Tai Chi for Entrepreneurs

Tai Chi for Entrepreneurs

I recently passed a personal milestone of training in Chen Style Tai Chi for 21 years, pictured above with Sifu Niall O’Floinn and Grandmaster Wang Haijun at the Chen Style Tai Chi Ireland school.

Anyone I mention Tai Chi to thinks the have a vague idea what it is… a bit ‘airy’, waving arms around and it is supposed to be good for old people! There is a bit more too it than that.
There are several well-known styles which have varying degrees of physical difficulty. The style I study – Chen Style, is physically quite demanding, but all styles have significant benefits regardless of your age.

Grandmaster Wang Haijun leading the seminar in Galway

Most articles/blogs you read on Tai Chi focus on the benefits in aging. For me Tai Chi has been a key part of my entrepreneurial life, so on this milestone I thought I’d write a blog on how I felt it has been a benefit in the life of an entrepreneur. Here are some of the key points:

1. Stress Reduction: Every entrepreneur and anyone in business/business owner knows they need to manage stress. It can actually kill you! Tai Chi involves slow, flowing movements and deep breathing, which can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

2. Improved Focus and Mental Clarity: Practicing Tai Chi can help enhance mental clarity and concentration. This is especially useful for entrepreneurs who are leading a team, building a business, sourcing funding, making critical decisions and at the same time need to stay focused on their business goals.

3. Enhanced Physical Fitness: Tai Chi is a form of low-impact exercise that can improve balance, flexibility, and strength. Although movements are slow, studies have found that thirty minutes of Tai Chi equates to thirty minutes of jogging. For the dedicated desk worker, Tai Chi can be practiced anywhere with no equipment necessary. You only need the space of twice your shoulder width to practice!

4: Increased Energy Levels: Regular Tai Chi practice can boost energy levels and combat fatigue. Entrepreneurs often work long hours and need to maintain their energy to stay productive and alert.

5. Better Posture and Body Awareness: Chen-style Tai Chi emphasizes proper body alignment and balance, which can lead to improved posture. Entrepreneurs who spend a lot of time sitting at a computer may develop poor posture, leading to discomfort and pain.

6. Stress Resilience: As distinct from managing current stress levels, Tai Chi can help individuals develop stress resilience, allowing them to cope with challenging situations more effectively. Entrepreneurs often encounter setbacks and high-pressure situations, and the ability to remain calm and resilient is valuable.

8. Mind-Body Connection: Chen-style Tai Chi emphasizes the mind-body connection, helping individuals become more aware of their bodies and their physical and emotional states. This self-awareness can be valuable for entrepreneurs in managing their emotions and stress.

9. Time for Self-Care: Entrepreneurs often neglect self-care due to their demanding schedules. Practicing Tai Chi provides a dedicated time for self-care and promotes work-life balance.

10. Long-Term Health Benefits: Regular Tai Chi practice has been associated with various long-term health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, improved bone density, reduced risk of falls in older age (old age eventually came into this blog!), and better overall well-being. Entrepreneurs who invest in their health are likely to have more energy and longevity in their careers.

It’s important to note that the benefits of Chen-style Tai Chi, like any exercise or wellness practice, may vary from person to person. To experience these advantages, consistency and regular practice are key.

For me, I have been extremely lucky in my Tai Chi life. Since my first day I have had two amazing teachers in Galway. Sifu Niall O’Floinn and Grandmaster Wang Haijun with Chen Tai Chi Ireland school.

Niall O’Floinn was my introduction to Tai Chi when I started by doing a ten-week class. I have now been attending that class weekly since 2002! It takes a diligent, knowledgeable and inspirational teacher to inspire students to keep coming to class for decades!

The school has been under the tutelage of Grandmaster Wang Haijun since 2002 and I have been participating in quarterly seminars with him in Galway since just after I started in the school. Grandmaster Wang is one of the worlds leading Chen Style teachers who was three times all China champion himself and has trained ten subsequent All China Champions. That this level of teaching is available in Galway is nothing short of amazing.

When I started, I was going to the weekly class and ‘doing a bit’ now and then outside of class. Now as well as classes and seminars I have my own daily practice.

Entrepreneurs globally interested in incorporating Tai Chi into their routine can consider joining a local class or you can:

Stream instructions here with Grandmaster Wang Haijun

Or book online class with Niall to get started.

For entrepreneurs/business owners/professionals/everyone in Galway or Ireland I highly recommend contacting Chen Tai Chi Ireland and booking a class.

For Tai Chi it is never too late to start. It is also never too early.