By Linda Ebeling, Master Trainer, Minneapolis, USA.
The Tai Chi principles state that we should move slowly. Let’s examine
the benefits of moving slowly for improved Tai Chi practice and physical
Slow allows for Mindful Movement: Tai Chi is frequently
called meditation in motion. Moving slowly allows us to access that mind body
connection, key into our breath, and promotes relaxation.
Moving slowly builds the Slow Twitch muscles: Slow
twitch muscles support joints, help maintain proper posture, and improve flow
of blood and oxygen to muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints.
Moving slowly engages the Fascia: The fascia is
connective tissue that surrounds, encapsulates and connects muscles and organs
within the body, much like the sections of an orange. This tissue needs to be
fluid and able to slide. Slow motion and dynamic stretching allow this to
happen. Conversely, this does not happen with fast movement.
Slow motion is good for the tendons, ligaments and
joints: When moving slowly, we can properly align the joints for safe movement.
Slow movement increases flexibility and aids dynamic stretching. This increases
blood flow to these areas.
Slow is safe: Mindful stepping, postural awareness and
proper alignment take time.
There are many physical reasons for moving slowly as we do our Tai Chi, yet it
will deepen our technique as well.
Slow allows you to incorporate the rest of the Tai Chi
Principles: Posture, proper weight transfer, resistance, song and jing are all built on slow movement.