As an adjective, the word “ancient” is fairly elastic. “Ancient American” falls somewhere in the mid 1600’s. “Ancient Chinese” dates back many centuries earlier than that.
“Modern,” is similarly juxtaposed. Consider this statement, “Modern Tai Chi began in the mid-1500’s.” The most modern form, or style, is Wu Tai Chi which emerged in the mid 1800’s.
Tai chi is a gentle exercise program that is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Derived from the martial arts, tai chi is composed of slow, deliberate movements, meditation, and deep breathing, which enhance physical health and emotional well being.
Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan is one of the 3 major styles of Tai Chi Chuan (each taking its name from the family that practiced and taught it to future generations).
The Wu style of Tai Chi has forms of varying lengths and differing levels of complexity. Compared to other forms, Wu Tai Chi is composed of compact movement and has much less external motion.
The Form is very important and is the basis for training in Tai Chi. The form has aspects of health, martial arts and meditation. However it is still only a part of the complete training in the art. The martial aspect of the The [Wu] Form is not readily apparent.
The main emphasis is on moving internal energy, joints and the muscles below the skin level. While this may not appear physically exerting, the small, sometimes microscopic, movements are easier to learn. Later, the motions become more intricate and complex. As one progresses, the martial art emerges.
Due to its slow and compact movements, Wu Tai Chi is ideal for beginners and the elderly.
Many who practice tai chi do so for the health benefits, such as:
- Benefits associated with low-impact, weight-bearing, aerobic exercise
- Improved physical condition, muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility
- Improved balance and decrease the risk of falls, especially in elderly people
- Easing of pain and stiffness—for example, from osteoarthritis
- Improved sleep and overall wellness
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 handful kale
- 1 Tablespoon raw, organic honey or stevia to taste (optional)
Directions: Add all ingredients to food processor, blend until smooth and drink up!