Can Tai Chi and Qigong help you become more compassionate to yourself and others?
Regular practice of the Classical Chinese arts helps bring about a positive change in personal health, happiness and longevity. The slow-moving exercises slow the mind down, reduce internal chatter and allow us to focus on the moment. Rather than living our days looking to the past or the future, we live as we are, right now.
Tai Chi and Qigong help us uncover our potential, levels our emotions, opens our frame of mind, and helps us feel connectedness to find our natural path. As a method to help discover, accept and love ourselves, when we are aligned more with our natural state of being, we are more likely to have compassion and kindness for others. We engage in mindfulness in our practice, allow the mind and body to be fully relaxed, aware and attentive. We become physically and mentally centred in both movement and stillness.
Tai Chi and Qigong are complex practices, indeed life-long arts. With difficulty and struggle in the learning process comes a greater awareness of the importance of self-compassion. We embrace mistakes as part of the natural way, we do not criticize ourselves over our form, we are diligent and patient with our study and progress and we are relaxed and calm in manner, always striving for greater sensitivity and balance.
We observe our experience and do not interfere with ourselves in a negative or judgemental way, we love and forgive ourselves. Being present gives us the space and opportunity to truly listen to our bodies and mind within. With a deeper understanding of ourselves, this changes our understanding and behaviour towards others.
View over some resources of compassionate Tai Chi below:
Effects of Taiji Practice on Mindfulness and Self-Compassion in Healthy Participants – By Marko Nedeljkovic, Petra H. Wirtz and Brigitte Ausfeld-Hafter.
“The aim of our study was to examine the impact of Taiji practice on self-attribution of mindfulness and self-compassion, two potential components well known for their health promoting effects…… In conclusion, our findings suggest that self-attributed mind-fulness can be effectively increased, and self-compassion may be cultivated by practicing Taiji. Thus, mindfulness may be considered a relevant component inherent to Taiji practice. Its role as a potential mediator of beneficial effects induced by Taiji practice warrants further research.”
Compassion, The Vagus Nerve and How to Live Longer – By David R. Hamilton PHD
“A ground-breaking piece of research by Kevin Tracey, director of the Feinstein Institute and Professor and President of the Elmezzi graduate school of molecular medicine in Manhasset, New York, has revealed how the nervous system (the vagus nerve) controls inflammation in the body, now known as ‘The Inflammatory Reflex’. Inflammation is one of the major contributors to aging of the body and plays a key role in illness and disease.”
“Many studies are beginning to show not only the positive impact of having more compassion, but the effectiveness of techniques to improve it.”
“Research carried out by Western academic centres has confirmed the cultivation of the essential quality of compassion (including for self, self-compassion) as core to transforming with destructive emotions such as fear, anger, greed, cravings and vengeance.”