Over the years, yoga has gained lots of popularity. The number of individuals practicing yoga has significantly improved over the years. It is not uncommon to hear someone say ‘Am going to yoga classes’, its as popular as saying am going to the gym, Brands are even making lots of money from yoga, you have merchandise like yoga pants, yoga sweat pants, yoga bra’s and so on.
Tai chi on the other hand is not as popular as yoga and I bet if you ask so many people on the street what Tai chi is, they have little or no idea. Tai chi can be defined as a slow motion, low-impact exercise that promotes physical and mental health and relaxation. It is practiced as an effective exercise for health through a series of flowing, graceful, gentle postures and movements.
What many don’t know is that Tai Chi and yoga might seem similar, but Tai Chi has a far-reaching effect when compared to yoga.
One great benefit of Tai Chi that Tai Chi helps improves balance, flexibility and strength, Tai Chi has lower risks of fall especially within elderly individuals. A study by the Oregon Research Institute collaborates this fact.
Also, while Tai Chi unlike yoga teaches sensitivity towards and the world beyond through ‘pushing hands. Yoga does not. You might argue this, in Tai Chi, ’pushing hands’ involves the ability to listen to your partners with your hands and not ears by teaching you how to remain balanced and relaxed despite whatever challenge might come your way. In yoga the only contact you get is usually when the instructor come to make some adjustments to your posture.
While yoga involves finding your inner peace just by yourself, tai chi teaches how others can help you achieve this goal. Communicating with your partner is both natural and essential in some Tai chi activities. In yoga classes you are bound to find the silence sign on doors of yoga studios.
Tai Chi is able to balance the self-discovery as well as one’s interaction with its surrounding unlike yoga. Yoga you meditate alone, just you on your journey to self-discovery and inner peace, you communicate with your inner self. Tai Chi is different, you have the time for Personal / self-discovery and also time to explore and understand human communication and sensitivity. The Tai Chi form gives room for individual self-discovery and inner peace, on the other hand the Tai Chi ‘pushing hands’ gives room for human interaction while trying to create balance.
Another great aspect where tai chi is different from yoga is that you learn the art of self defense from tai chi. Yoga can never teach you the art of self-defense. Tai Chi teaches you the act of self-defense in a calm, serene and reliving manner.
It is important that both Tai Chi and yoga are both great in trying to calm your nerves, improve balance, strength and also help heal both body and soul. Both also have similar postures in certain forms of practice.
Both the Tai Chi and Yoga are very good meditation process to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle.