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Stretching for Enlightenment: Benefits of Yoga and Tai Chi


The physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga and tai chi are limitless. Each discipline requires some time, but each is incredibly rewarding.

Capable of helping you feel more relaxed, centered, and in touch with your life’s most natural state, stretching is much more than a de-stressing technique.

That’s why today, I want to give you a few tips to help you learn about some of the benefits of yoga and tai chi.

Personal Goals

One of the goals I have for this year is to be more flexible. There is a picture on my vision board of a man in a yoga posture.


I started doing yoga in my late twenties, and it has been something I attempt to do on a daily basis.

As I have gotten older, I have sustained several injuries – a ruptured disc in my lower back, and a major shoulder injury to my right shoulder – which caused a lot of tightness in my lower back, neck, and shoulders.

Without daily yoga postures and some moves I learned in tai chi, I’d hate to think of where I would be now. 

I do yoga postures and tai chi when I first wake up and right before I go to bed at night. I am also now learning and practicing some Chinese chi gong exercises as well.

In addition to being more flexible, these stretching and breathing and energy exercises have helped keep my immune system strong. I rarely ever get sick, which is important because I travel all over the world to speak and conduct trainings, and I need to show up healthy and with high energy.

Considered a classical branch of Indian philosophy, yoga uses exercise, meditation, and breathing to benefit one’s overall health. It increases your awareness of your body, expressing its capabilities while enhancing a deeper and more subtle understanding of your day-to-day movements.

Tai Chi

Tai chi, meanwhile, is a physical discipline derived from a Chinese martial art, which uses slow, gentle movements, postures, and stretches while the body is in constant motion.

Because it’s also very meditative, it contributes to your overall psychological well-being. For this reason, it’s used by both healthy adults and those who have chronic conditions.

Benefits of Yoga and Tai Chi

From every angle, yoga and tai chi can enhance one’s sense of self and be an important aid on the path to deeper wisdom and eventually enlightenment. 

The energy released and created by these exercises is incredibly useful. It can calm you down, making it a great source of aid for those with anxiety and respiratory problems.

The benefits of yoga, tai chi, and stretching include decreasing your blood pressure, and each can be as effective as aerobic exercise when practiced consistently.

Much of the stress relief derived from yoga and tai chi is due to the focus on balance. The benefits of yoga, tai chi, and stretching also include making you more in tune with gravity, your place in the world, and your body’s natural state.

By steadily increasing muscle strength, yoga and tai chi also increase a person’s ability to practice the arts more deeply—and thus reaching a more refined level of peace, security, and motivation.

Many experts believe these practices can create a sort of “internal massage” which benefits the vital organs. The sheer meditative benefits of yoga and tai chi is astounding.

Medical professionals consider these practices to be beneficial to the immune system. They both can increase the practitioner’s T cells and disease-fighting lymphocytes.

We all inevitably age, but we needn’t undergo typical age-related problems. Yoga, tai chi, and stretching can restore one’s range of motion, helping you with spatial orientation along the way.

Some people might not be aware of their body’s natural movements which can result in missteps, accidents, torn ligaments, and broken bones. Those who practice tai chi and yoga for decades learn to understand, improve upon, and develop their sense of positioning in the world.

Over a long period, these practices can benefit your overall well-being and adaptability to new situations. Some yoga forms, like “restorative yoga,” even focus on the practitioner’s physical limitations.

By using tables, beds, and blankets, you can work to overcome many physical impairments. Daily stretching exercises and restorative yoga have helped me overcome a frozen shoulder.

Flow State

“Flow” occurs when you don’t force movements, mental states, or emotional mindsets. Where the law of attraction is considered, flow is the fire’s fuel.

Entering a state of flow can help you explore new ideas, avoid overly objective thinking, and discover a deeper, more intuitive side of yourself. Yoga and tai chi both help you create flow in your life.

Tai chi and yoga also focus on meditative states, helping you expand upon your most human aspects. In every part of life, universal connectivity is a result of these states.

By allowing flow into your life, you can achieve new levels of peace, calmness, and spirituality. Your mind and body will feel clearer after practicing these movements.

Personal Examples

I remember a time in New York when I was first being introduced to yoga by a young woman I was dating in my twenties.

I was visiting her in New York, and I was totally stressed out by the pressures of being in graduate school, trying to win her love, and just being in the chaotic, noisy reality of New York traffic and street noises. When I went into the class I was basically uptight and not at peace.

90 minutes later when we walked back out onto the streets of New York City, I was calm, loving, open-hearted, and no longer judging the craziness of the city. I remember looking around at everything and everybody and feeling loving and full of joy. 

Yoga can be that powerful. I had a very similar experience after my first Tai chi class.

The ability to get myself into a calm, meditative state is one of the secrets of my success. I am more creative, I am less reactive, and I make better decisions because of it.

Tai chi and yoga might seem difficult to embrace at first, but their benefits are long-lasting. Focusing on both your body’s internal and external well-being, these exercises can calm the mind, fortify the body, and nurture the spirit.

Over time, you’ll stay “connected” with this state, embracing new, and deeper levels of meditation. Eventually, the effects will last throughout your entire day.


Try some basic stretching or yoga postures for yourself. You can access some easy beginner postures on YouTube. Or better yet, join a yoga or tai chi class in your area.

The minimum commitment you want to make is to add 20 minutes to your morning routine — or sometime later during your day like when you first get home from work, or before you go to bed at night. You’ll be amazed by how great you feel as a result. 

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