moving mindfully

Ian and Judy Celebrating Spirals in Tai Chi and Alexander Technique

On 12-14 May 2017 at the Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, Suffolk we will be holding our first  Alternative Health Exercises Residential Weekend – of gentle movement and body awareness exercises in a environment of light humour and relaxation.

The weekend program will be based on our popular seminar series of exercises  developed  from Tai Chi &  Alexander Technique with  elements of dance incorporated  into two days of mindfulness exercises  and meditation ‐ developing a practical  way of being.

Widely experienced Alexander teacher  Judy Hammond and long‐term Tai Chi  instructor Ian Deavin have created this  program of physical and mental  exercises suitable for both complete  beginners seeking a retreat weekend,  or for more experienced exercisers  looking to “workshop” their mind and  body development.

Belsey Bridge Conference Centre offers  a delightful mix of space, quietness and excellent hospitality  ‐ the  package includes tuition with full board plus morning and  afternoon tea.

  • an introduction to Tai Chi and  Alexander Technique
  • Relaxing and strengthening  movement
  • Individual, partner and group  work
  • Meditation, visualisations

To book your place contact here

Tai Chi at sunset

We seem to start often from a position of tension when we cannot feel much of what is going on in our bodies because it is both clamped down and swamped by the tension.

When more relaxed we begin to feel the movement of our muscles and skeleton.

Further relaxed this movement quietens and we start to feel the background internal activity of our body.

Still further on does this background also calm down leaving only the soft flow of our movement?

For those who come to the process already relaxed but unconnected, then phase 2 is probably the starting point – I don’t know, it’s just a guess, but a logical one

Ian does Chen style

I was talking one day with a student about the behaviours that might be considered advantageous in a physical conflict – and gave him a homework project to think of a list of 5 or 6 – then to write about them – and of how they might also have positive aspects in constructive relationships.

In thinking about it later I gave myself the same task and came up with the following list. It then occurred to me that actually they are all facets of the same thing – each related to the others – labels with the same content seen from a different angle – each compliments the others – and indeed each has its positive aspect that would be a valuable behaviour in a caring/loving relationship. They are not good or bad – we get to choose the end to which we put our skills and seeing both aspects we get to make that very human choice of who we wish to be. Tai Chi simply provides a means of developing those skills and exploring their value.

They are in no particular order although I have in some cases grouped more closely related items together – the whole exercise is really about provoking thought.

In looking at the value of these behaviours in positive, caring and loving relationships we can usually look at the way the behaviour works in a negative way and do the opposite and so this is the format I have adopted in the following notes – first the behaviour – then the way it works in a destructive relationship like a fight – then the way it works in a creative relationship in italics. Both represent harmony in their own way – as so often in life – it is all about the intention – how the energy is directed.
Read the whole piece HERE

Ian Deavin and Judy Hammond - Tai Chi and Alexander Technique

Covering exercises, spiralling movement, Qigong, mindfulness, 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 method of Tai Chi coupled with body spiralling, also found everywhere in the movement of dance and the natural world. Principles of Alexander Technique posture and relaxation aid in achieving good balance and relaxed easy movement – developed by Tai Chi practitioners into a way of creating powerful body centred action.

Venue: The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living
Rosehill Hospital, Hitchin Road, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, SG6 3NA
17th July 2016, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Cost: £45 per seminar for bookings up to 1 week before the seminar. £55 after

To book contact The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living on 01462 678804

Please wear suitable loose clothing and flat soled trainers or similar

Models for Internal Development and their Application in Martial Arts

20 April 2016
Thumbnail image for Models for Internal Development and their Application in Martial Arts

An early piece – written when I was transitioning from Karate to Tai Chi and so perhaps useful also to readers in a similar situation. Over some years now it has been important to me to gain an understanding of the principles underlying body usage in martial arts – the following is a collection of […]

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Tai Chi & Alexander Technique Seminar 13th March 2016

10 February 2016
Thumbnail image for Tai Chi & Alexander Technique Seminar 13th March 2016

Covering exercises, spiralling movement, Qigong, mindfulness, 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 →

Mindfulness in Tai Chi

18 December 2015
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Mindfulness is receiving a lot of attention in “alternative” circles at the moment – but it is worth reflecting that it is, and has been, a vital component of spiritual meditation and of martial arts for centuries – helping us to link mind, body and spirit on a daily basis. For example we use the […]

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Tai Chi & Alexander Technique Seminar 15th November 2015

20 October 2015
Thumbnail image for Tai Chi & Alexander Technique Seminar 15th November 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 →

Physical awareness and non-verbal communication

20 August 2015
Thumbnail image for Physical awareness and non-verbal communication

There is much discussed in literature about body language but I have come across little about the simple day to day stuff of understanding what is going on or what someone is doing or seeking to communicate just by observing their movements or their touch. Without an understanding of this communication we are left only […]

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Beginners Guide to the Development of Internal Feeling in Tai Chi

8 April 2015

The following thoughts and linked article are not definitive – just some observations on the journey. Readers may recognise some of them and hopefully will be encouraged in looking for their own internal feeling. We each bring our differences to our practice and each of us takes different things from it – so will change and […]

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