Dimensions of Kung Fu Culture

Highlight: The martial arts of China originated for survival and warfare reasons, but in modern times, Kung Fu has spinoffs in a variety of fields, sometimes retaining the authenticity of the practice, and other times, breaking off into artistic and combined adaptations.

 

Kung Fu is a Chinese term referring to any study or practice that requires patience, focus, and time. Though it can refer to any general skill or discipline, it is also heavily linked to the martial arts world, especially by the Western media. The pin yin word, gōngfu (功夫), means “work” and “achievement”, often referencing more the process of achieving something rather than solely performing martial arts; this is why we are pleased to introduce the section where we delve into both the cultural and lifestyle affinities linked to Kung Fu.

 

Kung Fu as a Skill in Various Fields

Saying that a person has “Kung Fu” in an area implies that this person has a skill that is difficult to develop in that particular field. For example, someone can have Kung Fu in painting, or Kung Fu in cooking, or even have Kung Fu in a different sport unrelated to martial arts. The excellence reached in that field is what exemplifies Kung Fu, and this is why the term is an interestingly diverse application from Chinese culture to all other cultures.

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Kung Fu in Dance, Cinematography and Cuisine

The martial arts of China originated for survival and warfare reasons rather than as an art, but in modern times, Kung Fu has spinoffs in a variety of fields, sometimes retaining the authenticity of the practice, and other times, breaking off into artistic and combined adaptations. Martial arts schools teach certain routines and practices, such as the art of lion dance, and this dance has grown from a display of Kung Fu to a full and colourful dance performance. Kung Fu has also reached cinematography and has its own film genre, Kung Fu film. Kung Fu cooking and Kung Fu chefs are presented in a recent documentary that explores the life of competitive Oriental cooks who must attain Kung Fu with their impressive dishes.

Finally, celebrities’ endorsements of different Kung Fu dress and adaptation of Kung Fu in Western movies has spread around the globe, most notably, in the works of Jackie Chan or the beloved children’s animated movie, Kung Fu Panda. It is therefore safe to say that even though Kung Fu can refer to martial arts, it is also a term often used within modern culture and lifestyle, given its adaptability as an ideal and as a practice known for its standard of human excellence. It may have originated in military circles of China, but it now exists in many dimensions and categories all over the world.

 

 

 

Written by  Monica @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Diaspora Helps Bring Chinese Culture to the World

Highlight: Chinese culture has been exported worldwide, mostly due to extensive immigration from China, creating large expatriate communities that are keen to practice traditional values while embracing the lifestyle and cultures of their adopted homelands.

 

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Chinese culture and lifestyle is promoted throughout the world thanks to the rich and vibrant Chinese immigrant communities located in nearly every country. The Mandarin word for people of Chinese heritage living abroad is 海外华人 (pinyin:Hǎiwài Huárén).  Indonesia, the United States, Malaysia, and Thailand have the highest number of overseas Chinese, each with over 3 million citizens of Chinese heritage. Throughout generations of immigration, these communities have assimilated well into their host countries, but some of the larger overseas Chinese communities still practice traditions and celebrate festivals and holidays from China.

 

New York City  Has Largest Chinese Population Outside Asia

This is particularly true in New York City, which has a Chinatown in Manhattan that boasts the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, and a large and growing Chinese community in Queens. Chinese people have been immigrating to America, and New York City in particular, since the mid-1800s, and today Chinese people make up the third highest percentage of annual immigrants to America, after Mexico and India. In 2013, nearly 20,000 immigrants from mainland China moved to New York City, more than the next two major American Chinese immigrant destinations, Los Angeles and San Francisco, combined.

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Dissemination of Chinese culture in New York

Chinese culture is kept alive in New York City through institutions such as the New York Chinese Cultural Center, which offers classes in Chinese martial arts, visual arts, language, acrobatics, and dance. The Cultural Center also partners with more conventional American New York City establishments, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, and Queens Botanical Garden, to promote Chinese culture throughout all five of New York City’s boroughs. Similarly, the Museum of Chinese in the United States, in Manhattan, curates a variety of interesting exhibitions on the long history of Chinese immigration to America and New York City, along with the food, art, and festivals that Chinese immigrants have brought to America and that have disseminated into mainstream American culture.

The Chinese New Year Festival is a particularly enjoyable and well-attended event in New York City, bringing together hundreds of thousands of people representing the diverse conglomeration of the city’s population annually since 1999. Politicians, celebrities, and international tourists have been known to frequent this yearly celebration, and it has become a much-anticipated and beloved aspect of life in New York City.

Chinese culture has been exported worldwide, mostly due to extensive immigration from China, creating large expatriate communities that are keen to practice traditional values while embracing the lifestyle and cultures of their adopted homelands. Nowhere is this more true than in New York City, where the largest Chinese immigrant population in the Western hemisphere has helped introduce Americans to Chinese culture for over 150 years.

 

 

Written by Amber @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

What is Zen

Zen is becoming a hit nowadays as more and more people are paying attention to mental health and meditation. What is Zen? Zen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese character “Chan (禅)“,which is interpreted in many different ways, such as living simply or habits. However, it is over-analyzed. Zen is a word that was originally translated from the Indian Sanskrit term “dhyana” and it means meditation.

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Zen as the Feeling of Being Home

There are different interpretations about Zen. It is a state, a method, and most importantly, it is a spiritual home. Some people believe that Zen is a state of awareness. From their point of view, despite the differences in appearances, everything is equal in the world. Some others see Zen as a method which helps to show the wisdom of every single creature. Finally, Zen is the spiritual home to some people. There is nothing as reliable as home. Zen can bring the feeling of being home to people and help them find their original selves.

A very famous monk called Huineng once said that Zen is when a person can remain in inner peace despite all the external temptations. One’s spirit is free when he orshe is not limited by the appearance of objects, which is called “Ding” (stable) in Chinese. The highest state of life, according to Huineng, is mastering both Zen and Ding.

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Zen is also a method for modern people who are very busy to relieve their stress.  Through meditation, you will awaken your true nature.

 

The Story of the Four Friends

Once upon a time, there was a businessman and he had four friends. He was very generous to his first friend and always offered him the best; the second friend was very sophisticated, so the businessman valued him a great deal and always tried to impress him so he could show him off to others; he didn’t give his third friend any special treatment because that friend is very ordinary, however, the businessman was still satisfied with this friend because he was very reliable; as for the fourth friend, the businessman barely noticed him.

One day, the businessman was going on a trip to a faraway place. At that time, traveling was a sweaty and dirty undertaking that nobody enjoyed. To make the journey more tolerable, he wanted to bring one of his friends with him. When he asked his friends, all of them rejected him with different excuses, except for his fourth friend. The first friend told the businessman that he is not obligated to go on this trip, which broke the businessman’s heart. The second friend told him:“I know that you are very nice to me, but that cannot be the reason for me to go with you, because there are so many other nice people in the world.” The third friend offered him company, but only for the beginning of his trip. Only the fourth friend followed him without saying a word.

 

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A lesson of what is the most important in life

In this story, the businessman is you and the place that he is traveling to is death and the story is trying to tell us what is important in life.

The first friend is our body, throughout our lives we are trying to satisfy our body’s desires, which we cannot take away with us when we are dying. The second friend symbolizes money and social status. Most people are fighting for these two things for their whole life, yet they can only be left behind once we die. Families and friends are the third friend in the story. They are very important and precious to us, but even they cannot stay with us until the end of our journey. The only friend that can stay with us forever is our mind/spirit, which are easily forgotten or neglected by us.

What this story really teaches us is that finding our true self and our spirit is a very important lesson in life.  Through Zen, through meditating, we can start paying attention to and listening to our heart and find our spiritual home.

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Written by Bota @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

The Philosophical History of Kung Fu

The Birth of the Art

The most ancient of martial arts, Kung Fu can be traced back to more than 4,000 years ago when it originated in China as a form of battlefield combat. The Yellow Emperor, who rose to power in 2698 BC, was passionate about writing about several fields, in particular medicine, astrology, and martial arts. He propagated different forms of martial arts, and during the Zhou Dynasty, a philosophical element was given to martial arts that is present in modern-day Kung Fu. This philosophical take was based on ideals of Confucianism and Taoism, and in Taoism, the Ying and Yang (universal opposites) were spectrums for the hard and soft techniques in Kung Fu. The Taoist I-Ching system of divination gave mystical elements to Kung Fu philosophy, enforcing a sense of spirituality. For Confucians, martial arts is one of the “six arts” that should be practiced in life, alongside calligraphy and music, among others.

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Elite Warriors from the Shaolin Temple

A few hundred years after Buddhism had made its way to China, the arrival of an Indian Buddhist monk, Bodhidarma, brought his religious influence to the martial arts. He came to the newly established Shaolin Temple, and there is still much discussion amongst historians of whether he introduced the religious element to the Kung Fu practice or if this was already in development by the monks who lived at the temple. Regardless, since then, Shaolin monks have dedicated themselves to Kung Fu and have become elite warriors that have spread their influence and knowledge throughout China. Engaged in numerous military campaigns, they are known for bringing and keeping peace in their province. Experts have travelled to visit them and learn from their Kung Fu secrets, many of which include rigorous daily training hours that are highly demanding for the body and mind. Spin offs of the Kung Fu practice have propagated across China; for example, rival Taoist monasteries have trained different styles of Kung Fu that focus on heavily internal training. Popularity, intrigue and admiration for the practice grew.

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Kung Fu Today

In the early 20th century, Kung Fu became mainstream and ceased to be practiced solely by an elite group of expert warriors, adapting to the likes of ordinary people across China and the world. A Chinese cultural recovery was much needed to re-establish thousands of years of building Chin prestigious cultural reputation and pride after the European and the Opium Wars from 1860 to 1939. In an attempt to recapture the Chinese spirit, the government encouraged and made martial arts accessible to the public. This led to a spread of Kung Fu adaptation into literature, film, and several athletic associations devoted to the modernised practice of the art. The central governing body for Kung Fu was established in 1928, and Kung Fu competitions began taking place thereafter. In 1936, Kung Fu was in the global spotlight during its introduction to the Berlin Olympic Games.  In 1949, Kung Fu values and ideals were aligned with the Communist Party of China (CPC), and because the CPC did not recognize religious beliefs, Kung Fu was modernised as a sporting version called Wushu. Wushu was present in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and is currently now practiced by many universities and schools, as well as athletic centers in China and around the world. It is clear that what defines Kung Fu practice today is what has always shaped it in the past; its philosophical disposition to the people  who can practice and master it.

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Written by Monica @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Shaolin Kung Fu for Beginners

Here is a list of several standing exercises within Kung Fu that will help improve balance, fitness, and mental tranquility. These stances also form the basis of other Kung Fu exercises and forms. The presenter is Master Wu Nanfang, as a part of his Shaolin Wugulun Kung Fu Youtube series.

 

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1) Tranquil stance

Stand squarely on both feet to about shoulders’ width, relax your body and your mind. Raise your hands gently in front of you abdomen and meanwhile bend your knees slowly. Stand quietly for 5 minutes.

 

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2) Horse Stance

Plant your feet squarely apart and bend your knees, like you are riding a horse

 

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3) Nail Stance

Shift part of your weight to your left leg. Take back your right leg slowly and keep the sole of your right foot’s toes on the ground. Turn your hip gently. Stand quietly like this for a while and then change side.Put your right foot in front of your left foot and keep the sole of your right foot’s toes on the ground. Stand quietly for a while and then change side.

 

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4) One legged stance

Raise your right leg slowly and stand like this for a while and then change side.

 

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5) Drop stance 1

Move your hands upwards and to the side while leaning forward with most of your weight on one foot

 

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6) Drop stance 2

Move your hands downward and shift your weight to your other leg. Repeat for the other side.

 

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7) Ending Posture

Take your feet back and put your hands with fingers crossed in front of your chest. Relax your body.

Practice these moves in succession for up to an hour to help master the basics of some Kung Fu forms/taolu

 

 

Written by Amber @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Martial Arts Diet

Highlight: Everyone can live longer if they pay attention to their lifestyle and try to live as monks do. 

 

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People may have often heard that Buddhist monks on average live longer than others, and this is scientifically proven. However, the reason that monks can live longer is not because of their identity as monks, it is because of their lifestyle. Everyone can live longer if they pay attention to their lifestyle and try to live healthier. Apart from practicing martial arts, the secret of monks- some of the healthiest people on the earth- is eating healthy. Why is eating healthy important? Studies show that a healthy eating style can significantly lower the risk of having diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Also, for some people, eating healthy will lead to emotional health since they can feel good about themselves. Finally, for people who are interested in losing weight, there is nothing more effective and impactful than eating healthy.

How do you eat healthily? Many studies have shown that following a Mediterranean-style diet, also known as the martial arts diet, is good for us. In the martial arts world, a balance in what you eat impacts how you perform, hence it is an integral part of martial art practice. There are both traditional and modern types of martial arts diet-called Shaolin temple diet and Shaolin warrior monks’ diet.

 

 

Traditional Martial Art Diet: Shaolin Temple Diet 

Shaolin temple diet is the eating style of Shaolin monks and it is a vegetarian diet that relates to Buddhism. This is because Buddhists do not kill animals. Alcohol as well as stimulating spices or odiferous food like ginger, onion and garlic are forbidden because they can excite emotions.  Let’s look at the example of the Shaolin Temple Diet:

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Breakfast

In a Shaolin temple, all monks get up at around 5am and have porridge as breakfast. The most common porridge is called Eight Treasures, which contains red beans, pine nuts, walnuts, peanuts, rice, hawthorns, Chinese dates and millet. This breakfast is very good for organ health.

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Lunch

Rice, tofu and five to six types of vegetables are normally served for lunch from 11:30 to 12:30 am. The food is either raw or steamed and as mentioned, no spices and odiferous food are added: the simpler the meal is made, the better. Water or tea is not served in order to improve digestion.

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Dinner

Dinner is served around 5:30 pm and it is mainly high carb food such as noodles and bread make from black or yellow wheat. This is because carbs are the primary source of energy for our body. In fact, little to no carbohydrates will be stored as fat if we have enough exercise, according to a report from Columbia University.

 

Modern Martial Art Diet: Shaolin Warrior Monks’ Diet

Shaolin warrior monks are monks who practice martial arts but not Buddhism, and they eat meat because meat is high in many nutrients that can provide energu. If you want to follow martial art diet but do not want to stop eating meat, the shaolin warrior monks’ diet could be a great option.

 

 

 

Written by Bota @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Health benefits of Tai chi, the Most Popular Chinese Martial Art 

Highlight: “No pain, big gains”, says Harvard Heath about Tai chi, as it is relatively inexpensive and requires little external input. 

There are many disciplines of martial arts and each of them has different training system. However, the common goal of practicing martial arts is to improve ones’ health. Nowadays, martial arts has become an important practice in the fitness industry and it is practiced by more than 100 million people all over the world. Today, we are going to talk about the health benefits of one kind of Chinese martial art- Tai chi. Tai chi, as one of the most popular martial arts, has proved to be a very easy and effective way to improve ones’ physical as well as mental health.

 

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Greater aerobic capacity and muscle strength

As one form of aerobic exercise, Tai chi can boost body strength. Research shows that people who practice Tai chi at least 3 times a week have higher strength and physical performance levels.

 

Flexibility

A range of movement in Tai chi can train and improve people’s flexibility. While undertaking Tai chi movements, muscles and joints should be relaxed to such a degree that all rigidity disappears.

 

Balance

A study found out that people who practice Tai Chi experience significantly improved gait and posture, and fewer falls. This is because Tai chi movements are slow and steady, which can help the core regain balance and reduce the risk of falling in elderly practitioners.

 

Self-defense

From the perspective of self-defense, Tai chi can also lower blood pressure and improve immune system, which can decrease the chance of heart diseases.

 

Better mood

People, especially older adults, who have weekly Tai chi exercise will have lower levels of depression and anxiety because of the increase of confidence. As studies suggest, it can even help people with Parkinson’s disease.

There are two basic concepts that Tai chi beginners need to know: Qi and Yin & Yang. Qi refers to the energy force that flow through our body and practicing Tai Chi helps to balance this energy and unblock it. Yin & Yang describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, yet they need to be kept in harmony. Tai chi is a way to keep the Yin & Yang balanced in people’s body.

“No pain, big gains”, says Harvard Heath about Tai chi, as it is relatively inexpensive and requires little external input. Even though Tai chi is a gentle activity, it is advised that people, especially older adults, should seek medical advice before starting and follow proper Tai Chi classes.

 

 

Written by Bota @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!