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Tai Chi

What is tai chi?

Tai chi is an ancient martial art developed in China that's often referred to as a "moving meditation."

Traditionally tai chi is practiced slowly for its health benefits that include: stress relief, improved balance, and flexibility. Although it can be sped up and used as a fighting form, if you want to reap the benefits, one should learn it as it has been taught for centuries and build up to the quicker pace in very advanced classes.

Chinese physicians prescribe tai chi as a gymnastic form of medicine to complement other traditional treatments such as acupuncture and herbs, according to tai chi master Terry Dunn, who helped popularize it in the West.

The movements are working with what is called "qi" or life force, a type of "flow" that, according to tai chi practitioners, everyone has. "Within every tai chi movement is the principle of yin and yang. The idea that there is unity within opposites: positive and negative, full and empty, dark and light, hard and soft, cause and effect," writes Dunn.