There are 5 top Tai Chi safety tips that you should be aware of before you head off to have a look in the local shops for a DVD to get you started.
In this article we’re going to look at 5 Tai Chi safety tips that will make sure you get the most out of your sessions, and in as safe a way as possible. They are made up of the worst possible ways to get started, and some of the things you need to do to make sure you don’t injure yourself.
Tai Chi Safety Tips #1
Beginners should never start their very first session by following a manual or video. Manuals and videos are great when you already know the basics, but, no matter how good they are, they’re never going to be able to give you feedback on the way you’re performing the movements.
The videos and manuals will also make it way too tempting to skip the introductions and just go to the bits that look interesting. Without an understanding of how you do the moves, which you can’t always pick up first time by skipping ahead, you’ll start to fall behind and, in a lot of cases, decide that it doesn’t work and look for some short lived celebrity linked health and fitness craze.
Get one-to-one coaching, or at least a live group session, and find out the basics before going for the books and manuals. Not only will you learn if your posture is correct, you’re going to be far less likely to pick up totally avoidable injuries.
Tai Chi Safety Tips #2
Always look for an instructor that knows what they’re doing, and you’ll feel comfortable working with. If you aren’t comfortable with them you aren’t going to put in the effort to do the sessions. If they aren’t qualified enough to answer any of your questions then they could be causing you more harm than they are doing you good.
Why should they have to be able to answer your questions? Well, apart from the usual things about how to do the positions, they should be able to give you some advice on health related matters that may be affected by doing the sessions.
Obviously you should check with your doctor first if you have any underlying health problems, but the teacher should be able to tell you whether the movements you’re doing will cause any additional stresses and strains that could increase problems with arthritis, or aggravate heart problems.
Talk to the teachers and tell them what your problems are, and if they’ve got enough experience they will be able to tell you which movements to stay clear of. If they can’t, then find another teacher.
Tai Chi Safety Tips #3
Always ‘warm up’ before doing a session and then ‘warm down’ after the session has finished. This is something that will happen anyway if you’re actually having one-to-one or group sessions, but, if you’re following a manual, or watching a video, they’re usually the bits that people tend to skip over.
Just remember that these are fairly strenuous exercises, so going into them cold has the potential to cause a few tweaks of the muscles.
Tai Chi Safety Tips #4
The chances are that you won’t be able to perform all of the movements that you see in the videos and manuals. While it may be tempting just to avoid them and find another one to try, they are there for a reason.
It’s often possible to just simplify the movement being shown. If you’re going to do that it would be preferable to have a teacher to ask about simplifying the movement, but, so long as you can comfortably accomplish the modified movement, it isn’t always necessary to consult someone first.
Tai Chi Safety Tips #5
You should never over extend yourself in order to complete a movement. There are no prizes for being able to perform a difficult movement.
You’re supposed to be in a meditative state when doing the movements, and pushing yourself too far is going to get you a long way from being in a meditative state. If you’re doing it right all of the movements should flow from one to the other.
The more you practice, the easier you’ll find it to achieve those positions that you once may have had to over extend yourself to reach.
There we have it; the top 5 Tai Chi safety tips.
Don’t start with manuals and videos, find a qualified teacher that will be able to answer your health questions and make sure you’re doing the movements correctly; then you can start using books and videos to do it at home. Warm up and down when doing the sessions, and make sure you don’t over extend yourself – simplify some of the movements in the beginning if need be.
Right now’s the best time to make good use of those Tai Chi safety tips.
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