Dozens of tai chi performing pandas descended on London's Trafalgar Square Wednesday to mark Panda Awareness Week.
Nigel Marven, Official Ambassador for Panda Awareness Week, told the Associated Press, "London was chosen for the launch of Panda Awareness Week because of the Olympics. The last one was in Beijing, the Olympic torch was brought here to London. In only 24 days time, the Olympics will start. So it's a great connection between the two countries."
Panda Awareness Week — or PAW — is pioneered by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Chengdu Panda Base), a world-renowned breeding and research base for giant pandas in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province. PAW aims to enhance awareness and support for panda conservation and protection for one of the world's most threatened species.
The Mayo Clinic states that Tai chi can help reduce stress and thus provide health benefits. Tai chi is sometimes described as "meditation in motion" because it promotes serenity through gentle movements — connecting the mind and body. It was originally developed in ancient China for self-defense and evolved into a graceful form of exercise.