one world… one breath…

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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.

 

 

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

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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.

 

tai chi stars are born!

bhf cropDespite the continued atrocious weather across the South West of England, I spent a lovely afternoon with my Exminster tai-chiers, together with a film crew from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).  BHF are compiling 6 case studies of people who’ve have some form of cardiac disease or cope with some disability and demonstrating how they manage/improve/retain their health through various activities.  For two of the case studies that includes tai chi, with me!   

Let’s call these two lovely people Freda and Fred.  They’re different ages (88 yrs and mid 60’s), have lived very different lives, are managing very different conditions. Both have found something very positive in tai chi for improving their general health and wellbeing – be it around feeling more relaxed and calmer, having improved balance, increased energy levels, better mobility and stability, increased strength and not forgetting the social element – we’re focussed in class but don’t take ourselves too seriously.  Freda is getting a taste for stardom.  A long time fan of “Pretty Woman”, she “negotiated” with the BHF that they could only film her if they ensured Richard Gere came to town too!  

I’ve been pondering on what Freda and Fred have in common. The thing that springs to mind, loud and clear, is a positive “can-do” mindset, despite pain and disability and recovering from illness.  A salient reminder in itself of the importance of engaging the body AND mind in every aspect of our tai chi practise, and that bringing together of mind and body is one of tai chi’s great strengths.

I look forward to the world premiere of Freda and Fred’s videos later in the year.  As for me, I felt like the startled bunny caught in the headlights when the camera turned on me.  I’ll stick to teaching tai chi in Devon and Mallorca, Freda and Fred can tread the red carpet, mindfully of course 🙂

I haven’t got time to stop!!

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goldsworthygrass2Make time in the foothills of Mallorca’s Traumontana mountain with a winning combination of a tai chi, reflexology and walks – a full week or a short break chillout, 5-12th October  2013.

Several years ago I went on one of those “Superworking” courses for managers – how to be more efficient, more effective, get more done in less time, and so forth. There were many interesting, and some wacky, concepts, exercises and ideas put before us. One story really stuck with me, I’m paraphasing but hopefully you get the gist. It goes something like this:

“A woodman has 20 trees he needs to cut down in the shortest time possible. He has one axe. After he’s cut down 10 trees his axe is blunt. He needs to keep cutting down trees but the tools he has no longer do the job. The woodman believes he hasn’t got time to stop and take a few minutes out to resharpen his axe.  He keeps chopping at the trees with the blunt axe, making very slow progress, getting blisters and aching muscles, but in his mind he is still heading towards his goal.  In a neighbouring wood a friend has the same task.  When his axe blade is blunt, he stops and takes but a few minutes to sharpen his blade, and so completes his task in a much shorter time, less tired, fewer blisters”.

Which approach do you take to life?  In our busy “goal orientated” world we often don’t make the time or take the time to resharpen our axe, to recharge our batteries, to eat, drink and play mindfully.  And actually when we do, we usually find we have far more energy and creativity to face our next woodcutter challenge.

So if you didn’t manage to get away over the summer, or even if you did and need a sunny boost before the winter kicks in, make time and space for yourself with us in Mallorca, you won’t regret it.  Find out more including prices, last few rooms available.  All inclusive, you only have to book your place and book your flight. Axe sharpened, sorted.

it’s all about balance…

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balanced rocks Can Piquafort taichivinesworks 2010One of my tai chi “lightbulb” moments was when my teacher was talking about being rooted/grounded/sunk down in one side of the body, holding the body in balance with “three free limbs”. In developing that balance, through my tai chi practice, I place myself in a better position to make choices, choices about how and where I stepped.

And so it is in life. If we are in balance, physically and emotionally, we are in a strong position to take time and make choices, instead of wobbling over or bouncing around like a pinball as life comes at us from all directions. This idea has held me in good stead over the years and is now proving to be a lightbulb movement for some of my students. Fabulous.

To explore and play with your own balance, come and join us in Mallorca for our week of Tai chi, Reflexology and Walks (Oct 5-12) at the wonderful Son Ametler.  I challenge you not to feel more balanced and grounded by the end of the week. To find out more click here.

Tai chi keeps ageing at bay – it’s OFFICIAL!

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hands thanks to BYPDid you know eye-hand coordination in finger-pointing declines with age in time and accuracy domains? In a recently published study however, Tai Chi practitioners attained significantly better accuracy than control subjects similar in age, sex, and physical activity levels.

The cross sectional study, by researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, examined the ageing effect on speed and accuracy in finger pointing toward stationary and moving visual targets between young and older healthy subjects and whether or not Tai Chi practitioners perform better than healthy older controls in these tasks.   And they consistently did!  You can read an abstract of the research here

Just another of the many health and wellbeing benefits of tai chi!  And what better place to start, or refresh, your tai chi journey, than at Son Ametler, Mallorca, where you can enjoy a blissful week of Tai Chi, Reflexology and Walking, October 5-12th 2013.  It’s bound to take years off you!   Find out more here.  Limited spaces available.