What did tai chi ever do for me?

man-dressed-in-white-praticing-tai-chi-on-beaschThe health and wellbeing benefits of tai chi have been acknowledged over the centuries. The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi is where I refer people to, who appear to have a need to understand the benefits of tai chi and qigong from a scientific perspective.  For myself, I try to listen to my body and feel the benefits.   But each to their own.   In a nutshell, the physical benefits are summarised here.  But that’s only part of the story – the emotional and psychological effects vary from person to person.  Feedback from weekly classes, and from our WoW retreats in Mallorca often include the following: “I feel more relaxed – less stressed – more alert – more aware of my body and how I move/hold myself – less anxious – sleeping better – less depressed – feel “grounded” – physically tired, in a good way – better able to concentrate – feel accomplished – enjoy life more – have fun!”

No pain, big gains

Although tai chi is slow and gentle and doesn’t leave you breathless, it addresses the key components of fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning. Here’s some of the evidence:

Muscle strength. Tai chi can improve both lower-body strength and upper-body strength. When practiced regularly, tai chi can be comparable to resistance training and brisk walking.

“Although you aren’t working with weights or resistance bands, the unsupported arm exercise involved in tai chi strengthens your upper body,” says internist Dr. Gloria Yeh, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “Tai chi strengthens both the lower and upper extremities and also the core muscles of the back and abdomen.”

Flexibility. Tai chi can boost upper- and lower-body flexibility as well as strength.

Balance. Tai chi improves balance and, according to some studies, reduces falls. Proprioception — the ability to sense the position of one’s body in space — declines with age. Tai chi helps train this sense, which is a function of sensory neurons in the inner ear and stretch receptors in the muscles and ligaments. Tai chi also improves muscle strength and flexibility, which makes it easier to recover from a stumble. Fear of falling can make you more likely to fall; some studies have found that tai chi training helps reduce that fear.

Aerobic conditioning. Depending on the speed and size of the movements, tai chi can provide some aerobic benefits. If your clinician advises a more intense cardio workout with a higher heart rate than tai chi can offer, you may need something more aerobic as well.

Extract from http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-health-benefits-of-tai-chi

Come and join us on our 12th Annual WoW Week of Wellness on October 27th and see what tai chi does for you!  And if you already play with tai chi,  let us know how it makes you feel, and leave a comment.  We’d love to hear from you.

best six doctors and more…

Quote

6 doctors image

(source original pic: David Wolfe/Facebook)

David Wolfe neatly summed the best six doctors for a happy and healthy human being.   We’ve got them all nailed (and some) at our forthcoming WoW Mallorca retreat, where we still have a few spaces.  A good friend thought  David had missed one out though – “Connecting with great people. Connectivity is so important for mental and physical wellbeing.”   We’d agree with that and clients each year testify that connecting with great people is a given at the wonderful surroundings at Son Ametler.

Are there other doctors you think contribute to your sense of wellbeing?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

one world… one breath…

Quote

LM Sunrise Branscombe World TC Day

Greeting the sunrise, WTCQD Day, Branscombe

Tomorrow is World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day (WTCQD).

The idea is a simple one.  At 10am local time, tai chi players across the globe will be doing their tai chi thing; in parks, beaches, woods, shopping malls, mountain tops, schools, gardens, offices, wherever!  Starting in New Zealand it sends a tidal wave of positive, healing energy around our world and to all people.

In 2015, over 80 countries joined in. Expectations for this year are even higher.

I’ve celebrated this day once on Exeter’s Cathedral Green, where 50 or so players from different tai chi schools played together, and some bloke on a bike memorably rode by, shouting “weirdos!”.  I remember laughing and thinking, “actually he was the odd one out!”

My favourite WTCQD venue remains up on the clifftop where we welcomed the sunrise over the sea at Branscombe beach.

You don’t need to be in an organised event.  Wherever you are, and even if you’ve never taken a class, you can join in.  At 10am, just stop and be still.  Standing upright, comfortable and relaxed, feel the connection beneath your feet into the earth, and from the top of your head up to the cosmos. Take a few slow, deep breaths in and out, think good thoughts.  Feel connected to your earth, your cosmos. Be part of that tidal wave of healing energy.

One World, One Breath.

And if you feel like you want more than a few minutes at 10am, join us in the Mallorcan hills, 8-15th of October, for a week of tai chi, therapies, walks and sunshine.

 

 

What to do with the extra day of the year?

Hotel-James 72

29th February – a treat of an extra day once every four years.  Use it wisely.  I’m planning a run first thing (a new year resolution that’s unusually holding, 2 months in) which will compensate for too much of the rest of the day on the computer.  Oh and I’m going to book some down time for later in the year.  I love having those treats in the diary to think about on the more humdrum, or cold and wet days.

And the good news is that we’ve extended the earlybird discount for our 11th WoW, Week of Wellness, so use this extra day to create a treat for yourself which will last much more than 24 hours once every 4 years, and with a great earlybird saving of £50 off per person.

Tai chi, therapies, walks, sun, good food and wine, conversation, stillness and peace, relaxation, mindfulness, laughter, wellbeing and so much more.

Checkout what it’s all about, our prices, the fabulousness of Son Ametler (award winning hotel) and what some of our clients have to say, and book via our contact page.

WoW Earlybird Discount extended til end of March!

Quote

P1150828We’re feeling like spring is finally showing signs of life, bunches of snowdrops, daffodil leaves pushing through, buds on trees, the orange and purple of crocuses hailing the promise of warmer weather and longer days.  And feeling good about that, we’ve decided to extend the earlybird discount for our WoW Week of Wellness. Earlybird discounts will apply if you’ve booked and paid your deposit by the end of March.

And as for a bit of pampering, Jane is now offering not only reflexology but also indian head massage, Bach flower remedies, Bowen technique, Reiki, insights into mindfulness and all round wellbeing. Fabulous.

We’ve only 3 rooms still available so be decisive and get in touch to make that booking. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

Week of Wellness (10/10/15) earlybird DISCOUNT extended to end of Feb.

Quote

P1150784If you’re anything like me, your mind during the second half of January will have been full of invoices, receipts, diaries, creditors, travel claims and so forth, ie. completing and submitting your tax return.  Only now might you be able to see the possibilities beyond the 31st January and start to give the better things in life some attention, like chilling in the pool with the sun on your skin!

And so with this in mind, we’re extending our earlybird discount for our WoW Week of Wellness through to the end of February, giving you a whole month to get your holiday plans in order, and book to join us for a treat of week of tai chi, holistic therapies, walks, chillout time, being mindful, good food and wine, laughter, lazing by the pool, exploring the local area and generally feeling fabulous by the end of it!

We’ve only 3 ensuite rooms left at the wonderful Son Ametler.  Bring a friend and share the fun, save on the price.  And with the earlybird discount extended til the end of February, each person saves £50 off the fee.

Check it out today and contact us with any questions.

 

Earlybird DISCOUNT til end of Jan for Week of Wellness 10.10.15

Quote

P1150847A New Year is upon us and thoughts turn to resolutions, good intentions, healthier lifestyles and new adventures; to holidays, getaways, new places and new challenges.

If however, you’re like me, chances are your good intentions are starting to slide by the end of January and those short, dark, wet days are more conducive to curling up on the sofa with chocolate than a bracing walk on the moors.  Here’s a solution that will give you a focus and something to be excited about for the best part of a year!

Book now for our annual Week of Wellness in rural Mallorca and you’ll have 9 months to anticipate the warmth of sun on skin, of greeting the sunrise with qi gong exercises by the pool, stretching your muscles and heart on our walks through the mountains and by the sea, relaxing into a reflexology or indian head massage treatment, enjoying a spot of pampering, dining on freshly prepared local produce, laughing with new friends, discovering tai chi and its benefits for your body and mind, sleeping well in your boutique hotel ensuite room, catching up with a book by the pool, exploring the local market at Pollensa and so much more.

P1150749And if you book and pay the deposit before the end of January, you’ll enjoy a £50 discount.

The perfect way to ensure your resolutions last throughout the year, to the end of October in any case!   Only a few rooms remaining so be decisive and contact us for the booking form.  And don’t forget the January sales on flights so it’s a great time to get it all sorted!  A very warm welcome awaits…