Tom van den Beemd was first introduced to Tai Chi when he was a resident at New Life. He was immediately fascinated with what he calls, “Martial arts for the mind”. After completing his stay at New Life, he did an intensive course with a teacher in Chiang Rai. Now, back at New Life as a life coach and mindfulness teacher, Tom leads Tai Chi practice twice a week in the New Life Meditation Hall.
Tai Chi is a self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. To do Tai Chi, you perform a series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.
“Tai Chi is moving meditation. It clears the mind and energizes you,” Tom says. “It also sharpens awareness of body movements making us more mindful of what’s going on in our bodies.”
Actually, Tai Chi offers many benefits. It helps bring body and mind closer together, creating balance between Yin and Yang. It improves posture, flexibility and strength. It makes our mind strong, determined and focused. In Tai Chi, we connect outside energy to inner energy, outer body movements to the mind’s peacefulness.
Along with daily mindfulness practice, yoga and meditation, New Life is teaching mindfulness as a way to combat addiction, depression, and other challenges.