Are you stressed? From tests at school and loads of homework to sports practices and keeping your room clean, today's kids stay busy. It's easy to feel the pressure of all you've got going on from time to time. So what do you do to relieve that stress?

Perhaps you could take a cue from ancient China and give tai chi a try! Tai chi (pronounced “tie chee") or tai chi chuan, as it's sometimes known, is an ancient Chinese practice that consists of many different types of calisthenics exercises.

Tai chi chuan loosely translates to “supreme ultimate boxing." Indeed, the practice was originally developed as a means of self-defense. Today, however, tai chi is a popular form of light exercise that many believe improves health and helps to reduce stress levels.

Some people who practice tai chi describe its graceful, flowing movements as meditation in motion. As they gently transition from one motion to another, fans of tai chi gain a sense of peace and serenity that calms their nerves and improves their mood.

Many people enjoy tai chi because they can incorporate light exercise and stretching into a routine at their own pace. There's no need to rush, since tai chi's postures and motions are meant to be done slowly with a focus on maintaining a steady rate of deep breathing.

Over hundreds of years, tai chi has developed into a practice enjoyed around the world in a variety of styles and methods. Some people prefer styles that focus on stress-reduction or particular health benefits, while others choose to concentrate on a style that emphasizes martial arts.

Since tai chi is a low-impact form of exercise that doesn't put too much stress on joints and muscles, it has become popular amongst a wide variety of different people. Young and old alike, tai chi can be a safe and beneficial form of exercise for just about anyone. It's also convenient for most people, since it doesn't require any special equipment and can be practiced indoors or outside.

So how do you learn tai chi? There are many different books and videos available that will teach you the basics of tai chi. You can also find many websites with similar information. For many people, though, it can be beneficial to take a tai chi class for beginners. Learning from an expert who can answer your questions is often the easiest and quickest way to get started.

Once you get started, you'll likely begin to experience the positive benefits of tai chi. Experts believe that some of the health benefits of tai chi include reduced stress, more energy, increased flexibility, easier breathing, and greater muscle strength. Some experts also believe tai chi may improve sleep, boost the immune system, reduce joint pain, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

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