While traveling in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam I was able to experience the art that is Tai Chi. The instructor explained that there are 3 styles: Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. The Vietnamese version was supposedly developed by the people living in the mountainous islands. And there are many! They based the movements on the land and the animals around them. (I have since read that there are 5 styles of Tai Chi, but here I will explain it as I learned in Vietnam).
I went to the top deck of the boat in the morning and the master/instructor was sitting there meditating with traditional music humming in the background. When he was ready he got us started with what I am calling a "warm up." He led us through a sequence of circular movements that helped to lubricant the muscles and joints. It felt amazing after being on a long plane ride the previous day. The instructor then took us through a series of movements, repeating each until we had them down. For all the movements where you are moving forward or pushing away from the body you breath out and all the movements where you are pulling towards the body or moving backward you breath in. We eventually strung all the movements together for the full Tai Chi experience. I felt more aligned and relaxed.
The instructor explained that Tai Chi helps with overall mental and physical health as well as to strengthen muscles for balance. I can see how this would be a great practice someone who wants to keep the body moving, and aligned with out enduring heavy impact. I really enjoyed the experience and would certainly look more into it in the future. Like yoga it was calming. For me maybe even more so, and definitely not as difficult to quiet the brain as meditation. Tai Chi! check it out:)