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Tai Chi and Qigong - the Green Exercises Inside Out
By Gary Jiang
(President of American Tai Chi and Qigong Association,
M.S. in Public Policy and Management)

April 22, 2010 was the 40th Earth Day, a day set aside every year to remember and appreciate the Earth's environment, and all of our roles within that environment. Forty years later, people are talking about going green more than ever.

As a Tai Chi or Qigong practitioner, professional or amateur, you may not have realized that you have already taken a big step in going green by simply doing the exercise you chose for your health and wellness.

How so?

Compared to many other types of exercises, doing Tai Chi or Qigong consume much less resources -

         Less electricity: when you do Tai Chi or Qigong, you do not use any electronic equipment like fitness machines, or watch TV or listening to an iPod as people doing other exercises may do.

         Less water: Tai Chi and Qigong are usually gentle and low impact, and people don't usually need to take a shower after the practice.

         Less plastic: also because of their low impact, when people do Tai Chi or Qigong, they generally do not need so much bottled water or even sports drink as they would in other exercises, and this means less use of plastic bottles.

         Outdoors: Tai Chi and Qigong are not only suitable for outdoors but they actually can be benefited from being practiced outdoors, because of the natural energy flowing in the outdoor environment. When doing them outdoors, you save all the utility expenses that would be needed for a building.

But the "greenness" of Tai Chi and Qigong goes beyond the less consumption.

When people talk about green energies, they often talk about generating power from the natural resources such as sunlight and wind.

When we do Tai Chi or Qigong, we are actually doing the same thing - we rely on natural resources - the "chi" in our own bodies and the energy in the environment - trees, water, grass, mountain, etc. We practice to bring these natural powers together and to make them work in harmony inside of our body. The power from these natural energies is used to fuel, not our home or office, but our own physical and mental wellness. With health, we demand less medicine, less medical machinery, and hence less resources to produce them.

Going green is about building harmonious relationship with nature, but we often forget that human beings are part of nature, we often forget that nature is not only outside of us but also inside. As Tai Chi or Qigong practitioners, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to stay in harmony with nature, from inside out.




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