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Yoga, Tai Chi, and the State of Zen

Nowadays, people are so conscious about their health and body image. Many people regularly visit the gym for weight training, cardiovascular exercise. Or they simply have friends who share their passion for fitness. Many fitness gyms offer the latest in weight and cardio-machines. Others specialize in special fitness programs or routines. Things like Tai-Bo, Crossfit,, HIIT Training, and even Pole Dancing. But lately, Yoga and Tai Chi classes have been gaining popularity. It is extremely popular among women and above-40 fitness lovers. Start your journey to learn about yoga, tai chi, and the state of zen.

What are the Benefits of Yoga and Tai Chi?

These Indian and Chinese methods of meditation and exercise are popular. Mainly due to the reported health benefits experienced by those who practice them. Many hard core health and fitness enthusiasts claim that they now enjoy a stress and anxiety-free lifestyle because of their Tai Chi and Yoga lessons. Studies show that a people who reduce stress and anxiety from their daily lives experience a better feeling of their overall health.

Studies show that these kinds of exercise do have beneficial effects on the mind and body. These religious-philosophical movements gave emphasis to the state of Zen.  According to Buddhism, the term “zen” refers to the attainment of a stage of “awakening.” This belief was introduced in China by a Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma in A.D. 520.

Studies also show people who cling to the teachings of Zen endeavor to achieve “satori” which is also called “nirvana.” “Satori” in general can only be reached through a meditation called “zazen.” This, in turn, leads to a state of mushin or “no mind”.” Mushin is the ability to see things more clearly mentally. It means that one’s judgment will not be blurred with negative thoughts. Although this belief originated from southeast Asia, many Western students and practitioners of Yoga and Tai-Chi are satisfied with the health and vitality it brings.

Yoga benefits

Practicing yoga increases flexibility and overall body strength. This is because stretching actually exercises the different tendons, ligaments, and joints of the body. Studies also say that yoga is probably the only form of activity that massages all the internal organs and glands in the body. These may include the prostate, which according to medical specialists hardly receives stimulation. This massage or stimulation may keep certain individuals from diseases and other forms of illness.

Yoga ensures the best supply of blood to the body. This helps detoxify the body of toxins and, in the process, could delay aging and give you renewed energy.  Yoga tones muscles because of repeated stimulation through the entire muscle. It’s a great way to tighten and tone your body without using traditional body weight exercises like push-ups or squats, or free weights. It is the ultimate low impact exercise routine. Yoga also has the added benefit of being able to do it from home. YouTube has a lot of instructional videos for beginners. You can start off spending as little as 5 minutes a day doing yoga and increase from there.

Tai Chi benefits

Medical researchers and Tai Chi practitioners claim that immediate benefits occur from day one of practice. These may include a more relaxed and clearer mind. Clinical studies in the US show that improved balance and peace of mind took place after only eight weeks of training. These benefits were immediately evident after performing very simple set of movements taken from different Tai Chi styles. Other benefits of this “soft” martial art include improved internal organ functions, breathing, and sleep. Additional reports show that people who practice Tai Chi enjoyed improved strength and reduced stress. It has also helped people gain the ability to better deal with anxiety attacks.

However, people with a history of heart disease, back injuries, or undergone recent surgery should consult a physician before starting a Yoga or Tai Chi routine. In general, Tai Chi and Yoga are very effective routines to bring back health and a sense of peace of mind. To a devoted practioner, yoga or tai chi can be used to achieve the state of zen. Done properly, these ancient arts of exercise and meditation can help provide anxiety relief and alleviate other forms of stress. If want something less physical but good for your mental health as well? Here is an article about simply walking can improve cardiovascular and mental health.

If you have any medical issues or are unsure, please talk to a doctor before starting any new workout routine.

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