Greensand Festival 2019 at The Swiss GardenI am delighted to be participating in this Swiss Garden event with a Tai Chi class on Friday 10 May for all ages and levels of interest – the location is truly lovely, a classic garden environment wholly supportive of some gentle Tai Chi practice.

This May, the Swiss Garden will be hosting six wonderful activities as part of the 2019 Greensand Festival (details below).
Cultivating Mindfulness Practice
Thursday 2 May and Friday 31 May 2019
The workshop is suitable for garden lovers who wish to enhance their experience by combining it with Mindfulness.
Herbs – Cultivation and Use through the Ages
Friday 3 May 2019
This presentation by Bev Bond will inform about the history, cultivation and use of herbs through the ages.
The Therapeutic Garden: Essential Oils & Wellbeing
Thursday 9 May 2019
This workshop will include a presentation on the benefits and safe use of essential oils, after which you can create your own oil blend to take home.

Tai Chi
Friday 10 May 2019
Tai Chi is recognised as soft exercise and calming meditative movement – in the delightful and classical tree populated environment of the Swiss Garden.

Yoga and Meditation Practice
Monday 13 and Monday 20 May 2019
Join us for this very special and unique event, a chance to get back to nature with a slow, flowing yoga practice suitable for all ages and abilities.
Foot Reflexology Sessions
Friday 24 May 2019
Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary health therapy based on the theory that different points on the feet correspond with different areas or zones of the body.

Merry Christmas from Shefford Tai Chi
Tai Chi master

I have recently taken to putting on the website articles which are not carefully crafted – rather they are what may be regarded as thought pieces – something quite traditional as one might recognise from the way the “Tai Chi Classics” were put together for example.

Once thinking about a topic after a while quite suddenly the thoughts just tumble out and it is all I can do to get them on paper – I simply don’t have the time these days to carefully craft them into well structured articles or to fill out the background on everything. So I must leave it to my readers to explore further. I expect that from time to time I will revisit and expand on points.

One that comes to mind is the reference to a difference between preventative and remedial Tai Chi when considering the health of older people. We can think that while a person has the ability to do normal Tai Chi exercises then this may be regarded as preventative of falls or other health issues – on the other hand once a person has reached a point where they can no longer do something like walk the length of a hall or stand for half an hour exercising then they are in need of remedial work. Preventative Tai Chi is simply exercising normally – but in the case of older people perhaps not so vigorously as we once did and can easily be accommodated in a normal beginners level class – this is why I often refer to them as “over 50s classes since  at that age people still have a good 10 years to learn and develop their skill  before they reach a point at which they would otherwise become vulnerable to falls. Start at 50 and one can hope to improve one’s proprioception, body mapping and Tai Chi skill to a point that staves off problems of falling.

On the other hand I sometimes see people with walking frames or in wheel chairs – or get phone calls from relatives who’s father/mother has just been diagnosed/admitted to a care home and  have seen that Tai Chi is good for their condition – and would I please go to the care home every day to teach their parent. Sadly it is expected that they have probably reached a point where more work is needed than either I or they can put in. It is possible they could do the work but unlikely if they do not already have the discipline, habit and skill  of doing it already. This is what I mean by remedial. In these case I suspect that some daily Tai Chi informed exercises and physiotherapy would be as helpful as anything else and would encourage physios and carers to learn enough to pass on simple exercises.

Recent examples of this sort of article include Thoughts on Tai Chi Movement and Martial Arts as a Philosophy also Managing getting Old with Tai Chi

There will be no classes on the following dates at any of our venues:

Friday 21st Dec

Sunday 23rd Dec

Monday 24th Dec

Friday 28th Dec

Monday 31st Dec

There will be a class on Sunday 30th by popular demand – otherwise classes will be as normal – and if it is not too early – a Merry Christmas to you all!


When change happens………..

26 October 2018

Over the years I have from time to time noticed changes in the way my body moves – recently I have noticed some small changes. Interestingly these changes have begun with very small perturbations in existing patterns – so small I could not properly describe them until a while later after more relaxed practice when […]

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Tai Chi vs Zumba

13 October 2018

BBC Trust me I’m a Doctor series 8 episode 6 – first shown on Oct 10 2018 – “Is Tai Chi as good a workout as Zumba?” – turns out it is  😊👍 Share the post “Tai Chi vs Zumba” FacebookTwitterLinkedInE-mail

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Classes at half term

13 October 2018

Please note there will be no class on 21st Oct or on 22nd Oct Share the post “Classes at half term” FacebookTwitterLinkedInE-mail

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Don’t expect praise in a Tai Chi class!

12 October 2018

I have noticed many cultural differences between studying Tai Chi in the east and in the west – perhaps the most difficult for beginners to understand is the completely different approach to the relationship of teacher to student – a good example is the lack of praise – westerners like to be told they are […]

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Tai Chi Residential at Belsey Bridge

18 September 2018
Thumbnail image for Tai Chi Residential at Belsey Bridge

We had fabulous weather this year for our annual residential at Belsey Bridge near Bungay with everybody practicing hard and enjoying themselves in sunshine for the whole weekend. Food, as ever was brilliant and we had the pleasure of meeting the Norwich 76 Textile Group who produced some wonderful embroidery, rust dying and tie dying […]

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Partner work – why don’t people like it until they try it?

5 September 2018

I have learned through painful experience that partner work and physical corrections make up a potentially very sensitive subject – martial arts people will probably wonder why I am bothering to write about this at all – whereas beginners or people with no experience of interpersonal physical activity may well recoil that I even dream […]

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