portland while the good weather lasts. Try one out before work, or go to one of the many beautiful parks, to the end of that hike you’ve been thinking of, or somewhere along the Oregon coast and make the most of a solo practice.
I’m not advocating that you discontinue any workout routine that you’ve found to work for you; quite the opposite. Rather, I’m suggesting that you supplement Tai Chi into your regular routine. So as to lower the likelihood of becoming bored with your routines. Once you learn some initial moves you can supplement either the standing or moving forms into your regular practices and get out of the gym.
It’s always best to have an instructor’s assistance with any form of exercise, however everyone needs a break from their weekly rituals. So if you already have Tai Chi as a part of your exercise, why not try it outside? (Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!)