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How Yoga & Tai chi Change your Life

How Yoga & Tai chi Change your Life

Tai chi may be a safe alternative to conventional exercise for maintaining bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women. Bone mineral density is one of the key indicators of bone strength. Low BMD is associated with osteoporosis, a bone disease characterized by reduced bone strength that can lead to fractures, which are a significant cause of disability in older people.

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Exercise is an important component of osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Tai chi is a mind-body practice that originated in China as a martial art. It consists of slow and gentle body moves, while breathing deeply and meditating (tai chi is sometimes called “moving meditation”).

WHEN YOU THINK OF USING MARTIAL ARTS, it’s usually to wreak havoc among the muscular and the dim-witted—and perhaps any random masked Ninjas out causing trouble. But a new study shows that one particular martial art can also help improve your sleep. Dr. Michael Irwin, the Norman Cousins Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, studied a group of 112 healthy, older adults between the ages of 59 and 86, randomly assigning them to two groups. One practiced 20 tai chi moves for 25 weeks, and one took classes in healthy lifestyles, including sleep hygiene, for the same period of time. At the end of the study, published in the scientific journal Sleep in July 2008, the class that performed tai chi reported a significant improvement in the quality of their sleep on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a self-rated questionnaire.

studied a group of 112 healthy, older adults between the ages of 59 and 86, randomly assigning them to two groups. One practiced 20 tai chi moves for 25 weeks, and one took classes in healthy lifestyles, including sleep hygiene, for the same period of time. At the end of the study, published in the scientific journal Sleep in July 2008, the class that performed tai chi reported a significant improvement in the quality of their sleep on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a self-rated questionnaire.

The Chinese characters for Tai Chi Chuan can be translated as the ‘Supreme Ultimate Force’. The notion of ‘supreme ultimate’ is often associated with the Chinese concept of yin-yang, the notion that one can see a dynamic duality (male/female, active/passive, dark/light, forceful/yielding, etc.) in all things. ‘Force’ (or, more literally, ‘fist’) can be thought of here as the means or way of achieving this ying-yang, or ‘supreme-ultimate’ discipline.

Tai Chi, as it is practiced in the west today, can perhaps best be thought of as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined. There are a number of so- called forms (sometimes also called ‘sets’) which consist of a sequence of movements. Many of these movements are originally derived from the martial arts (and perhaps even more ancestrally than that, from the natural movements of animals and birds) although the way they are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.

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Exercise is an important component osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Tai chi is a min

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Exercise is an important component osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Tai chi is a min

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