tai chi seminars

Tai Chi walking at the Swiss Garden

I had a lovely time teaching Tai Chi in the Swiss Garden at Shuttleworth this morning – the sun came out and so did many people who were eager to learn about Tai Chi.

Since we were in pretty much ideal surroundings we took advantage of being able to start with a brief sensory walk, grounding ourselves by connecting with the trees and bushes of the garden, calming our minds and bodies. I and my student Steve Milsom then took these enthusiastic beginners through 40 mins of exercises focusing on balance, posture, relaxation and moving about the centre, including waving hands like clouds, standing Chi Kung and Tai Chi walking. This was followed by our demonstration of the Laojia form and the Chen Broadsword form, with a brief history lesson to place Chen Tai Chi in a very wide context of both health and martial arts also covering briefly some of the Buddhist and Taoist philosophical backgrounds and other precursors to it’s synthesis. 

We then we went into learning the first move of Laojia with discussion of what a beginners lesson might look like and further questions. 

After the class feedback was very positive and many people stayed to ask questions including “where can I learn Tai Chi locally?” – at my classes in Shefford or Letchworth! So I am delighted to have been invited back later in the year and I would love to do more at this delightful venue.

Spitfire at the Swiss Garden ShuttleworthMany of us then retired to the restaurant from where we could observe a Spitfire and a helicopter visit.

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.
www.shuttleworth.org/mindfulness-practice
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.
www.shuttleworth.org/herbs-presentation
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.
www.shuttleworth.org/essential-oils-workshop

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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.
www.shuttleworth.org/tai-chi

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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.
www.shuttleworth.org/yogapractice
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.
www.shuttleworth.org/reflexology

Belsey Bridge Tai Chi retreat

Once again we will be holding our annual Tai Chi Retreat at Belsey Bridge on the Suffolk/Norfolk border near Bungay to enjoy a quiet weekend of practice and conviviality – if you would like to join us please contact me on 07860 218334 or e-mail ian.deavin@outlook.co.uk – rooms are en-suite with full board and a weekend of instruction is included at £290.

Shefford Tai Chi Festival

We had a brilliant day again this year – despite the weather many more people came than last year and lots stayed for the whole day – we were delighted to see everybody. There was a lot of interest in all the classes starting with Tai Chi exercises to loosen up the body and a seated Zen meditation session to calm and connect both mind and body.

Shefford Tai Chi demonstration

Shefford Tai Chi demonstration

 

The first guest presentation was from the ENSO Jujitsu group based in Clifton and headed by Lee Alexander, who showed us a variety of exercises and self-defence techniques with flowing movement and exciting throws including a female student taking on a series of attacks from the rest of the class. Visitors were encouraged to join in some partner work and experience the effectiveness of Jujitsu for themselves. There was a lot of enthusiasm and some laughter as everybody worked together co-operatively to learn these techniques.

Jujitsu demonstration

Jujitsu demonstration

Ian Deavin then took a beginners Tai Chi class incorporating standing exercises and slow walking – the sort of activities that the Monday afternoon and Sunday evening classes regularly use to develop relaxation, balance and mobility and which are excellent for falls prevention in people over 50.

Massage and Aromatherapy consultation

Massage and Aromatherapy consultation

By this point in the day the hall was quite full with many people sitting or standing with tea and cake while they appreciated the activities in the display area. Visitors were also able to visit the presentation booths for Massage/Aromatherapy with Tom Rigby who was giving free tasters all day and to discuss reading matter with Joy Lakin from Shefford Library, who presented a selection of books related to the day’s activities – and lending them out to visitors who had their library cards with them.

Shefford Library presentation

Shefford Library presentation

Ian’s original and inspiring Alexander Technique teacher – Eileen Johnson took a group through postural work addressing their primary control of the head and neck leading to relaxed posture and use of the body. Eileen used hands-on touch to adjust each person – and the group was encouraged to adjust their own posture in simple movement.

Group doing Alexander Technique

Group doing Alexander Technique

More Tai Chi from Ian who sought to explain something of the history of Tai Chi and the way it is good for both health and for martial arts – the first thing that Tai Chi seeks to do is to develop a healthy body with relaxed posture and movement – these are the basic principles. This can then be used to aid movement in daily life and if the student wishes then they can progress further towards the martial aspects.

A demonstration of Wing Chun was next on the program – from the William Wong Wing Chun Academy in Shefford who displayed a range of exercises and patterns with students across the age range from young to mature. Finally featuring a young student doing a solo pattern to the delight of the audience. This breadth of relevance whatever age was a continuing theme of the day across all classes.

Wing Chun demonstration

Wing Chun demonstration

A much anticipated set was the Taekwondo demonstration by Instructor Tom Delve of the Shefford Taekwondo group – he and his class showed powerful martial patterns with punches and blocks and included a display of young students which drew much appreciation from the crowd – this finally culminated in a show of brick breaking by the instructor and his senior students, which had us all urging them on and applauding.

Performance of Taekwondo pattern

Performance of Taekwondo pattern

Ian took a further session of Tai Chi where he discussed the way that Natural Movement with relaxed good posture forms the basis for good martial techniques – taking standing exercise into walking and into light co-operative partner work. Ian demonstrated both the traditional slow hands free Tai Chi form and a brief but fast Broadsword form which he and senior students practice on Sunday evenings.

Tai Chi demo class

Tai Chi demo class

Tai Chi broad sword demonstration

Tai Chi broad sword demonstration

No health and fitness day would be complete without a Yoga class – which was taken by teacher  Rick Nunn from 9-Energy Natural Expression  – even at the end of the day there were many people still up for joining in with this excellent class which proved challenging and fun. There was even a little friendly competitive spirit expressed by some of the participants who had stayed from the morning and were still looking to enjoy themselves with healthy movement. Rick’s sense of humour in this shared learning environment was appreciated by us all.

Yoga demonstration class

Yoga demonstration class

The day closed off with more Tai Chi from Ian who took the class through walking backwards and how it related to balance and natural movement with a little more of the martial aspect.

Home baked cakes with tea, coffee and squashes were provided free throughout the day by the Shefford Tai Chi group – with donations for charity collected at the counter which finally totalled £110 – going equally to the World Wide Fund for Nature and Hitchin homeless.

refreshments

refreshments

Our grateful thanks go to the many volunteers from Shefford Tai Chi who gave their time (and cakes!) to making this annual free community event such a success.

Shefford Tai Chi FestivalThe Shefford Tai Chi Festival is held at Shefford Community Hall each year on World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day designated by the World Health Organisation for the last Saturday of April. This year it will be complimented by a wider Community Festival held at venues throughout Shefford in September from 22nd to 30th.  Organisations wishing to participate in either this year’s Community Festival or next year’s Tai Chi Festival should contact Ian Deavin on ian.deavin@btconnect.com

Contacts:

Tai Chi – Ian Deavin – 07860 218334

Jujitsu – Lee Alexander/Nicky Tribble – 07780 971004

Alexander Technique – Eileen Johnson – 07717 154732

Wing Chun – Yvoone and William Wong – 07900 922486

Taekwondo – Tom Delve – 07743 918487

Yoga – Rick Nunn – 07535 676319

Massage/Aromatherapy – Tom Rigby – 01767 314185

Shefford Library – Joy Lakin – 0300 300 8067

Shefford Community Hall – Elsa Tattersfield – 01462 811607

World Tai Chi Day – Shefford Tai Chi Festival

30 April 2017
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The last Saturday in April is designated by the World Health Organisation as World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day – so this year we decided to have a festival of Tai Chi and related arts at the Community Hall in Shefford. And it was BRILLIANT! As a first event we set our sights high […]

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Healthy Movement From Tai Chi & Alexander Technique

30 January 2017
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The following article was recently published by Kindred Spirit magazine: Over my many years of studying and teaching Tai Chi I have recognised that much of individual movement stems from habit – we learn to walk at around 1 year old and then pay it little attention to it until some 60 or so years later when, […]

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Tai Chi and Alexander Technique at Letchworth

6 January 2017
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Once again in 2017 I am partnering with my friend and colleague Judy Hammond to present a series of seminars at the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living.  See here for details. Share the post “Tai Chi and Alexander Technique at Letchworth” FacebookTwitterLinkedInE-mail

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Shefford Tai Chi Festival April 2017

25 November 2016
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Shefford will have its own free Tai Chi Festival on April 29th 2017 at the centrally located Community Hall where the local classes from Shefford, Hitchin and Haynes will come together presenting demonstrations and taster classes under Chief Instructor, Ian Deavin. The Festival is to be held on World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day and […]

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Tai Chi & Alexander Technique Seminar 13th November 2016

13 October 2016
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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 […]

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Tai Chi Broadsword Seminar 5th November 2016

4 October 2016
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Covering working with a sword, exercises, the Chen broadsword form Venue: Shefford Community Hall, 60 High Street, Shefford Bedfordshire, SG17 5AX 5th November 2016, 9.30am – 12.30pm Cost: £30 per seminar To book telephone 01462 621970 or email: ian.deavin@btconnect.com Please wear suitable loose clothing and flat soled trainers or similar Share the post “Tai Chi Broadsword Seminar 5th […]

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