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Members of Utah County are invited to experience the art of tai chi, an ancient method of exercise derived from martial arts, tonight at 6 p. The first class for each person will be free, allowing participants to get a feel for the art and decide if it is something they would be interested in continuing.
The classes will be taught by Dr. Art Barrett, a chiropractor and tai chi instructor, who has been involved with tai chi since after serving a mission in Taiwan. Barrett often saw Taiwanese people exercising in the park and gained a desire to learn tai chi when he arrive home.
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Tai chi, from a Western point of view, can best be described as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined, according to Frank Petrillo Jr. The Chinese consider tai chi to be the best exercise they have developed out of the various medical gymnastics they have created to cure and avoid illness.
Consisting of slow, graceful movements, tai chi reflects the natural movements of animals and birds, as symbols, deed to focus the mind and breathing through a complex series of executions, Petrillo said. Unlike the various popular fitness programs that concentrate on certain muscles, tai chi utilizes and benefits every part of the body. There are four basic principles that must be learned and incorporated correctly when doing tai chi, Barrett said.
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The first principle is relax, second is body straight, do not lean any direction, third is the center of gravity should be clear, and fourth is all the movements are led by the waist. Barrett compared this concept to water, it is clear, odorless, tasteless and wet, he said.
Each one of these characteristics seem separate, but they are describing one simple thing, water. Scientific research conducted at the Medical Academy of Shanghi and other institutions has provided evidence that tai chi stimulates the central nervous system, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and gently tones muscles without strain.
It also enhances digestion, the circulation of blood and improves the functionality of internal organs through rhythmic movements.
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This amazing health benefit gives me control over how I feel each day and is priceless too me. A tai chi form is composed of separate moves each ed by a transition, known as a link, Petrillo said. Each movement may be short, or made up of a complex sequence of sub-moves. Although each is an individual definitive element to the form, they flow continually into each other and are not practiced separately.
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The Yang style, a long form of tai chi, generally takes about three years to properly learn the separate postures. In traditional China, tai chi is passed down from father to the oldest son.
In general it is an art that is being lost, Ruiz said. Over 80 percent of people who practice tai chi today make the mistake of chasing the external postures and it is not recognize that, Barrett said.
BYU has its own tai chi club on campus. The purpose of the club is to help people develop good character, physical fitness, and self-reliance, thought practicing the principles of tai chi, discipline courage, and diligence.
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The Daily Universe. By Julia Burgon Members of Utah County are invited to experience the art of tai chi, an ancient method of exercise derived from martial arts, tonight at 6 p. Utah Shakespeare Festival honors founder in 60th anniversary.