tai chi seminars

Residential program


Our residential program this year will take as it’s theme ” Don’t just do the exercise – feel and think about the movement in your body.”

The program has the following points for students to consider:

History and fore runners

Shaolin, Bodidhama, Buddhism, Yoga, Chi Kung, Chin na, traditional Chinese medicine, theories of 5 elements, theory of Chi and meridians, Taoism, Power vs Yielding,

Sensing the feeling of movement

The place of weapons

Identifying: Relax, Move from the centre, All moves at once,

Mapping the space – partner work

Links to other approaches – Chi kung, Yoga, Pilates, Karate, various Kung Fu eg Shaolin, meditation, Taoism, Yiquan,

Very slow practice, fast and loose practice, standing, creating your own exercises,

Large movement, small movement,

Making and feeling connection

The place of meditation


Theory of martial arts – what are we seeking to achieve?

Structure, balance, fluidity,

The place of fighting, studying conflict, balancing forces, Tai chi in daily life, the path of martial arts – combative, healing, wisdom/understanding.

To those who are coming – I look forward to seeing you there – if you are not joining us then maybe the notes will give you something useful to think about.

All the best in your practice.

Shefford Tai Chi picnic in the Swiss Garden

We had a lovely picnic in the Swiss Garden at Shuttleworth yesterday with lots of practice of standing pole Chi Kung and the Laojia form – as you can see from the photo the picnic area offered shade and sunshine with lots of trees which were delightful – all in all a perfect venue. We even had the chance to observe a number of biplanes and WW2 aircraft from time to time.

The group assembled in the car park at 10.00 and benefited from a low cost group entry and free Tai Chi instruction until 2.00 with our own picnic hampers.

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.
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.

Tai Chi Retreat Sept 14-16th

23 July 2018
Thumbnail image for Tai Chi Retreat Sept 14-16th

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 […]

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2018 Shefford Tai Chi Festival review – World Health Organisation World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day.

30 April 2018
Thumbnail image for 2018 Shefford Tai Chi Festival review – World Health Organisation World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day.

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 […]

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World Tai Chi Day – Shefford Tai Chi Festival

30 April 2017
Thumbnail image for World Tai Chi Day – Shefford Tai Chi Festival

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” FacebookTwitterShare…

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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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