what it’s all about

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What it’s all about   Tai chi and holistic therapies to balance body, mind and spirit, and release stress and strains; walks in countryside, time out from busy lives to recharge and get in touch with self and environment; good food, good wine, comfy sofas, mindfulness, stimulating conversation, laughter; a dip in the pool, an absorbing book, time to explore, discover and reflect, sounds of goat bells, warmth of the sun, quiet time in almond orchards, afternoon siestas, the colourful market in Pollensa Old Town.

All of this and more on this week-long retreat at Son Ametler, Mallorca. In October, the white heat is gone,  the days are still warm, the water is still inviting, and the skies are blue.

What to expect      The pre-breakfast session sets us up for the day, and kick-starts a healthy appetite for breakfast! Gentle exercises to waken with the dawn and stretch out the body . Mid-morning classes, mostly outside, will explore the Living Movement principles of tai chi which provide simple yet powerful ways to revitalise, and to rediscover and attune to the strength of our own bodies and minds, whatever our age or ability.

concise form cropThrough the week you’ll learn a short piece of tai chi form. You are sure to take home with you something practical, inspiring and directly applicable to your day to day home and working life, and feel the benefits of that long after the course is ended.

On an afternoon when we are not out walking, Jane Marsden, our fabulous holistic therapist, will run a hands-on workshop, giving you a chance to give and receive a relaxing foot massage, learning new skills to take home.

One day and two afternoons will be for exploring the area on foot, breathing the clean mountain air, taking in the autumn sunshine and beauty of the landscape – be it azure blue seas, gnarled and ancient olives or the timeless and majestic beauty of the mountains.

There will be time to chill out or explore on your own, and to enjoy some quality rest. You can join in as much or as little as the mood takes you. The choices are yours.

Pamper      You will also receive a full reflexology treatment, or Indian head massage if you prefer. Reflexology involves the gentle massaging of the feet to treat the whole body, restoring the body’s natural balance and helping to maintain its equilibrium. Indian head massage with its gentle rhythms helps to clear blockages and release tension, restoring energy flow to the body, creating a feeling of balance and calm. Each treatment will include a consultation and be tailored to the individual.

Good food is an essential element of any retreat, and we are fortunate to have our meals carefully and freshly prepared each day, sometimes directly from the garden – packed with vitality and local flavour and accompanied by well chosen wines.   Meals will be shared together in the glass dining room.

Pre-dinner Gin and Tonic time on the terrace has become something of a custom on these weeks!

Is this for me?      This retreat is ideal for those new to tai chi or wanting a refresher, as well as for those looking for simple ways of moving, to tap into their own creative energy, become more grounded and better deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life.

If chilling out, having a week of quality rest, good food, recharging your batteries whilst learning a new skill in a stunning location is a good idea, then this is the week for you!

Check out the venue, prices, who’s running the course and feedback from previous clients. And then contact us for the booking form.

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Tai chi – keeps body and brain on the go!

brain(Science photo library)

Brain training games may not provide the benefits to brain health they claim to, according to experts.

Instead, a report from the Global Council on Brain Health recommends that people engage in stimulating activities such as learning a musical instrument, taking up tai chi, designing a quilt or gardening.

It said the younger a person started these activities, the better their brain function would be as they aged.

Age UK said it was never too late to learn something new.

The council – which is a collaboration of international scientists, health professionals and policy experts – has produced a report on the best ways to stimulate the brain and reduce cognitive decline.

It said that although many people thought playing online games, such as puzzles and mind games, designed to improve brain health was important, the evidence regarding the benefits was “weak to non-existent”.

“If people play a ‘brain game’, they may get better at that game, but improvements in game performance have not yet been shown to convincingly result in improvements in people’s daily cognitive abilities,” the report said.

For example, there was no evidence that playing sudoku would help you manage your finances any better, it added.

Tai chi and photography

The report recommends seeking out new activities that challenge the way you think and are socially engaging, while leading a healthy lifestyle.

Examples include:

  • practising tai chi
  • researching your family tree
  • photography classes
  • cooking
  • gardening
  • learning new technologies
  • creative writing
  • art projects
  • volunteering

James Goodwin, chief scientist at Age UK, which helped set up the Global Council on Brain Health, said brain decline was not inevitable.

He said: “There are plenty of activities that we can start today that can provide benefits for brain health, if they are new to you and require your concentrated attention.

“They may even be activities that you do regularly in your life, such as playing with grandchildren, gardening or playing cards.

“Even though it’s never too late to learn something new, the overwhelming message from this report is that you shouldn’t wait until later life to try to maintain your brain health.”

(BBC News 02/08/17)

And if you fancy having a go at tai chi, as part of a wonderful Week of Wellness, in Mallorca, come and join us Continue reading

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