Chi kung

Shefford Tai Chi Festival poster

Each year on the last Saturday of April the World Health Organisation recognises World Tai Chi and Qigong Day – so for 2017 we are planning a Tai Chi festival at the newly refurbished Shefford Community Hall.

Entry will be free for all with plans for demonstrations, taster classes, falls prevention discussions, etc through the day as well as a number of guest demonstrations by teachers from other classes held at the hall – such as Yoga, Pilates, Taekwando, Tai Kick Boxing, – we are also expecting Alexander Technique and Massage to be available.

Tea and cakes will be available by donation.

We intend that there will be no charge for participants or visitors as we are seeking to promote local community activities related to Tai Chi – anybody wishing to be involved should contact Ian Deavin on 07860 218334 or e-mail


positive daily work

Recent research has apparently demonstrated that creativity is enhanced by mundane activity – something the Zen meditators have long suggested.

Too little activity and the mind stagnates, too much and the task overrides the creative process.

So, unsurprisingly, I get many ideas while jogging – so long as I am not too focused on competing with myself.

It makes sense then that we practice our Tai Chi in such a way that it becomes mundane as this facilitates not only observation but also the creative thought process that enables us to learn for ourselves.

An interesting simile is the idea of water – sometimes it is entirely appropriate to rush toward a goal with much left unconsidered, at other times it is good to just be still but too much rush or two much stillness results in disconnection or stagnation. Just the right amount of energy enables the water to flow gently into all the crevices without losing contact with the main body of the stream. Too much – we get disassociated eddies. Too little then no new connections can be made. Just the right flow and we can be connected and energetic – promoting creativity.

One of my students has a long standing lower back condition which flared up recently to the point that his doctor thought he had slipped a disc – after a couple of weeks rest he came with a few others of the group to my teacher Karel Koskuba for a 3 hour seminar. Before we got started a couple of other students mentioned their own back problems – so we spent at least the first hour working on a very slow exercise for the back.

The other day I asked how his back problem was doing and this was the reply:

“The back is doing very well thank you.

The Karel visit really did the trick, and motivated me to get back to my training, because I was very nervous about putting any strain on my back.

The chat we had with Karel on standing triggered some thinking, as did the small slow movement over time.

As a result I was standing on Tuesday morning, and about 15 minutes in I noticed a small horizontal muscle group in my lower back was tense, I relaxed it, no idea how, and immediately the hips dropped forward. The back straitened, sciatica disappeared completely, and the tension in my right knee went.

I did 30 minutes standing and felt I could have carried on for another 30 minutes – totally relaxed.

What I’ve noticed now is that my chest is tense, not relaxed and not connected to the rest of me and feels like it’s limiting my breathing – something else to work on next.

– I haven’t had many breakthroughs as big as this and it was a bit of a shocker at the time 🙂 “

Tai Chi in Hitchin

Our original Chen Style Tai Chi, weekly beginners/improvers drop-in classes will be moving to a new venue from the 11th March 2016 with a new time of 19.00-20.30. – so students will benefit from a longer class (1 1/2 hours), for the same price as previously (£7.00).

Venue: Tilehouse Street Baptist Church, Upper Tilehouse Street, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 2EE. Get directions and further information.

Chen style Tai Chi Chuan or Taijiquan is valued for health, relaxation, personal development and martial arts. It is believed to be the original codified version of Tai Chi and is considered suitable for all ages. Chen-style focuses on softness with calm relaxed movement, balance, good posture and a quiet mind. Developing awareness of inner body feelings and of mental/emotional states is seen as an important aspect.

Tai Chi & Alexander Technique Seminar 12th July 2015

11 June 2015

Covering exercises, spiralling movement, qigong, meditation, Tai Chi principles and Alexander principles. The seminar will be run by Ian Deavin and Judy Hammond and participants will be engaged in a fascinating mix of meditation and movement, creating inner body awareness and developing a practical and spiritual mind/body link of considerable strength. Qigong is a basic training […]

Read the full article →

Tai Chi & Alexander Technique Seminar 22nd March 2015 at The Letchworth Centre

19 February 2015

Covering exercises, spiralling movement, qigong, meditation, Tai Chi principles and Alexander principles. The seminar will be run by myself and the excellent Judy Hammond – so participants can expect to be engaged in a fascinating mix of meditation and movement, creating inner body awareness and developing a practical and spiritual mind/body link of considerable strength. Qigong is […]

Read the full article →

Tai Chi for a Good Back

17 October 2014

I thought I might pass on some personal thoughts on how Tai Chi fits into the mix of approaches to “bad back” syndrome arising from deterioration of posture and poor habits of body use. Tai Chi emphasises keeping a relaxed straight back leading to a vertical posture carried with poise. Tai Chi achieves this by […]

Read the full article →

2 Day Seminar – Chen Tai Chi including Laojia form

11 July 2014

Following the success of previous 2 day Chen Tai Chi Seminars at The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living, I am delighted to offer another 2 day seminar this year on Tuesday 5th and Thursday 7th August 2014, at 10 – 4pm each day The class is open to existing students, plus anyone with previous experience of Tai Chi.The program will cover: […]

Read the full article →

New Tai Chi classes in Luton

26 June 2014

Update – please note Luton Classes are now held at Chaul End Community Centre, for details please see here. I am delighted to be starting regular Tai Chi classes in Luton from September 3rd at the Hightown Community Sports & Arts Centre – this in response to 4 existing students from the Luton area who would […]

Read the full article →

2 Day Chen Tai Chi Seminar

27 June 2013

Once again we are holding a 2 day seminar on Chen style Tai Chi at The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living on Tues and Weds 27th and 28th August – this year it will cover a wide range of subjects from basic exercises through Chi Kung standing into Silk Reeling and the Chen Laojia 74 […]

Read the full article →