Sitting All Day? 10 Great Benefits of Online Tai Chi Classes
Are you feeling the effects of the pandemic stay-at-home? You are not alone.
Many of us have been suffering from what I call “staying in your bubble blues” over the past many months. Lack of social connection, physical activity, and mental and emotional drain have been slowly taking their toll on our health.
If you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk, you have most likely found your life to be even more sedentary than usual due to the pandemic. Heck, even if you don’t have a desk job, or are happily retired, chances are you have found yourself engaging in far less physical activity due to the Covid situation. And, mentally you are getting less “me time” and feeling more stressed as well.
What used to be your daily commute may look more like rolling out of bed and walking to the den to start your workday. Your drive to the grocery store and walking the isles has become staring at a screen with a few finger clicks on “your favorite store dot com” and delivery to your doorstep or parking lot pickup. Teachers have been thrown into a whole new world of reduced physical movement, challenging technology, increased demands, and tremendous stress.
And don’t forget, the refrigerator and pantry are always a few steps away and seem to be calling to you constantly!
Learning Tai Chi at Home Gaining Popularity
To help combat Covid stress, stagnation, and weight gain, people have flocked to a variety of activities, exercises, and practices available online. Tai Chi online classes have become increasingly popular as a favorite source of physical, mental, and emotional support. Virtual Tai Chi for health lessons, both live, using a platform such as Zoom, and self-paced video-on-demand styles, have made this uniquely healthful practice more widely available than ever before.
But what makes Tai Chi so special? How can Tai Chi improve my health? Why is it uniquely different from other forms of activity?
Tai Chi is Uniquely Different From Other Health Activities
Tai Chi helps prevent and reverse health conditions
Tai Chi has been widely recommended by places like the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School to prevent and reverse health conditions! Not only a great practice for fall prevention, arthritis, and Parkinson’s, it is also proven to help with high blood pressure, poor sleep, back and reducing pain from neck pain, chronic stress, and anxiety. NBC News wrote an article describing why Tai Chi is the most underrated workout for relieving stress and improving sleep.
From Hong Kong to the University of Vermont to, most recently, the Harvard Medical School, study after study demonstrates the increase in balance and motor control with Tai Chi practice. Tai Chi’s fall prevention research documents that Tai Chi practice has shown a 40-50% reduction in fall rates compared to other forms of active exercise. Medical News Today compiled some helpful research.
Tai Chi calms the mind and reduces stress
Tai Chi is often called meditation in motion. The flowing gentle movements allow the body to relax, but the somewhat complex nature of the details of the choreography keeps the mind focused on our own body and how we feel, leaving no room in our minds for that pesky monkey. The focus is on ourselves, not the grocery list, not the kids, not what happened at work today—but what is happening right here, right now.
Tai Chi practice also focused on our breath. Moving towards calming belly breathing and away from stress-inducing chest breathing. NIH and the British Journal of Sports Medicine published a study on Tai Chi’s physiological characteristics and beneficial effects on health.
Tai Chi is easy to learn
Learning to practice Tai Chi is easy, yet it’s complicated enough to keep your mind focused and challenge your abilities. Tai Chi is also a martial art, with each posture having self-defense applications. The martial practice of Tai Chi is much more difficult and takes longer to learn.
Most online Tai Chi classes you will find, however, focus mainly on the physical and mental health benefits of the practice. You will want to find a Tai Chi for health program that begins with learning the basic principles and step-by-step implementing the connected flowing movements known as Tai Chi forms.
Tai Chi can help you lose and maintain weight
When most people think about Tai Chi, they are not usually associating the practice with calorie burn. You may not realize just how many calories those slow, graceful movements will shed.
Calculations show a Tai Chi session is about the equivalent, in terms of burning calories, as an hour-long walk done at 3.5 mph. Not only does Tai Chi aid your flexibility, but the practice itself is also flexible. Read more
Emotional Benefits of Tai Chi
There is a bond that forms between Tai Chi students, creating a sense of connection and community. Learning together, sharing stories, comparing ah-ha moments or challenges is mentally and emotionally beneficial.
The emotional and social isolation being brought on by the pandemic are important issues to address to ensure our health. Replicating this rewarding social experience in an on-line virtual environment is a challenge for most instructors, but it is being successfully accomplished by a small few.
Just Breathe Tai Chi has created Tai Chi online formats specifically designed to address this need.
Combat “Staying in Your Bubble Blues”!
I’ve heard it every week for over a year now—overwhelming appreciation and praise of being able to take Tai Chi classes online from both beginners and returning students.
Beginning March of 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Just Breathe Tai Chi classes became completely virtual with 4 live classes meeting weekly using Zoom. It wasn’t long after that classes were made available as a video-on-demand, self-paced program, allowing more time zone and schedule flexibility.
The on-demand format also appealed to students not comfortable using Zoom or a web-cam and just wanted to learn at their own pace on their own schedule. Since the on-demand videos are a compilation of a full 15-week live Zoom Tai Chi class series, the lessons still provide the emotional and psychological benefit of feeling like being part of a group.
A Few Online Tai Chi Student Testimonials
I am immensely grateful for the almost daily comments and emails I receive from my students. It is a joy to watch their progress and be a part of their lives. Here are a few I would like to share.
“I can’t even imagine getting through the inactivity and isolation of staying safe at home during the Covid pandemic if without regular virtual Tai Chi classes.”
“Just a quick note to say that the on-demand classes are a great ongoing resource for the class. I’m glad that I subscribed to them. I often view the corresponding on-demand class to the just-completed weekly class to get a slightly different take and fine-tuning by you. Both current [live, weekly Tai Chi classes], as well as Tai Chi on-demand recordings are helpful.“
“Wow! That must have been some workout last night! My body felt better this morning than it has in a month (stress and worry do take a toll!). Thank you!”
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Just Breathe Tai Chi Online is fun, healthy, and a lifesaver! I loved being with the class again—and delighted how many of us are in the class together. I definitely am suffering from pandemic isolation! So please know that you have done a wonderful, life-sustaining thing.
“Really enjoyed class tonight. Small triumphs bring great joys.”
“You are a very accomplished teacher. Your lifetime of work shows through. It is a pleasure to study under your tutelage.”