TAI CHI the supreme art

AUTHOR: YOLANDA WRIGHT

Carolina Mata was born in San José. After many years of living in Uvita, she feels rooted in this beautiful place. It is here where she discovered her current passion - Tai Chi. Nine years ago, she met Sifu (master), Edward Orem. To her delight, he took her under his wings, and her learning took off. She earned her credentials as an instructor after eight years of studying Kung Fu, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi ever since she has been sharing her skills.

Tai Chi is a martial art, and it is acknowledged as ‘The Supreme Art’ because, in spite of its seeming simplicity, it is an encompassing set of skills. Among others it covers selfdefense, physical exercise, development and mental control, meditation and spiritual growth. Due to its broad-spectrum, it can be practiced with different purposes such as combat, competition, spiritual growth, health improvement, and which is the kind taught in Caro’s class.

The latter is the one becoming fashionable in the western world due to its researched health benefit, including improvement in balance, flexibility, stamina, blood pressure, and heart health.

According to experts, it has a positive influence on mental health and symptoms associated with stroke, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Most Western scientific studies are focused on the exercise element of Tai Chi, rather than its spiritual aspects, mainly because it has been proven to make a difference in people’s health.
Tai Chi is appropriate at any age or physical condition. It adapts equally to the sick, the ones out of shape, and the healthy.
My personal belief is that those benefits are the result of forcing the brain to focus on new pathways of perception. The regular practice of Tai Chi improves psychological well-being and even increases the levels of self-esteem.
Persevere, and you will see the benefits!

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