Like yoga and meditation, tai chi and qigong are mindfulness practices. Mindfulness is the intentional practice of accepting a non-judgmental focus of your attention on the emotions, thoughts and physical sensations occurring in the present moment. during a mindful exercise practice. This includes connecting your breath with your movements to create a fluidity of motion. Like other mindfulness practices science has proven qigong and tai chi as beneficial to the mind and body.

Mindfulness practices are beneficial to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Much research as been done on tai chi showing its benefit to those with conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. In some cases both have shown benefit for depression.

Qigong (also spelled chi kung) is an ancient Chinese energy system for improving health and healing. It uses breathing techniques, gentle movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate life energy (qi). Qigong is “Chinese health insurance.”Praticing it improves one’s health and vitality and calms one’s mind. In the past, qigong was called nei gong (inner work) and dao yin (guiding energy). Sometimes people simply call it “Chinese yoga.” Qigong is a holistic, self-healing exercise and meditation. It can include static, standing or fluid exercises.

Tai chi is a form of qigong in a choreographed series of postures that can range from a few (eight for Tai Chi Movement for Better Balance) to over 100 in the Yang-family Style Long Form. Tai chi pushes both your physical and mental powers and while it looks beautiful to watch, it’s not easily learned. It takes a person with “stick-to-it-iveness” and who is not in a hurry.

From tai chi and qigong, you can gain better balance, increased flexibility and harmony of mind, body and spirit.