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A Tai Chi talk to the WI

I have done a few talks to local WI groups and they are always fun – last Tuesday we had a wonderful turnout of some 30 people at Maulden Village Hall, with lots of interest, questions and actual participation in some exercises. I hope that I managed to get across the message for people to learn to look after themselves before they become vulnerable to falls – so start to learn about balance and posture and relaxed movement as soon as possible – ideally before you are 50.

I am always delighted to do talks of this sort and welcome invitations – please contact me.

Belsey Bridge Residential Centre

Our annual Tai Chi residential is coming up again – this year we return to the quiet Belsey Bridge centre near Bungay where we can practice on the lawn or in a comfortable indoor hall. Tuition can be adjusted to suit beginners or more experienced practitioners in an all-day schedule of full board en-suite accomodation for the inclusive price of £320 pp.

Contact here to book

 

Tai Chi at the Swiss Garden

I’m looking forward to our next Tai Chi session at the Swiss Garden Shuttleworth, as I always do. They are light beginners sessions of gentle movement in a lovely environment and all-day access to wander the garden afterward and refresh at the cafe – so what is not to like? Thursday 7 July at 10.30 am – book on the Shuttleworth website.

We are developing a core of people who come regularly and are moving forward each month, but about half of each class is made up of beginners just getting a first taste. Tai Chi seems to be something that most people have heard of but even now few have experienced – so these sessions are a great way to “scratch the itch” and finally find out!

Tai Chi for balance

I heard this on the news today and then found it all over the media – for example here at the Telegraph

It seems that a 12-year research project has found that middle-aged and elderly people who cannot balance on one leg for 10 seconds are almost twice as likely to die within 10 years as those who can. I understand that on this occasion the risks are linked mainly but not exclusively to strokes. Given that the WHO found Tai Chi offered a 50% reduction in vulnerability to falls in older people then Tai Chi becomes a no-brainer – like my own “over 50’s” classes.

This bonafide international research covered 1,702 people aged between 51 and 75 between 2008 and 2020. Given that Tai Chi is already well recognised as helping to aid balance at all ages it must be good news for long-term practitioners. People do have trouble in doing things just because it is good for us, however – so it is great that Tai Chi is also good fun and a pleasant social activity – for example, my own classes in the Swiss Garden at Shuttleworth.

The original piece was published in the British Journal of Sports medicine 

Ian receiving hands-on correction

So if I am to do Tai Chi, what might I expect? Well in my experience regular practice of Tai Chi leads to change including:
Relaxes and loosens the body – aids healing
Improves balance control
Gives better posture
Aids resilience
Increases confidence

Then if we are to change then we must expect our bodies to feel differently which takes a while for us to notice.

Tai Chi in the Swiss Garden – with Peacocks post image

 

Snowy at Swiss GardenYesterday we had what I think is probably the perfect session of Tai Chi in the garden – a brilliant group of mixed beginners and regulars turned up to enjoy the weather and were treated to “Snowy” the Swiss Garden white Peacock who paid us a visit by walking through the middle of the class to take up residence under a nearby tree – where he displayed for the rest of the lesson.

We went over loosening exercises and the initial moves of the Laojia form with everybody working attentively and supportively. I certainly appreciate these monthly classes and hope to see more people who enjoy relaxed group movement in such a delightful garden. Please see here for further classes.

Tai Chi walking at the Swiss Garden

Continuing our very pleasant monthly classes at the Swiss Garden Shuttleworth I look forward to seeing our regular students and some new faces on the 9th June at 10.30am. Contact the Swiss Garden direct.

 

Ian with Shefford Tai Chi group on a workshopBelsey Bridge Tai Chi retreatAlongside that our annual Tai Chi residential is open for bookings – from the afternoon of Friday September 2nd to Sunday afternoon on the 4th we will be at Belsey Bridge near Bungay for a weekend of Tai Chi and other relaxation – cost £320 for full board and tuition.

Contact me to book at iandeavin68@gmail.com

Fascia

New Scientist this week carries a feature article entitled “The Matrix Inside You – A guide to your fascia – the vital organ you never knew you had.” The article gives many thoughts on fascia and ways we can pursue an interest – for myself that would be both healthwise and in martial application – how does it feel to possess an elastic inner suit that not only keeps you all together but also helps to regulate your body?

Read here in New Scientist

Shefford Tai Chi Festival 2022

Our festival yesterday was a lovely mix of activities with visitors arriving in groups throughout the day – there was a good level of interest in the Tai Chi exercises and our weekly classes held on Monday afternoons at 2.30 and Sunday at 6.30. I was able to spend time with each enquirer and answered many questions – I look forward to seeing some new faces at the beginners classes.

It was great that the weather was good all day and we had a lot of drop-in visitors for the Tai Chi and for our guest Naomi Brown, who attracted many people who came to visit her for Reiki or Numerology.

I was personally interested in the demonstration of Krav Magar by Paul Forster – especially as I took the part of “uke” and ended up being thrown on the floor for the first time in around 20 years – it was good to find that I was still OK with it – although I definitely don’t bounce as well as I used to!

We had an interesting demonstration of a new take on Tai Chi sword play with the emphasis on play – with light sabres! Sort of Star Wars meets Chinese sword – which looks like good fun. This is a Wu style Tai Chi Dao form but modified with LED sabres. It was demonstrated by Boz Bozier and can be found at https://silver-sabres.com/

My thanks to the students who came to help organise the banners and food – donations for food raised £20 which will be passed on to a local homeless charity.

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