Get Your Flow On: TaijiFit

TaijiFit™ is a mind/body workout that combines the best of traditional Taiji (Tai Chi) with modern Western fitness. It’s a workout for any age or fitness level, and you will experience the FLOW of Taiji whether it’s your first class or 100th.  There are no routines to learn, or set choreography to remember. Instead, you follow an instructor trained in a method known as “Qi Cueing” – designed to bring your muscular, cardiovascular and nervous systems into perfect synergy (along with your mind and Spirit). It finally makes Taiji accessible to everyone.

The TaijiFit Experience can re-train your body and re-program your mind/body connection. It re-introduces you to the feeling of Flow – that magical grace that comes to Olympic athletes and dancers, and that we all felt as children. Flow brings you one step closer to total balance – with the added side effects of better health, calmer Spirit and elevated fitness.

When it comes to physical self-care, what’s your pleasure―health or fitness? Are you more concerned with looking good (fitness) or feeling good (health)—or both? Regardless, there are lots of ways to pursue self-care―from Zumba to Zen . . . from meditation to the Paleo diet.

Imagine an activity that can effectively combine your health and fitness needs in one place—a fun and effective exercise for combatting obesity and weight loss; for promoting muscle tone, endurance; and burns as many calories as running!

This activity has been shown to help reverse heart disease, lower the risk of falls (falling is the #1 cause of death among people over 65), relieve depression and anxiety, undo the causes of Alzheimer’s, relieve chronic low back pain, and very possibly slow cellular aging (hello, “Fountain of Youth”!).

The name of this all-encompassing activity is “Taijiquan” (Tai Chi)―the 1,000-year-old Chinese meditation/workout/martial arts practice that has had a resurgence of popularity of late. Actor Keanu Reeves is hooked and recently directed, produced, and acted in the film A Man of Tai Chi. Another fan is actor Hugh Jackman, who uses Taiji as part of his regimen to stay in X-man shape. And Dr. Oz says that Taiji is the ticket to living till 100.

Taiji is 100% safe. It has no side effects, no contraindications, and no record of people being injured as a result of practicing it.

If Taiji is new to you, or you think it’s a slow-motion dance for old people, check out this quick guide to the top five benefits of Taiji.

1. Taiji for Weight Loss
Numerous studies have shown that Taiji affects metabolism and improves aerobic capacity. In one studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14994782, participants were able to lower both their body mass index (BMI) and their waist circumference by significant amounts. Weight loss equals fat loss, and fat loss means burning calories aerobically. Due to the synergistic nature of its movements, Taiji burns between 300 and 500 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of your Taiji workout. When you practice Taijiquan, you use more than just your arms or legs; you’re using your entire body. The more of your body you use, even at a slow pace, the more calories you burn.

2. Taiji for Muscle Tone
Weight loss isn’t the only fitness benefit from Taiji. It’s also a great way to build and tone muscles. In particular, the legs are working continuously. In a typical 20-minute Taijiquan routine, you may perform the equivalent of 100 lunges. The upper body also gets a great workout, as this practice utilizes weights and other methods.

3. Taiji Helps You Get Your Zen On
More than 20 million adults in America suffer from depression and/or anxiety. However, Taiji is a great solution and an alternative to many medications. More than 40 studies have been done on the effects of Taiji on mood http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/10/23, and overwhelmingly, Taiji has been shown to significantly relieve depression and anxiety (helping patients reduce medication intake), and alleviate withdrawal symptoms during drug-and-alcohol treatment programs. In addition Taiji students often develop a sense of calm, centeredness, and positivity!

4. Taiji Fights Heart Disease
Are you a “Type A” personality – sometimes a bit tightly wound? Statistically, that places you at a higher risk for heart disease, the #1 cause of early mortality in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. every year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. But according to Dr. Peter Wayne, author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, “Tai Chi may be one of the more effective, versatile non-pharmacological interventions to prevent and rehabilitate cardio-vascular disease.”

5. Taiji Boosts the Immune System
In a 2007 UCLA study (Irwin, M. “Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,” April 2007), researchers found that subjects who practiced Taiji had twice the immune response as the control subjects. According to the UCLA head researcher, the study suggests that “tai chi is an approach that might complement and augment the efficacy of other vaccines.” So the next time you get your annual flu shot, back it up with a little Taiji practice, and it may be twice as effective!

The bottom line: Taiji may be ancient, but it stills beat out the more modern methods of health and fitness self-care when it comes to efficiency, effectiveness, and safety. Try it today—and get your Qi on!

The TaijiFit Experience can re-train the body and re-program the mind/body connection to bring one into Balance. Would you like to learn how to share this experience with your fiends, family and clients? Click here to contact us  - and get started as a TaijiFit instructor today.

IMG_3244This article was written by David-Dorian Ross, Tai Chi Master with more than 1million Tai Chi DVD sales through Gaiam, and bestselling author of Exercising the Soul. Visit www.daviddorianross.com.