What Is Tai Chi

Taijiquan (or tai chi) can be many things to many people. For some it is an exercise, for some it is a meditation and others it is a form of self defense. However when you continue to practice and reach a higher level of training, the above reasons lose their importance. At this time, you need to find the real meaning of your practice or you may become satisfied with your training and lose your enthusiasm for the art. You must start to wonder what is the meaning of this meditative martial art? Daoist practitioners use tai chi in their strive to become immortal where many non-religious practitioners used tai chi to gain a peaceful mind and reinvigorate their lives.

What you need to understand is that Taijiquan emphasizes meditation both in your stillness and your movement. Practitioners like a Buddhist priest trains himself in this meditation to be calm and concentrated. In your training, it is possible for you to achieve a sense of peace and centeredness that will allow you to judge things and events in a neutral way without any emotional disturbance. When you can truly calm and clear your mind, the spiritual side will start to open up. You’ll start to see things more deeply. As a practitioner’s skill increases, they may be able to sense a person’s intentions before they are expressed and you become more capable at looking deeply into people and events in a non-martial way, as well. In the past, many martial art masters were considered wise man and were consulted for their insight into the meaning of human life this world and the universe. Because of their training they learn to live in the world without confusion or doubt and find peace and happiness and all of this comes through meditation and continuous pondering.

In your practice and meditation, you need to concentrate your whole attention in order to develop the higher levels of the art. This concentration and dedication will carry over to the rest of your life and the strive for perfection becomes the real meaning of Taijiquan.

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Have you met our Massage Therapist?

Margaret Hansen, MMT

State Licensed Massage Therapist

 Meg joined Quest Fitness in October 2017. As a graduate of Blue Heron Academy of Grand Rapids, MI, Meg studied Medical Massage and Manual Therapy (class of 2008). She performs deep tissue massage with a gentle hand–finding the comfortable pressure for each client to promote deep, relaxed breathing while increasing circulation and promoting proper musculoskeletal alignment. Her specialties include work with the hips and neck, and Maternity Massage.

To make an appointment give her a call: (616) 263-6090

Fitness and the Holidays 

We all know with the holidays, time runs short really easily. So, let’s look at how to keep health and fitness in your crazy holiday schedule.

First, and best advice, is to focus on quality over quantity. You don’t have to spend an hour on your workout when you could bust out a hard core workout in just 30 minutes. Try knocking out 2 or more muscle groups back to back while reducing rest time. For your cardio, try doing intervals or tabata training. This will keep the challenge high and reduce the time required for the workout.

Another idea is workout at home and focus on the basics! Push-ups, pull ups and squats. You do not need a gym for a great workout if you focus on these basics.

The healthy eating is the biggest holiday challenge. Junk food is everywhere!! But don’t get down on yourself if you have a few slip ups. We are all human. Just focus on portion control, then the little indulgences won’t add up as much.

See my fitness journey.

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Stress Relief With Tai Chi & Qigong


We all face stress in everyday life, and most see it as either mental or physical, when in most cases it is both. How you choose to react to this stress will have an effect on your daily life.

When you are affected by stress the toll is taken on your health. When stressed, even at low levels your body chemistry changes, and your breathing will start to become shallow. This will start your body on negative hormones such as adrenaline, pulling you away from the positive hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and endostatin.

The solution? Working out. Being active helps with stress and depression better than anything else, but do it for you.

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Want to see how I’ve progress? My Fitness Journey.