Qigong Blogs

Why did you start Tai Chi?

A new student arrived in class one day, introduced himself, but then spoke the dreaded words, “my wife has sent me”.  My immediate thoughts were: had this advice come from a place of concern from his loving partner or did this new attendee feel obliged to come along to the class to avoid a disgruntled atmosphere starting to pervade his home.

With a few years experience of teaching Tai Chi under my belt, I realised it doesn’t really matter how a new student has made it to class.  One of the biggest hurdles had been attained already - he had made his way to the hall and walked through the door.  

His expectations as to what this form of exercise could do for him were obviously low to nil  and so in a way with his introductory statement, he had immediately set me my challenge - could I change his mind and get him interested in something new.  

He was of the “grumpy old men” era but he seemed able to shrug that persona off and at least commit to trying the movement form out.  Luckily for me, his open-hearted personality had also resulted in an open mind.   Lucky for him, he had chosen an instructor who is passionate about Tai Chi, aiming to give an experience to anybody who will give it a go.  

Class began and straight away he relaxed, laughed at himself and then settled into his movement rhythm.  There were slight tilts of the head due to his hearing, when he was concentrating to hear me but the odd look of wonder flashed around the wrinkles.  Here was my enjoyment as the teacher, for this was a student who “got it” or “felt it” straight away.  He was tapping into his qi - his internal energy and he was intrigued.

“Might be back next week” was his parting shot as the class finished up and he made his way out the door.  

I don’t think he missed many classes after that.  He became a class leader, helping out where other students could follow him.  His wife then joined class and as my classes began to grow I took him on as an instructor of his own class.  

I encourage the use of skills learnt through practising Tai Chi to be taken out into daily life. One of his biggest confirmations that Tai Chi skills can be utilised outside of class was when he used the old electric floor polisher to keep our wooden practice hall floors in good condition.  Initially he felt his well-built body being thrown around by the huge beast of a polisher, which appeared to have a life of its own, taking him in chaotic directions around the floor.  He remembers turning it off one day with a sigh, about to give up, when the idea popped into his head: to allow his knowledge of harnessing his internal qi to assist with the task.  Rather than muscling out and fighting the machine, could he stand in his true posture and guide the polisher where he directed it?  It absolutely worked for him and I had myself a believer in Tai Chi!

In memory of Trevor Johnson June 2024

Autumn Energy = Time to Bring in Contentment

The lungs and large intestines benefit from working with the emotion of contentment.  Our drive to strive through the world often leaves us with a sense of frustration - a feeling that we haven’t achieved enough.  Choose to look at the bigger picture surrounding your energy field and know that right now, you are where you are meant to be.  You are always enough and there is no need to prove it.  

Begin to work on building a feeling of contentment several times a day.  Move into a more upright posture and let your eyes close.  Stretch the hands gently to separate the fingers and then run the fingertips through your hair from front to back, massaging the scalp.  Ask for any tension to be released.  Breathe slowly in and out through the nose, if that is comfortable for you, and relax the muscles in your face.  

If you struggle to know what contentment is, take it in small doses.  Bring the word to mind and focus on your breath and be curious about how contentment feels.  Think of the word contentment as you breathe more fully into the side ribs, then breathe into the back ribs.  Send love to your lungs and see a candescent, silver white light flow in with your breath, expanding the lungs.  On the exhale imagine this white light leaving the body through every pore of your skin, flowing to the distant cosmos, to be transformed.  

Any grieving you have within you, may gently move and flow out with this light.  No need to deny the grief, but it is healthy to allow it to move - to not form an attachment with it.  After any release through crying, also try this exercise to fill up and balance your system with contentment.

Powerfully transform yourself by supporting your lung energy channel.  Seek the emotion of contentment, through appreciation of all that is, in your life.

Summer = Bring in Joy

Jubilance is a tonic for the heart and small intestine.  For greater heart connection to life, bring awareness from the mind down into your heart centre in the lower diaphragm.  Many times throughout the day there are decisions being made by either head or heart.  Now it is time to delve more into your heart's directorship.  Really ask yourself - “Does this decision bring me joy?”

Sit in stillness, imagining a warm summer's day and see a red rose being presented as a token of love for your heart centre.  Dancing fire from torches, held by loving ancestors surrounds you.  Receive this offering with a feeling of joy and hear a light laughter surround the ceremony.  Breathe and take notice of where you feel joy in your body.  Happiness for no reason, vibrating throughout your systems.  You are cherished!.

Ask for joy to be pumped to every cell of your body and carried through the vascular system, letting go of any long held hatred and bringing balance.  Imagine holding a small red ball in the palm of your hand,  feeling its gentle weight sitting there.  Gently roll the wrist and tip the ball into your other hand feeling the centre of your palm as the red ball fills your hand.  Keep your hands and shoulders very relaxed.  Allow the ball to increase in size if it needs to.  Do this movement several times and let the movement sync in with your breath.  In your mind use the mantra “I am so joyful”.  Take the energised red ball and imagine it now being placed into your heart centre.

Intend to be immersed in joy throughout your day.  Let joy light your soul, shine through your eyes and then offer it to others, with your smile and laughter.

February 2024

Spring = Bring in Happiness

Your liver and gallbladder meridian move towards balance with your intention for happiness.  A smile of happiness brings a lightness and healing to yourself.  Anyone else around you will also respond to this happy vibration. Here are some visualisations and movements to invoke the emotion of happiness.

Close your eyes and imagine you are standing in a beautiful forest where rays of sunlight are piercing through the emerald green leaf canopy.  Golden light is breaking through the foliage and gently settling all around you, as a light breeze blows against your skin. The sparkling iridescent green and gold light is being absorbed through your skin and being dispersed to every cell of your body.  Breathe deeply. Where do you feel happiness within you?

Hear the word ‘happiness’ and feel tiny, champagne-like bubbles of energy forming within and turning into a giggle.  Allow the corners of your mouth to turn up in the beginning of a secret smile and now take that smile within, to be placed lovingly at your heart centre.  Breathe deeply and feel for happiness once again.  

Stand to gently shake out and bounce the body.  Intend, with this movement, that any blockages and resistance you hold from anger, will slip away from you and be dispersed into the imagined forest floor.  Come back to stillness and imagine that you are putting your hand out to feel the wood element of bark on a nearby tree.  Let the wisdom from this tree instil in you its offering of happiness for the world.

Whilst out walking, chant the word “happy” in your mind, or repeat the mantra “I am happy”  remembering to smile.  Absorb any hue of green you see from nearby nature and feel your eyes relax as they look at this refreshing colour wavelength.

Take a more humorous look at the world around you.

September 2023

Winter Energy:  Bring in Gratitude

It is time to practice more thankfulness throughout your day.  The kidneys and bladder may be balanced and supported through the emotion of gratitude.  Sit quietly and ask to feel where you experience fear.  Use these fears as a highlighter, showing you what needs to be reset.  Can you instead, turn the emotion of fear into a feeling of wonder, imagining a greater outcome.

Tune into the element of water to soothe your emotions.  Listen to water, in all its forms, from a tinkling small water feature to the crashing of ocean waves upon rocks.  Sit by water and breathe deeply and give thanks to the water.  It will take your blessing and distribute it everywhere it flows. Take note of any animals that appear at the time and give thanks to them for crossing your path. 

Dark blue is a colour to choose for connecting to the kidney channel.  Dress in blue or take a blue crystal with you for the day.  Whenever the colour blue comes into your awareness, remind yourself to soften the sensation of fear.  Then send warm unconditional love straight to your kidneys for renewal of qi.

Stand or sit with your hands in the Namaste or prayer position and feel the connection of your palms and fingers gently pressed together in front of your chest.  Relax your shoulders away from your ears and have an upright spine.  With your heart's connection to nature open, take gratefulness into all your meridians.   Smiling to yourself at the beauty that is all around you, absorb it with an open heart.   Let a long sigh leave the body, taking with it anything that no longer serves you.

Your small act of thanks resonates out into the universe, bringing back bountiful gratitude to Mother Earth.

July 2023

Tai Chi Fan

Hand someone a folding fan and they won’t be able to resist opening and closing it.  To wave a fan in front of you on a hot day, creating a breeze across your skin, is using the element of air to assist in balancing how you feel.

The tai chi fan brings more playfulness into the practice of this artform.  The sudden crack of the fan opening is startling to the senses.  This tai chi set asks us to use the fan in different ways: snap open; jab; throw and close the fan while stepping through the forms.  It becomes an extension of your right arm throughout the graceful movements.  While focussing on the fan’s movement, you must also be aware of what your other arm is doing and also your stance, which is creating a stable foundation for balance. 

The many layers of learning tai chi comes from repetition of the movements, teaching a range of motion that slowly allows more stretch and strength into the body.  It’s so much fun to learn, that you don’t even realise the hard work that is happening.  Once the body is confident remembering the movement then peacefulness can replace the learning mind.  You discover a movement flow that harmonises your body and by using a fan in the tai chi set this harmony is reflected in the fluid movement of the fan.

In days of old the fan was the status symbol of a scholar who went about with their words of wisdom printed on the silk paper.  It has been replaced in the form of books or in today's world mobile phones.  The fan has been used in a martial sense as a weapon or used to parry against other weapons, also to conceal weapons and hide intent, adding an element of surprise with their colour and noise.

Tai chi teaches you to start to listen to how your body feels and to remember our innate talent of being able to bring balance back to all our systems.  The tai chi fan movements, when performed correctly, can show our internal energy, known as our qi or life force energy, and enhances any other tai chi forms that you learn.

To familiarise yourself with the fan create the following movements with the fan moving fast enough for a crisp snap to open:

January 2023

Spring Time 

Tai Chi/Qigong+ Classes

All you need to attend class is a willingness to give this movement a try and a letting go of self judgement.  The classes focus on being in the moment, tuning into your body and its needs as you follow me through a sequence of forms and exercises that over time you will imprint into your system as a muscle memory.  

As we step into Spring we start to highlight the wood element aspect within our energy.  The colour of this element is green - look around at the new spring growth and appreciate this colour.  The organs of our body that are most prominent in this season are the liver and gallbladder.  

Qigong movements bring some balance into our systems and you will start to notice health benefits even after practising regularly just once a week.

Beginners are welcome to join us to try this rejuvenating style of exercise within our friendly classes. 

September 2022