Ai Chi: Tai Chi in the water
Introduccion to Ai Chi
Ai chi is a strengthening and relaxation technique, similar to Tai chi, but with the difference that it is performed into the water. Ai Chi fuses East and West philosophies, and it integrates physical, mental and spiritual energy. Ai Chi was created to assist people that are going through physical rehabilitation since Ai Chi helps increase the range of motion of legs and arms, it also increases flexibility and in general it betters the overall mobility of the practitioner.
What is done during an Ai Chi session?During the session, participants will get into the water till shoulders depth. Once in the water, participants will start performing movements while breathing deeply. In early stages, participants will move specific body parts, such as hands and neck, while breathing harmonically and deeply, at more advanced stages Ai Chi participants will perform more complicated movements, integrating the body as a whole.
Ai Chi´s physical movement principles
- Curvature, continuity, naturalness and slowness. Slowness allows reflection and self-observation. It is an excellent method for teaching movement, especially if the person is afraid or have difficulties changing patterns of movement.
- Fluidity. Movements should flow (not very intense in the beginning of the movement and the fast, but of equal force throughout the execution of the movement).
- Pelvic alignment. Proper alignment is crucial. By moving the pelvis correctly, digestion and back pain are improved, as well as stiff neck and shoulders.
Ai Chi´s benefits
Practicing Ai Chi regularly brings benefits for the body, mind and spirit.
The main benefits that participants experience are:
- Improves flexibility, range of motion, and the overall mobility of the participant
- Improves metabolism
- Decreases stress, depression and insomnia, since it is practiced in the water with music, participants enter in a state of relaxed awareness.
- Improves kinesthetic sense, our perception of our own body, how we move, and this in turn improves our speed and reflexes.