Balance Your Health With Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong & Meditation


Slide over fast-moving and sweat-producing exercise! Make room for  meditation, tai chi, qigong and yoga which have both psychological and physical health benefits that may offer a nice balance and be equally as important as rigorous exercise. Tap here to get an introduction to these 4 body-mind techniques to see how they can benefit you and your family!
Perhaps much like the folktale of the tortoise and the hare, it is the slow, steady movement that may help win the race or at least keep you in the running. I am not suggesting to throw in the towel on your regular aerobic, sweat-producing exercise regimen - certainly not! But, some studies are showing the gentle movements in several techniques like yoga and tai chi or even no movement at all like in meditation can have huge positive impacts for our health, too.

Meditation, tai chi, qigong and yoga have both psychological and physical health benefits that may offer a nice balance and be equally as important as rigorous exercise. Conducted in nine countries, the study reviewed these four techniques and saw measurable reduction in inflammation measures of participants - a very good thing! Another study shows these techniques also produced immediate changes in the expression of genes involved in immune function, our metabolism and insulin secretion. I was intrigued so looked into these four techniques a bit more. Come take a look!







The Health Benefits of Body-Mind Techniques 


Here are the four body-mind techniques listed in the study with some descriptions and links for more information or tools that may help you get started in case you want to consider incorporating them in your life:

1.  Meditation


You are probably familiar with what meditation is about as it has been practiced by many cultures throughout time.  It usually involves an attempt to clear the mind and self-regulate it in some way. It may be done sitting or in an active way as many Buddhist monks evolve to do as a form of mind-training.  It typically uses deep slow breathing to relax the heart rate, muscles and mind.

There are many instructional CDs, classes and gurus to teach you. Here is a great start to guide you through meditation.

What It Could Do For You: If you choose to meditate regularly, besides the benefits listed in the studies, here are some additional possible health benefits:

  • creation of stress management skills
  • reduction of negative emotions and anxiety
  • increased focus and self-awareness
  • reduced blood pressure
  • better sleep



2.  Tai Chi


Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is a low impact and graceful form of exercise involving a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. Tap here for an introduction.

Tai chi has many different styles with its own subtle emphasis on various tai chi principles and methods. Some may focus on health maintenance while others focus on the martial arts aspect of tai chi.

What It Could Do For You: If you choose to practice tai chi regularly, besides the benefits listed in the studies, here are some additional possible health benefits:

  • better balance
  • greater muscle strength
  • more flexibility
  • improved concentration

Slide over fast-moving and sweat-producing exercise! Make room for  meditation, tai chi, qigong and yoga which have both psychological and physical health benefits that may offer a nice balance and be equally as important as rigorous exercise. Tap here to get an introduction to these 4 body-mind techniques to see how they can benefit you and your family!


3.  Qigong


Qigong originating from China as well, is an integration of physical postures, breathing techniques, and mental focus. It gets a bit tricky to figure out the difference between tai chi and qigong for me.  But, there is loads of information on that here.  It appears that qigong places more emphasis on healing than the martial arts aspect. There are even particular qigong methods for helping those with cancer or other issues for example. Here is a good place to find more resources on this technique.

Here is a video showing what tai chi and qigong are all about.

What It Could Do For You: If you choose to practice qigong regularly, besides the benefits listed in the studies, here are some additional possible health benefits:

  • more relaxation
  • sharper mind
  • better balance
  • lower blood pressure
  • better mood and less stress



4.  Yoga


Yoga is an umbrella term as there are numerous styles and combinations of them to stretch and strengthen your way to better health. Yoga studios are everywhere and a popular form of exercise and stress management for many. To practice at home, this is a popular and effective guide to make sure you are positioning your yoga poses correctly and do not injure yourself.

What It Could Do For You: If you choose to practice yoga regularly, besides the benefits listed in the studies, here are some additional possible health benefits:

  • improved flexibility
  • greater muscle strength
  • better posture
  • stronger bone health
  • increased circulation
  • better stress management

Tell me, do you practice any of these techniques? What have you noticed about how it benefits you?









For Even More On The Topic . . .


23 comments:

  1. Anything that can help your immune system and metabolism sounds like a good idea to me! I like the idea of giving traditional aerobic exercise a bit of a break for some more gentle types of movement, and I'll learn something new in the process!

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    1. So good to mix it up and balance things a bit! Let me know if you do try one of these techniques, Laura. Thanks for commenting as always!!

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  2. I have been wanting to go to a Tai Chi class for a while now. I think I am going to have to look in to it as something new to do next month.

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    1. Good for you, Dannii. I would like to hear what you think of it when you do!

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  3. These are all things I've wanted to try... going to sign up for a gym membership this coming week that offers group lessons for yoga.. SO EXCITED! - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. That sounds like fun! Take advantage of all the great choices at the gym, Gingi! I hope you enjoy it.

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  4. I started the exercise portion of my journey with a Tai Chi program and it was a wake-up call, leading me to discover my passion for life.

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    1. So tai chi introduced you to a whole new world, huh? That's great for you, Cassandra!

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  5. My college professor used to do Tai Chi and he smelled a lot like garlic too - I guess he ate some daily. He was a nice man and was very calm and never got upset. He was easy breezy. I guess this method really helped him. I need improvement with my flexibility. #wowlinkup

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    1. Ha! Was it the tai chi or the garlic that made him so calm??! It does have a lot of health benefits. If you give it a try, let me know what you think.

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  6. Thank you for an inspiring post! Earlier I practised Tai-Chi and Qigong both very enjoyable and beneficial. But the lack of courses and trainers made me quit. Today I practise yoga and meditation. I have made both a part of my everyday life and feel the benefits. Being pregnant it is a great preparation for the delivery. I shared your post so others can get inspired too.

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  7. Thank you so much, Charlotte. It means a lot that you found the information helpful. Good for you in continuing with yoga and meditation and you are right, it is a great preparation for delivery. Stay well throughout your pregnancy. Thanks for coming by!

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  8. At this time in my life this type of exercise is more appealing than jogging (which I have never enjoyed) and weight lifting (which I always have liked). I know I can incorporate all of them, but the slower pace and more meditative feel to these is something I think I can benefit from right now.

    Found you on Pin Worthy Wednesday

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    1. Please do try them to balance out your other great exercise routines, Audrey!

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  9. I am so high strung I really could use meditation and more yoga in my life. I love yoga just need to make more time for it. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

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    1. Yes, meditation and yoga can be calming! Hope you can find time to practice it more for yourself, Jenny. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  10. Enjoyed reading about Qigong, Lori ... I haven't heard about this one. All of these sound like they would be wonderful for slowing down and 'taking stock' and that is bound to have a positive effect on health!

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    1. Glad I introduced you to something new, Helen! Yes, all good for calming oneself! Thanks for coming by!

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  11. I am delighted to hear that studies are showing the gentle movements in several techniques like yoga and tai chi,or even no movement at all like in meditation, are good for our health. I have dabbled in each of these areas although most of the time I participate in more vigorous exercise. I always believed that these practices were essential. One of my 2015 resolutions is to incorporate a regular yoga practice into my weekly routine. Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop! I’m pinning and sharing!

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    1. I hope you can, Deborah! That is a great resolution. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Hi there! Great article you have, I would also want to share my thoughts that Meditation indeed has positive effects not only in the body but also in the mind, a total holistic wellness that brings us to know our inner-self better. It gives us a peace of mind that helps us have a much better perception about our lives.
    Our advocacy is to promote the positive effects of meditation, yoga and inner wellness.
    Help us, visit our website at http://www.iamthechangeiseek.org
    Thank you and have a great day!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and adding in here regarding the benefits of meditation.

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  13. If we really consider how we learn in the modern world, we realize that despite all our emphasis on education, our education is one- sided and shallow. We may learn to memorize equations and facts, but we do not really learn to understand and develop our own inner life. Our minds remain scattered and our emotions persist as negative, conflicting forces. We are able to use only a small portion of our mental abilities, because we are preoccupied with confusion, fear, and inner conflict. Meditation helps us to overcome these limitations; it helps us to become aware of the subtler and more positive powers within. In gaining this awareness, we become creative and dynamic. Abilities such as intuition, which many consider unusual or rare, are actually within the potential of all human beings who meditate. Such gifts are available to those who make contact with the deeper aspects within themselves.


    Universal Meditation

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