Taiji (Tai chi) is an ancient system of exercise that was developed in China in the 12th century CE. It was originally developed for self-defense and martial arts, but eventually grew into a health, wellness and spiritual practice.
Taiji (sometimes called taiji quan or taiji quan) is considered a mind-body exercise. The mind reflects a person’s thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and beliefs, while the body is a reflection of our physical health. The breath represents the spirit that links the two. Taiji impacts all of these aspects of a person.
Breath, movement, and awareness work together. As you move your body through the physical motions (or positions) of taiji, you are asked to relax and breathe deeply and naturally, as well as focus your attention.
Therefore, taiji is sometimes called, “moving meditation.”
When breath, movement and awareness starts to synchronize through practice, a spiritual evolution begins to take root.
For those who wish to evolve, understanding the broad, deep and complex concept of “mind” becomes the focus of study.
It is the type of study that goes beyond intellectual learning and contemplation. It is learning through the experience of body movement, sensory engagement, and connection with other people.
One learns through consistent Taiji practice that the everyday mind (brain consciousness), no matter how quiet, how concentrated, how peaceful, how knowledgeable, can never understand the realm of the deeper “mind”.