Years ago I saw my teacher concentrate energy in his hand. He was demonstrating how to move Qi to the fist. His fist looked dense, energized while the rest of his body was relaxed. It was impressive to see, it was like his fist was humming. I tried it and my whole body went tense as I tried to mimic what he had done. I tried for the whole session and became increasingly agitated as I couldn’t get it. I asked him how to get it, he said ‘practise’.
My teacher said ‘practise’, so i did it for 2 weeks and made no progress! A year later I was doing a practice in relaxation and yielding in the hand. Instinctively I made a fist and managed to do something similar to my teacher. I kept on and over time I was able to do the same as he did.
‘Practice’ is a noun, ‘practise’ is a verb. ‘Practise’ describes the process of doing something again and again to get better at it. ‘Practise’ is the action of doing something again and again to get better. I promise you, practise and you will be surprised how far you can go.
It is O.K. to fail, just get up and practise again. Let the teacher show you and inspire you, but then do it yourself, repeatedly. Make it your own. Find your own mental and physical pathways to the skills you are taught, then practise. You can do it, you are able.
Chang San Feng was a Taoist sage who lived in the 13th century. Around this time, the Shaolin monks had developed strong practices to maintain good health and defense. One day he witnessed a bird and a snake embroiled in combat. The bird was direct and attacking with its firm beak. The Snake was soft and yielding, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Neither creature won the battle as each was evenly matched in its abilities.
From observing the nature of this conflict, Chang San Feng realized that it is not always the strong that win. Sometimes softness can win. So the idea of Tai Chi was born. When using Tai Chi as a martial art, it is good to have both attacking and defensive abilities: Yang and Yin.
In any event in life, especially a potential conflict, it may appropriate to be assertive, forward, creative; or following, listening, yielding may generate a better outcome. Our ability to have a Yang and Yin response to events is our ability to be open minded, flexible and free.
In Tai Chi we can practice changing from a Yin to a Yang state. So we could start moving slowly (yin) then speed up (yang), Think towards the Tan Tien (yin) or focus on clear, spacious awareness of the area around us (yang). There are many skills to learn and each can be regarded as more Yin or Yang in nature. Identifying which is Yin or Yang is always relative.
Eventually we can combine one Yin and one Yang skill at the same time. Sinking the front of the body (yin) while raising the back (yang) is a classic. We can focus more on one skill and glance at the other, this helps stay focused. So focus on sinking the front while having a regard for its opposite of raising the back. This is a very good method as it develops a deep harmony of energies in the body and mind.
Improve You Fitness, Balance And Develop a Tranquil Mind with Tai Chi
Tai Chi is an excellent practice and exercise
for the young and the old a like, increasing and maintaining overall
strength and suppleness of the joints. The Calming and medative aspect is
ideal for today’s busy life styles promoting balance and quiescence.
Tai Chi is an internal martial art that consists of a series of moves (form) that are based on Kung Fu moves, but are carried out slowly, gently and with precision, whilst manipulating the chi around the body to promote good health.
Tai Chi has its origins in China in the sixteenth century and was developed by Taoist monks. Tai Chi as it is practiced in the West today, can best be thought of as a moving form of exercise and meditation combine.
Many of the movements were
originally derived from the martial arts, although they are carried out
slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth even transitions between them.
It is said the Tai Chi moves emulate the natural movements of animals and birds and the meditative nature of the exercises is calming and relaxing in itself.
The benefits of practicing Tai Chi are many, not least acquiring the skill to ito relax and quieten the mind, which is popular with today’s busy society. The aim of most practitioners, apart from a tranquil mind, is improved health, fitness, balance and suppleness
Qi gong (pronounced chee-gung) is a method of movement and breathing developed from Chinese medicine. Practices range from simple breathing techniques and gentle movement through to dynamic and physically demanding forms – you simply learn the forms appropriate to you needs.
There are forms which benefit arthritis and
skeletal problems, also forms which greatly help emotional and mental
ill health – the range of forms covers the whole spectrum of health.
Qi Gong is quite easy to learn and ultimately empowers you to
affect your own medical conditions and improve your energy.
Improve Your Health, Vitality and Fitness with Qi Gong
Qi Gong, a set of exercises, movements and
postures is aimed at improving your overall health. This can be in general well-being
terms or aimed at a specific ailment. The many practices and sets form an
important part of Chinese Medicine.
Qi Gong is a series of exercises that have
been developed over the centuries. The combination of choreographed
movements, in Qi Gong, help to open and cleanse the Energy Meridians (as
used in acupuncture).
Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese practice of cultivation the Qi (Life Force) that flows through all our bodies. Practicing
Qi Gong brings together; Mind, Body and Spirit by combining aerobic conditioning , meditation and breathing techniques.
Through the mediation in Qi
Gong one can illicit the feelings of happiness and inner peace while the
Qi Gong exercises stimulate the circulation of the blood and Qi.
Within Qi Gong mediation, where one is not in a trance, the feeling of
wellness and well being is enhanced.
From time to time we go to a location like, Bexhill beach to practice Qigong and Tai Chi.
“The tide was out and the wind was very strong so we found a spot where the rocks offered some shelter. It was a real joy to be near the sea, feeling the wind around us with the sun coming through the clouds.”
Practicing the principles of balance and harmony just seemed
effortless for a change! The undulations of the beach, the feeling of
the wind and the sound of the waves kept the attention in the present,
open and tranquil.
Contact us for a free introductory session for beginners. You can either give Mark a call on. 07790859551, or simply turn up and have a go at any one of our classes. Your session will introduce you to the basic first move and the principles of bringing your mind, body and energy together. The classes are open and friendly, with a patient approach to learning. Anyone can learn Tai Chi, no matter what age or physical ability.