Qi Qong & Tai Chi In Nature
As most wild readers are probably aware, spending time in nature is great for your health. More research is coming out all the time quantifying the effects of nature on our health and attempting to understand the various mechanisms involved, but the basic fact is we do better when we get enough wildness in our life when we spend enough time in touch with nature. When we first begin to spend more time in nature, we may not know what to “do” with ourselves. How can we cultivate that sense of connection to nature that may be missing in our lives? In our busy modern lifestyles, it can be hard to just let ourselves simply “be”.
Qi Qong offers us many different ways to cultivate that earth connection while engaging our body and mind. It is also traditional to practice it outdoors weather permitting.
Qigong is a traditional mind-body practice from China with roots in Chinese medicine and Taoism. While there are thousands of different styles of qigong, they can be broken down into three main categories: Medical, Martial, and Spiritual. The main difference between these types of qigong is one of intention; why we are doing the practice? Is it for our physical health? Is it for making our body strong enough to withstand injury in martial arts? Or is it for our emotional or spiritual well-being? Why not go for all three? When we practice qigong in nature we can reap the benefits of all three of these approaches.
Tai chi (Taiji) is an ancient technique for health and relaxation. Tai Chi, literally, ‘supreme ultimate fist’ or ‘meditation in motion’ is, as the name suggests, used for meditation and physical and emotional strength and relaxation. It is one of the internal Chinese martial arts and has a variety of training techniques. Tai Chi can utilize both hard and soft technical components and martial skills.
Most training in the art involves learning solo routines, involving slow, soft movements and energy training. Tai Chi is designed to help the body maintain balance and flow. Tai Chi advocates say that this soft martial art helps to release the energy flows from the body. When these energies are trapped, the body can become ill and unwell.
Studying Tai Chi usually consists of three components. These three being, health, meditation, and martial arts techniques. Health is first because without this the other two aspects would be difficult if not impossible to master. Tai Chi training helps to relieve physical ailments and to reduce the effects of negativity and stress on the body.