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Tai Chi

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Work has been highly stressful for the past 8 months and I have been invited to a Tai Chi session to chill out after our stressful staff meeting on a Wednesday. Is Tai Chi harmless relaxing exercise? It is at my local gym so I am pretty sure it's just an exercise thing.
I am really looking forward to it as I have heard it has great health benefits esp. regarding stress, just looking for a little reassurance.
 
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Your body is your temple. God wants you to take care of it. Excersise is a creation of our Lord, just like your body is. Just beware if it becomes a "spiritual" thing instead if a physical thing. May the Lord be your guide.
Have fun!

Love in Christ,
Nigh
 
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Hi Sleepy, I took tai chi before and yep it really is relaxing. I wouldn't mind taking it up again. I found it helpful for relaxing, good for the joints, it is gentle but does strenghthen the muscles. It is balance and controlled movements. I think it is poetry in motion, beautiful to do and watch. Even though it is an Eastern martial art, at the classes I attended their wasn't any emphasis on the spiritual aspects of this form, not as much as probably a yoga class. There may be meditative moments where you are told to deeply breathe , so that could be a great opportunity to think on the Lord. I would say definitely go for it. Wish I could join you.

Your friend in Christ:love:
Heather
 
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I think any exercise that requieres you to clear your mind is VERY dangerous. I suggest to stay away..

I went and googled Tai chi this is something I found...

" Tai Chi involves the practice of Taoism. In order to achieve physical well being, the Tai Chi student must be attuned to the universe by concentrating below the navel section of the body — which is said to be the body’s psychic center. Tai Chi cannot be rec­onciled with Christianity." written by BJ Oropeza


I suggest you stay clear !

Love in Christ
Bobbie
 
Member
This is a description of tai chi more to what I know of it.....graceful movements that are stress relieveing, calming.

Tai Chi, as it is practiced in the west today, can perhaps best be thought of as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined. There are a number of so- called forms (sometimes also called 'sets') which consist of a sequence of movements. Many of these movements are originally derived from the martial arts (and perhaps even more ancestrally than that, from the natural movements of animals and birds) although the way they are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.

Comes from here.
 
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Jesuslovesu said:
I think any exercise that requieres you to clear your mind is VERY dangerous. I suggest to stay away..
I went and googled Tai chi this is something I found...
" Tai Chi involves the practice of Taoism. In order to achieve physical well being, the Tai Chi student must be attuned to the universe by concentrating below the navel section of the body — which is said to be the body’s psychic center. Tai Chi cannot be rec*onciled with Christianity." written by BJ Oropeza
I suggest you stay clear !
Love in Christ
Bobbie
This is very a misleading admonition. Someone is confusing Buddhism or Hinduism with an exercise form.
Tai Chi in its simple physical form is no different from a Chinese version of Ballet. Except that it is adapted for those who cannot get into the more advanced and taxing physical exercises of martial arts. Tai Chi is simply an offshoot of martial, which is a fighting art, not a religious art.

Many Eastern disciplines incorporate mysticism on their own turf. But the Tai Chi exercise in itself is excellent for health. I had a friend from China who taught Tai Chi, and the deep breathing and relaxation he spoke of was just that. It had nothing to do with some "psychic center" mystical, mind emptying. The so called "concentrating below the navel section" is especially a misleading comment. As any trained athlete knows, the focus of physical balance is the center of weight, which is located at the point described. This is a ballet teaching, as well as any exercise that aims to enhance balance and extend to every point in the body's musculature. As Calluna mentioned, for an all round exercise to improve flexibility, strength, and balance regardless of skill or talent, Tai Chi is one of the safest and complete. And you can always think Jesus while practicing. If you get a teacher who tries to incorporate some religious mumbo-jumbo with it, talk Jesus to them, and look for another teacher.
To echo Nigh, "May the Lord, be your guide."
 
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Chinese Yin Yang symbol. Sometimes it's called Tai-Chi symbol. The Tai-Chi is from I-Ching. The I-Ching is the greatest foundation of Chinese philosophy. It’s development is from the natural phenomena of our universe. Because I-Ching comes from nature, it should be easy.

The iching does not give you specific answers to your questions but rather reveals patterns which helps you arrive at the answer you seek. Answers are given in 64 hexagrams of solid lines (yang) and broken lines (yin). These represent a state of being.

The most common method used to determine hexagrams is to toss three coins three times. The traditional method is to toss a set of 50 yarrow sticks.

The iching dates back to around 2852 B.C. The chinese emperor Fu-hsi developed a set of trigrams.

Later on around 1143 B.C. the trigrams were doubled to hexagrams. The iching found its way to western culture in the 19th century.

The I Ching (Classic of Changes or Book of Changes), also known as the Yi Jing, Yijing, or I Ging, is one of the Five Classics, the fundamental books of Confucianism. It is over 3000 years old (the symbols used in divination are over 5000 years old), making it both one of the oldest surviving books in the world, and one of the oldest forms of divination. It is by far the most popular spiritual resource and oracle in Asia, and has a growing following in Europe and the Americas based on its uncanny ability to provide detailed insights to those who study it carefully.

Tai Chi Chuan is the name of an internal martial art of Chinese origin. The name means Grand-ultimate Boxing, and refers to the Chinese concept of the Grand Ultimate, or union of Yin and Yang.
Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art that combines movement with chi. It uses the principals of Yin-Yang and the Five Element theories and is compatible with Chinese medicine, acupuncture and Chinese herb treatment. While the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements are often thought of on a universal scale they also apply to the functioning of the body. Indeed the human body can be thought of as a small universe. Tai Chi Chuan is performed slowly and with smooth continuous motion, unlike most other martial arts that are performed with speed and power. Tai Chi Chuan builds power internally and does not rely on body strength alone. For this reason Tai Chi Chuan can be practiced from childhood into old age with no risk to the practitioner.

Please be led by the Holy Spirit. Just because something has the appearance of being harmless or helpful doesn't mean that it is.
 
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I want to be clear that I am in no way knowing in all area's of Tai Chi... to dismiss easily something that has clearly started in a form of religion that has now turned exercise (and probably was a form of exercise in the start) in my opinion is a dangerous road to travel on... that being said ! I am one of those people who will tell you whats on their mind and let you make the choice.

So you know there are many people who look at Tai Chi as a religion as well as exercise.

I completely agree to be led by the Holy Spirit...
 
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jiggyfly said:
Please be led by the Holy Spirit. Just because something has the appearance of being harmless or helpful doesn't mean that it is.
Amen to that. Just like Yoga (yes, you heard).

Example of Yoga being more than just "relaxing".

Definition:
A Hindu series of mental, spiritual and physical exercises designed to aid in enlightenment. The exercise component of Yoga is often practiced in the West as an aid to healthy living

Yoga has areas where you "obtain GOD" or even "spiritual self". It leaves out OUR only True Living GOD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga

Let's make it real simple, if our Jesus Christ is not involved (included) in such spiritual and/or relaxing things, then why settle for that? Who comes first? Who can relax you better than GOD?

I am a weightlifter and I also do training (by myself to be quite honest). I walk in the gym with faith in Jesus Christ that I will reach my goals for good health, beat previous records, walk out feeling better, healthier than I walked in.

What if we practiced Yoga or Tai Chi that excludes GOD (the REAL GOD whom we believe in). Where is this relaxation? What about the little hidden insult to GOD that we did not include Him in such [fine] relaxation procedures?

This is how I feel. You are not obligated to assume me right or wrong. The Holy Spirit will guide us.
 
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Thanks for this thread, I was actually thinking about starting with Tai-Chi maybe a year ago but I wasn't sure if it would be spiritually harmless indeed. But I didn't start because I still didn't have time. And now I got some more info about the spiritual backgrounds.

The reasons why it attracted me are that it is just the kind of exercises that suits me, and so is also yoga. I used to do rhytmic gymnastics and ballet for many years, but now I don't any more because the courses are rather for younger kids - except for those who do ballet professionally, of course (and I'm already 20). And in tai-chi and yoga I can also find this gentleness and flexibility as well. I don't find them in any kind of sports of exercises that are available in the various courses in my city. The sports belonging into the western culture are free of the harmless spiritual influence, but they are also too power-oriented and not relaxing at all.
And besides that, another reason is that I have also some liking for China.

Now I believe that as a Christian I shouldn'd practise these Oriental arts because of the spiritual aspects involved. But I have to say that I really can't find any kind of exercises that would suit me.

Btw I've just noticed that my flag that used not to be in my profile was added there! Thank you, I was sooo happy to see it!:star:
 
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Nigh said:
Just beware if it becomes a "spiritual" thing instead if a physical thing. May the Lord be your guide.
If there is ANY chance that it is being taught as a spiritual thing, or self enlightenment, or anything other than exercise, I wouldn't suggest it to anyone.
If you are seeking a good exercise that is low impact, total body workout and involves relaxation and breathing, may I suggest SWIMMING! It is all of those things and is considered to be one of the best overall exercises period.

May our Lord be with you,
Nigh
 
Member
There is a great deal being said here that is from hearsay or an intellectual explanation of a culture, but without the exposure or experience to know the validity. The semantics simply do not matter, if one practices any types of exercise for physical excellence. Yet as one who was very experienced first hand with this, I know that it has been zero deterrent to my life that is 100% given to Christ. Tai Chi is no more spiritual corruption or religious deception than is stretching or isometrics. As already mentioned, any person who loves the Lord can listen and determine whether a teacher turns a physical discipline into religious hype.

Here is the straight description about the origins, written by a Chinese man, Chen, whose work is teaching English as a second language and teaching martial arts:

"Taijiquan is a main division of the traditional Chinese martial art called 'Wushu'. Many tales have been told about its origin, but it is commonly believed that it was first practiced in a Chen clan in Wen County, Henan Province, some 300 years ago in the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties. Among the representative figures who made outstanding contributions was Chen Wangting, a garrison commander. While previous boxing styles emphasized quick action, his style contained both gentle and vigorous movements, proceeding from the principles of 'combining vigor and gentleness' and subduing the hard with the soft.' Theoretically the new style was explained from the ancient philosophical view of Taiji, which holds that there are two aspects to everything - the positive and the negative." ("Wushu" is the Chinese name for the martial art known in America as "Kung Fu".)

I know from the "horse's mouth" that the principle of opposites as applied to this is simply referring to the hard versus soft. It is about physical dynamic, not religious in the least. This is simply a physical discipline which was inspired first by someone's intellectual thought. We as Christians need a much clearer understanding of and exposure to adapting from various cultures, without veritably condemning every non-Western invention as New Age. Every game and physical exercise arose from someone's idea. If one practices Tai Chi for exercise, it is no more a deterrent to the life of Christ in them than wrestling, American boxing, football, or rugby.

It doesn't matter to me whose word is taken on this, mine or any of the other fine sounding commentaries here, but if you are saying that Tai Chi is dangerous to Christianity, then you are saying to me that God would rather I were dead or completely incapacitated rather than physically independent. I was hit by a car, and without having had a physical foundation from martial arts, I would have been dead or lying around needing someone to take care of my physical needs. Not only that, but Tai Chi was the only exercise I could use as physical therapy after my injury made physical activity excruciating. Even swimming, which had been a great source of enjoyable exercise for me, could not help with the need for at least mild impact in order to redevelop some walking mobility with a walker.

Praise God for His inexhaustible provision from the four corners of the earth!
 
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To Christ you put forth an excellent arguement! I did`nt even want to comment in this thread, because honestly, I would`nt have had a clue as to what I was talking about lol

However, I do agree with this statement 100% !
"We as Christians need a much clearer understanding of and exposure to adapting from various cultures, without veritably condemning every non-Western invention as New Age."

In my years of witnessing this truth firsthand, we in this most christianized nation tend reject everything that did`nt originate with us, or we did`nt think up first, as pagan lol. Its one of my pet doctrinal peeves :embarasse
(think about that for a moment people, and you will see theres a lot of truth in To Christs statement!)

With what you said regarding Tai Chi in mind, I did a little research and found
this statement:
"In the third century, (the earliest ancestors of tai chi) the physician Hua-tu'o created a system of excersise to aid digestion and circulation, based upon the movements of animals and birds. The effect of this system was to move every part of the body." - TAICHIDO website -http://www.soton.ac.uk/~maa1/chi/taichi/origins.htm

Ok, I still dont "know" what i`m talking about...it takes a little more than one minute of my own research to convince me of anything lol, but your post was really thought provoking!

Todays not-worth-five-cents-commentary by Coconut
 
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I went to the website and read thru it.. there are not many differences in what I had said .

To Christ unfortunatly(sp) it seems you are taking this personally and in no way do I mean that I am sorry if I have made you feel that way. I am very glad that you have recovered from you accident Praise God.


Now I want to touch on why I MUST warn people of things that have potential harm.
I have been placed in a postiton here at talk Jesus to help fellow brothers and sisters with questions and concerns they may have..
While you had a wonderful experiance with Tai Chi that is not always the case. (As with many things) There are many deceitful people out there and caution should be used.. Now I wonder what would happen if I had information that could stop someone from going where they should not be or at least beware...what would that say?
As I said before the Holy Spirit should be your guide (everyone's mine included)

Love in Christ
Bobbie
 
Member
Hi sleepy,

I would say be careful. Tai-chi is very similar to Yoga and it does involve the occult. It is supernatural, but is is something that takes quite a bit of time, dedication and a teacher who really knows their stuff for some one to advance in it. If you have a good teacher and you are dedicated it should take about 3 years to really understand and become proficient in the solo exercise. In another 3 to 4 years if you have a certain amount of natural ability and you were to continue to be dedicated to the art, you could become quite a proficient martial artist. By that time though you would probably be far from Christ and if you were to turn back to Him you would need deliverance ministry.

I was formally involved in Shaolin Temple boxing and latter Hsing-i which is a sister art of Tai-chi.

Tonyb
 
Member
Hey all,

To Christ, I loved your zeal about threats to Christianity! Amen sister! I echo JLU, praise God that He used that to keep you alive!!!! And may that same amazing God continue to heal you!

I too had an injury, not anywhere near as severe as To Christ's, and if there was good Christian stretching, I would do it. God does the healing AND the work I do - the part I play is doing yoga stretches to align my back and it gets me out of pain still. And just like Paul talks about not worrying about eating foods for idols, I am not afraid to do yoga. I love getting quiet before my Lord and taking time out with Him to take care of this temple, (as has been mentioned before.)

I also don't drink and although don't care to hang out with drinkers, but I am not afraid to go anywhere or be around it at work. Though really, (other than when I am testifying about His grace and deliverance), I never think about it much and don't have to fight any temptations, so awesome is my Lord who has set me free!


I hear sometimes Christians talk about being wary of things lest you sin, (and that is good), but I just want to pipe in, not to the point of paranoia! Let us walk in confidence with the Lord, not because of our strength, but because of His!

Anything can be made into an idol, hard of soft exercise, sports, Praise and worship music, church services, relationships. However, things that have roots in other religions need to be dealt with as such. So just wanted to post some Corinthians since Corinth was a city with all sorts of stuff other than Christianity.


So yes, in agreement with scripture, if you feel vunerable or are vunerable, don't do it. In this case, unlike the idol food mentioned in the passage I posted below, stretching can help your body (especially if injured), even though it can not bring you any closer to God. Just let me encourage you to seek after Him on this and listen to what He speaks to you about it, as also has been posted before. With the Holy Spirit, you can see full well (and with confindence!) if it's okay or not. Being His, He'll guide when you ask.


1 Corinthians 8:7-9:1 and 9:24
"It is not everyone, however who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as still food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. "Food will not bring us close to God." We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed by idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is the cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so I may not cause one of them to fall.
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?...
Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it."


Run on my dear brothers and sisters from diverse backgrounds and experience, and, in the Lord, run free.
:smile:
fww
 
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Coconut said:
In my years of witnessing this truth firsthand, we in this most christianized nation tend reject everything that did`nt originate with us, or we did`nt think up first, as pagan lol. Its one of my pet doctrinal peeves
Coconut, I'm relieved that you homed in on this as the important element. I was afraid my foot-in-mouth personal comment obscured what I hoped to convey. :embarasse
The link you posted is interesting in that it includes topics of philosophy and Chinese culture that would surely give any Christian pause. Yet of primacy, when it comes to cultural associations, is that we as Christians do not fall into the trap of the very legalism that Jesus came to destroy.

When I was in college and tripping over my own feet in a modern dance class, my teacher recommended I take ballet or Tai Chi to develop physical centering. First I took ballet; not quite easy for an adult to begin, so then I took Tai Chi. Thus, my first Tai Chi learning was in a college physical education class. The teacher taught a physical skill, that is all. I had already had academics on world religions, including dialogues with people of various origins, so cultural backgrounds were familiar enough to me, but none of that was part of the Tai Chi instruction. I was and am a Christian who, like many others of you, has been educated with a variety of ethnic exposure. I believe after reading every post in this thread that we all have the same common concern - to avoid what could be idolatry or sorcery in association with anything unfamiliar. Nevertheless, you never know if missions work will lead you to a culture where it will further your effective witness to have a clear knowledge of an alien background.

There has been in this thread mention of the I Ching and Taoism as related to Tai Chi. All aspects of Chinese culture can be traced to have its origins in the I Ching. The I Ching arose millennia ago as the handbook for living, incorporating what is now called Taoism. Taoism is an atheist philosophy that relies on the premise there is a supreme way of the universe. The I Ching was based upon observing forms in nature and extending them to a system for living. Again, this goes back thousands of years. In fact, in 213 B.C., there was the great Chinese book-burning and the I Ching is the only book to have survived. Everything derived from Chinese culture is at root non-Christian, I Ching inspired. It is an atheist society and indeed to this day, the government of China squelches not only Christianity, but any mention of God.

By contrast, the United States is arguably the youngest country in the world, founded by Christian forefathers for the purpose of religious freedom. Our culture is first European influence superseding Native America, and now is an incorporation of about every type of culture the world knows. The way in which Eastern cultures and their "inventions" come to the West is often as a product of peoples' worldly desires for the exotic, mystical, and supernatural. Teachers can fuse whatever elements they want into their own agendas for learning. For example TonyB, has experience in England linking this subject to religious practices that draw away from Christ. Calluna in and I in the U.S. have experience with Tai Chi from the fitness aspect.

Relating this topic to a model from Biblical history, The Olympics were born of the very pagan culture that the New Testament writers knew firsthand. Even the name for the athletics event is from Mt. Olympus, the home of the Greek gods. Do we object to these sports competitions, because of their origins? No, that would be unthinkable. Can we take physical conditioning disciplines from Eastern countries apart from cultural philosophy? Using this model, there is no reason why not.

Were you to go to China, you would see groups of people outside, taking their morning constitutional by practicing Tai Chi. I have seen videos of this, and most often, it is their fitness routine, similar to if you start your day at the gym or with an aerobics class. If one were to witness the Lord to such folks, I believe Jesus would not have you tell them that they need give up that physical activity in order to be born again and follow Him.

Coconut said:
With what you said regarding Tai Chi in mind, I did a little research and found this statement:
"In the third century, (the earliest ancestors of tai chi) the physician Hua-tu'o created a system of excersise to aid digestion and circulation, based upon the movements of animals and birds. The effect of this system was to move every part of the body." - TAICHIDO website
This quality of nature models as an aspect of ancient physical discipline always reminds me of Biblical advisories mentioning God's creatures:

Proverbs 6:6-8 advises "Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest." (NKJV)

Jesus stated in Matthew 10:16, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."(KJV) The serpent is an image of sin, yet the Lord speaks of it as a metaphorical model.

We are warned, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1Peter 5:8 NIV)
Conversely about the lion, there is the reference to Jesus, "Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.'" (Revelations 5:5 NIV)

Whether the lion in our lives is the enemy or Jesus can be determined only by that on which we focus. The most powerful advisory in this thread is something we all agree; ultimately, Holy Spirit guidance is the only answer for any potential action.

Fightngwormwood, I so very much appreciate the clear and complete overview you posted. You have expressed with the scriptures that I originally felt the Holy Spirit spoke to me regarding the topic. (And unbounded thanks for your prayer!)

One might note that Tai Chi is lauded by medicine because it works every part of the body, yet is accessible even at the most meager level of physical fitness. Be that as it may, as Nigh mentioned, it is physical exercise that is the value, and if you are able bodied, please do find something to make the most of your "fearfully and wonderfully made" physical fitness potential, whether swimming, dancing, stretching, walking, or jumping and running around with your kids.

Sleepy, thank you for this thread. You might not have gotten a definitive answer to your question, but if there are members here at Talk Jesus whose advice you trust above others, then that is your most valid basis for decision.

"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6b NIV)
 
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That was a very well written, well researched post. Thank you for sharing.

I doubt anyone here thinks that Tai Chi can't be taught as JUST a physical exercise. It can, and many times is. However, talking to my brother-in-law just last night, who took Tai Chi said, "I don't think it can be properly taught without the mysticism aspect". He may or may not be correct. The point here is not weather Tai Chi can be taught without harming your walk with Christ Jesus, the point here is we (you and I) don't know weather the teacher does. We don't know the teacher. Only Sleepy knows where the class is being taught. I can't as a Christian, tell her to go ahead, that would be irresponsible of me.

Secondly, If it were my pastor or Sunday school teacher asking, I'd prolly encourage them to take up Tai Chi for the exercise even if it were being taught with the mysticism, because I know that they are very secure in their faith in Jesus Christ. Sleepy, however has been a Christian since March of 2005!! Besides that, just look at her other thread, "Why can't I be more like you?" I would under no circumstances put a stumbling block in her way. I just wouldn't.

This thread isn't JUST about Tai Chi. It is about SLEEPY! You MUST consider this.

Peace of our Lord be with you,
Nigh
 
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Nigh said:
This thread isn't JUST about Tai Chi. It is about SLEEPY! You MUST consider this.
Peace of our Lord be with you,
Nigh
Amen brother, thank you for bringing that point up. Sleepy is the number one consideration here. :thumbs_up
 
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Nigh said:
Sleepy, however has been a Christian since March of 2005!! Besides that, just look at her other thread, "Why can't I be more like you?" I would under no circumstances put a stumbling block in her way. I just wouldn't.
This thread isn't JUST about Tai Chi. It is about SLEEPY! You MUST consider this.
Peace of our Lord be with you,
Nigh
Amen, Nigh and Sunshine! I noticed Sleepy's other thread yesterday, and thought the same thing. Sleepy, you have a beautiful open heart and desire to grow in the Lord.:love: The only difference between you and many of us is duration in the things of Jesus. Especially in groups, best stick with Christian influence as much as possible.
 
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