An old Taichi class friend recently got in touch and gave me news of this – which is pd exciting !—-> ( website with info) and trailer:
Yes- it would seem a very long overdue film about The Professor will appear quite soon. This will give a very good idea of what we are attempting to learn and even become…. (?!)
This is as exciting as when our class ( pre-internet) was shown some grainy video footage at our teachers house, sometime late 90s?
Greetings my class and internet surfers.
My blogging tailed off a little towards the end of 2015- classes were either too engrossing to take photos or we were dealing with harsher weather conditions with just the braver ( insaner??) students showing up. All considered we still did very well for an outdoor class. After these few years it is great that a number of us are now on the third section of the glorious form. I thank everyone for their commitment and enthusiasm.
Autumn seemed endless, here are a few photos , pre-class, of when the leaves finally came down:
it’s nice remembering the vibrant colours we had before the monsoon season settled in.. 😉
On the subject of using all the ‘tools’ we can to get us to a place of relaxation, balance and freedom- i have felt very lucky to encounter the Feldenkrais system this year and now go to a monthly movement class and have had individual sessions save me from structural damage !!! It’s ‘horses for courses’ all the way.
Best wishes to all for not just coping with 2016 but for coming more alive, living in the present and thriving as time goes on.
Taichi class activity has continued enjoyably over the last few months… weather+ bank holiday + ‘teacher away’ lost us a whole month, but overall as we head into the darker colder months of the year it feels like a good summer has been had, particularly with this last week of total sun rays beaming down onto us.
Thankyou for that ( i needed it) and Goodbye Sun – don’t be a stranger !
I have still not been on holiday this year.. but had a fantastic week near Glastonbury in a retreat centre with Native American friends hosting their “Longdance” ceremony and workshops.
Constant practice of gratitude and gentleness, oneness and a 12 hour sacred ceremony broke me open in a very good way – i cannot think of a week in my life where i have both laughed and cried so much.
Very moving and humbling and if all has gone to plan, a better version of myself i might be…
Whilst i was processing all that had occurred in the week following and hadn’t quite landed back to earth , i was in philosophical frame of mind and spent time pondering on a bottom line survival strategy to see myself and any of us through these amazing but seemingly complex times…
This was the best i could edit, taken down to the barest minimum. I wanted it to be unarguable and effective….. and to not be dismissable as a product of the hallmark card empire!!! This be it:
Works for me ! What do you think?
LOVE PEACE M
Belated New Year greetings – Chinese that is, not that i am a fan of their astrology in any way ( see earlier: Chinese Astrological asassination) — and i hope you are all well : my feelings for this year is that it might be transformative and lively… and there will be opportunities for getting on track and moving forward. In other words an overall pretty positive time. On a serious note: I am sure all sorts of dramas will be occurring in the world, but ( as always) whilst being aware of them it is also beneficial to not get drawn into any nonsense, to be aware that the media is a little out of control and to do our best to never get inured and used to the de-sensitizing violence that might be portrayed on our tv screens. For my part, I hope to stay present as possible and not be de-stabilised from my centre and my own truth. Taichi is always a good ‘reset button’ when the world throws us out of wack… as is walking in nature… as is running… cycling… swimming… gardening… cooking.. being with animals… family/ friends.. meditation.. exercise etc etc etc! Looking at it this way – we all have the means and tools to stay healthy! Love nature, Love this Planet, keep a little distance betwixt yourself and the ‘world’ and it’s machinations…!?
And locally?? After the Xmas party we managed 2 more classes to finish the year and the photo above is just about the last day of December 2014, where 4 of us stomped around on the crisp frosty ground. See the footprints ?? We did about 6 or 8 mins of standing chigung- i was standing in between the nearest two prints and curiously left no trace of my presence!! Am i a ghost?? For a tiny tiny split second i was puzzled that maybe i had reached a state of transcendent mystical powers.. but no: more likely it was a testament to the superior insulating properties of the Dr. Marten’s air cushion sole !!! hehe. ( Good to know that DMs have got yr ‘back’ winter-wise)
We moved to the playing fields to enjoy a huge expanse of winter sky:
The frosty mornings are getting fewer in between now and it seems that the worst of winter is giving way to a pre-Spring.
I think this is an exciting time Taichi-wise : we have ‘survived’ another winter, the earth around us is starting to change and with it our bodies start adapting to the coming season. We are always in a cycle of yin yang flow ( like the yinyang diagram shows us) December 22nd is time of most yin . and now we are preparing to start a cycle of yang which will grow towards summertime. Spring is the time for building up new energy.. for rejuvenating and beginning to get active and awake again. Hibernation is over. Root veggies are still de rigeur.. but before too long salads and fruit and more alive foods will become appealing. Early spring mornings a great time for getting some active Yang energy on the go.
I have enjoyed time off from classes – nice to practice without thought of what to offer to class on the coming monday.. and am now looking forward to seeing all your lovely faces again! I have been reminded how effort put in= improvement (and rewards out) pretty exactly. Diligence always has results.
See you monday ( locals that is) weather allowing. M
Last year probably had it’s ups and downs for all of you, it can seem a crazy and chaotic planet sometimes and of course- all ports in a storm are good! – T’ai Chi in the Park has been a place of calm… of enthusiasm… of fresh aliveness… study and discussion: many thanks to everyone that came along and joined in – i’ve loved it, and learnt !
The ‘traditional’ Xmas party moved from corporate Costa to independent “Proper cycling and Coffee” new establishment in Hassocks high street this year, here we all are:
A nice way to celebrate the year.
Looking towards the coming one: I would say it’s becoming more and more important to keep grounded.. to be focused and to be present. Belatedly i wish you all a great New Year — let’s all be active, creative, expressive and nourished in 2015.
Bearing in mind that some students will attend for a short while.. others might miss certain weeks, i am interested in what people are able to take away from a basic class…
All exercises will give some benefit in the class- even if it is just that of having a focused session to begin the week.
Lotus, for example is relatively straight forward and will give an experience of graceful harmony and balance ( also working with the 5 elements) … the standing chi-gungs ( Magnificent Seven) are easy to remember (to work with at home) and can give escape from our monkey minds- a space in which healing is able to occur..
Taoist self-massage ( the tapping and slapping) once tried is easy to repeat with the sheet i usually remember to hand out (!) This is an intro into awaking areas of the body that previously we might not be aware of sensation in, of releasing tension… and can help shift toxin build up and can refresh us..It is good for a general wake-up/ relax session.
Most exercises are either a way of learning to relax / build up energy/ strengthen specific organs or are soothing..
The ( Glorious) T’ai Chi Form’s rewards can be great and DEFINITELY needs to be practiced in between classes and slowly learnt section by section to get the good results we want.. Yes- this is the bad news!!
This is the crux of it ( or The Big Sell?!) —> most exercises (as i say above) will give immediate benefit in some way.. the FORM’s real benefits come with the dedicated practice of it.. and i would hazard an estimate that the benefit for someone who practices a couple of times in the week might be double that of someone who doesn’t, and if someone were to practice even 15 mins EVERY day, they would be advantaged maybe 5 times that again?! Who knows! But this one is a real ” you get out of it what you put in to it” case. The reward is cumulative.
It’s worth a try! I will also be doing my best to present class in a ‘toolkit’ way so that everyone can take something home after just a few sessions!
I am sensing keen-ness this season and hope i can encourage it!
Seasonal round-up and pics from our Christmas party next blog!
Weather has been mild… occasional bursts of beauty.. and RAIN…!
We had a little lean period… and for the last month: good solid enthusiastic attendance —- thank you and well done everyone.
Golden Archer made it’s return ( by popular request)…… i knocked out another couple of RULERS — i vaguely know what i am doing now and it shows:
.. and it’s been fun every monday.. excited to see what weather is doing and who’s out to play…
I somehow suspect that Alfred Wainwright penned this little piece of classic stiff- upperlip / teeth gritted pithyness… rather than Sir Ralph(?), but regardless of authorship- we are now in the time of year where “T’ai Chi in the park” becomes “EXTREME T’ai Chi in the park” (!) i am going to have to agree with the above. Here was the unpromising sight of drizzle and downpour last week:
I took the photo just to show i turned up…. couldn’t resist a little form practise.. got stuck in.. and then two class members showed up unexpectedly as well … and as we all know—- less than 4 of us= a Masterclass.. and we had a great time. The rain continued doing what rain does.. and with hats/jackets buttoned up and under the trees we continued doing what we do.
Gotta accentuate the positives and lessen the negatives in any situation you are in really: it wasn’t cold… few people around and best of all- in the rain it seems to me that all colours are ultra vivid and nature seems ultra alive around us. We were wrapped up well and contrary to our normal reaction to being in rain for an hour, mine was noticing that inside my body the feeling was one of DELIGHT at being alive and moving and breathing in this fresh fresh air! Result!
I saw an online article recently about Tai Chi driving —- as quite a sweary impatient driver once behind the wheel, the article leapt off the page at me!
Before even reading it the implications were huge! Taichi needs to become part of ALL life surely ( and i know your name isn’t Shirley!) —a ‘going with the flow’ reacting as necessary and being simultaneously part of the world but not overly identified with it. — Make driving a game where instead of frustration with a slow driver, you see it as a round of push hands with someone slow…. always be alert and focused, ready to react to any unpredictable behaviour…. rely less on alternate accelerator/brake pedal.. etc etc -it’s obvious. BUT THEN – if you start doing Taichi driving, where else can you bring the same attitude to bear in life??
Um…… EVERYWHERE ?!
Hallelujah ! I am saved! Ah ahm a convert to the glory that is ACUPUNCTURE! It seems to be very powerful medicine indeed- and for anyone working with Taichi: entirely appropriate.
The question is- how did i not realize this earlier??? Again— Taichi was my panacea: and i repeat— please go out and find and use ANY health tools available. Taichi is powerful too but in this modern world where we are almost assaulted with toxins daily- we need to bring in the big guns.
Anyone local to Brighton,UK – Patricia is very good – i have been acupunctured, moxibustioned.. cupped and massaged and i am looking forward to changes i can integrate into my being.
Enough big-ups for now – do you like Autumn? I love Summer above all, but what is exciting is the CHANGE from one season to another. Part of living in this changing world in a physical body is the wild range of our senses. The air smells different…. wild colour changes occur in the nature around us and our bodies start to operate differently.
Last monday in the park was atmospheric — still….. misty…. and leaves falling to the ground……
We got down with nature and got focused . Some day i would love to see a class of 20 of us in formation, in the park ‘proper’.. but days where only a small cluster of us turn up, we can really go into detail and work on each individuals moves.
I love it all.
Ha! — Taichi class selfie!