By Judith Stuartcoale Bonner ~
Millennials, our first generation to grow into child and adulthood witnessing the horrifying events of 9/11, characteristically prefer to “go with the flow” as a lifestyle. It’s growing more common to find millennials flocking to Tai Chi searching for the antidote to high levels of stress from their start in life as well as their need for “digital detox” as so many are employed in the tech industry. In particular, more introverted millennials prefer Tai Chi precisely because there is no sparring or bag kicking interaction. In Tai Chi practice, they find calm, reconnection of the mind with the body, and a way to relax while strengthening muscles and loosening joints.
Uncharacteristically, millennials slow down with Tai Chi, breathe deeply, move meditatively, and exercise every muscle in the body. In Tai Chi, every movement exemplifies the principle of yin/yang – the unity of opposites, i.e., positive/negative, light/dark, empty/full, which represents the reality of life. There is often a millennial desire to disconnect from the world or take a break from “adulting” — the act of being responsible grown-ups. And Tai Chi provides this necessary de-stressor allowing them to “short circuit stress pathways” and stay in the moment.
Also, millennials are typically focused on being healthy. They have developed a health consciousness from the growing evidence of the body’s ability to heal, yielding a lower risk of infections and inflammatory illnesses. Millennials desire staying healthy throughout life so as they do not need to rely on others as they age.
For those of us who have millennials in our families, we can take heart in the understanding that they are seeking viable solutions for their futures with their mindset on health. Your millennials may not yet have discovered Tai Chi and its de-stressing qualities and support. Why not invite them to class with you? TaiChi is for everyone from 6 – 106.