In contrast with many fitness classes or sport options, Tai Chi has minimal clothes and clothing requirements. You can actually wear anything you want during Chi training, loose, comfortable pants and top, with flat-soled shoes is all that is needed to practice a routine. The most common Tai Chi suit is a T-shirt and sweat pants.
Loose clothing ensures freedom of movement in every direction, while flat shoes are needed for balance and grip on the floor or ground.
Why Proper Clothing is So Important in Tai Chi
Tai Chi requires fundamental meditation skills to execute properly. There are a variety of important aspects to your martial arts and exercise workout.
Some of the experts argue that wearing proper clothing during the exercise session is every bit as essential as the mental preparation before actual session itself. The fact that you are wearing a certain ‘uniform’ puts you in a certain state of mind, and spiritual energy is allowed to flow better through the meridians. They rationalize that spiritual energy Qi flows from every pore in the body. Tight and inhibitive clothing can severely diminish the flows of energy in your body. This is especially important to those who are starting to learn the skills of the ancient art. Starters tend to have more difficulty in detecting and managing Qi.
Tough heavy clothing like jeans and jackets are so rigid and not as flexible, that it will hinder body movement and encumber the practitioner and will be uncomfortable, especially in the middle of a meditation.
Footwear depends on the location. Some experts insists that students wear flat-soled supportive shoes in class and never bare feet, both for safety and in accord with traditional Chinese medical principles which regard some points on the soles of the feet to be of key importance in health; therefore they must be protected from impact and from cold.
Features of Proper Tai Chi Clothing
Here are some of the features that you ought to find in Tai Chi clothing. The proper clothing fabric should be soft, light, and supple so that the movements remain uninhibited, the practitioner is not distracted and the postures can be performed in the best of conditions.
Linen pants are a favorite choice since linen is thermo-regulating, strong, durable and more resistant to wear and abrasion. Traditional Chinese martial arts masters use silk since silk was plentiful in china. Cotton is also an alternative if silk and linen are not easily available. Cotton is cool and is also less expensive.
The most common color of Tai Chi clothing is black and white. Though there are no restrictions to the color of clothing that you wear, you’d better not wear too bright colors because you may disturb the other people in your class, unless of course you train alone. Vivid colors make it a bit difficult to keep the mind focused; they could become a distraction particularly for people in the early training stages.
The proper exercise clothing only serves to make you comfortable while practicing your art, but it does not define the skill in the art. Any person interested in the art of Tai Chi can try it. Tai Chi is supposed to help you balance your mind and body so whatever cloths you decide to wear they should not distract you from your meditation experience. You can even practice the meditation in the middle of Sahara wearing only a swimsuit if you wanted to.
by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com
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