Last week, we saw the importance of the ‘qi’ energy in Taichi. This life-force actually plays a much more important role than only in martial arts or health, and is taken into account in every day situation as well. In fact, Taichi uses the principles of Feng shui (pronounced ‘fung shway‘ and meaning ‘wind-water’) that studies the balance between humans and the universe. This balance is achieved through the measure — to say it in maybe too technical terms — between yin and yang (referred to in this post). Continue reading
Westerners often look at Taichi as a form of healthy exercise — and relate it to the long life of Chinese people. But why exactly is it so healthy? There are several reasons of its benefits.
The first one is simply the physical activity. Although you don’t really run out of breath when you practice, you can feel a light sweat beginning after 15 or 20 minutes or practice. As Ms Yip, a taichi teacher, often says, it’s because it makes you use gently but deeply your muscles. “You always have to keep your legs bent, that’s the key to a fluid motion and it’s what makes Taichi a physical activity,” she says. “Slow moves” doesn’t necessarily mean “effortless exercise”; as long as the whole body moves to its full motion — extension of the arms and legs for instance — it benefits the body. Continue reading
Hong Kong is said to be Asia’s most westernised city with its high building and its 99 years of British colonisation. Although now a Special Administrative Region of China, it has kept a huge part of its habits from the past Western era and somehow rejects its Chinese influence (read this old but still actual article from the Asia Times).
But the past cannot be forgotten so easily and a flock of Chinese traditions still flows in the veins of the huge city: from street temples to street food stalls, its porcelain and ivory antics or its Chinese New Year, it is impossible not to see the culture’s Asian roots.
If I hadn’t gone to Hong Kong I wouldn’t have seen daredevils jump from Macau Tower – the highest bungy jump in the world at 233 metres.
Macau, an hour ferry ride away from Hong Kong, is good for eating locally made sweets, gambling and challenging oneself with different activities high above the mix of old Portuguese buildings and modern Chinese skyscrapers. Continue reading