Exercise is one of the most effective ways to deal with stress, especially during pregnancy. But finding a safe type of exercise that you enjoy can be a problem. Walking and swimming are always popular, but if you'd like to try something different, a gentle form of martial arts called Tai Chi might just be what you're looking for.
With its combination of fluid movements and deep breathing techniques, Tai Chi offers a complete mind/body workout that builds strength, improves balance and increases flexibility without strain. Tai Chi is very gentle-there are no harsh, strenuous or jerking motions involved, making it the perfect exercise during pregnancy, even if you've never exercised before.
The concept of "chi" (a vital life energy that runs through the body) is a very strong belief in Chinese medicine and philosophy. The primary aim of Tai Chi is to improve the circulation of this "chi" throughout the body and by doing so, improve your health and vitality.
Tai Chi, as it is practiced in the west today, can best be described as a combination of yoga in motion and meditation. Tai Chi consists of several so-called forms or sets, which are made up of a sequence of continual movements. Many of these movements originated from the natural movements of animals and birds, which are performed in a slow, graceful manner with one movement flowing gently into the next.