Unfortunately, my current class has had to close.  Very sadly I have two great students but I seem to be unable to attract and keep any more.

If events turn any better,  I may be able to restart it, but for now, it Ta ra!!!!

Dark nights are back, join in the lightside!

Now that the dark nights are back, are you going to sit inside and wait for the light to reappear?  I have a suggestion, try out one of the Tai Chi classes, it might just keep you going winter with a little lightside!

My current light is the colour in my garden, the late amaryllis are out in full force and their bright pink colour really does come out on a grey day.

Life in the Garden

The garden is starting to come out at my house. I have some lovely areas where I can practise my T’ai Chi. Be it on the gravel Zen garden or the patio, or even on the grass, there are many pretty things to look at and admire as I train.

We are coming back….

Further to the last year or so’s sojourn, we are returning to classes in September 2021.

The last year and half, I have practiced with my usual students via Zoom a couple of times a week and in June I decided to see if we could return to face to face. The six weeks of sessions ran well and going on from that I am returning on 6th September 2021 at Woodlands Methodist UR Church in Harrogate. The class starts at 7.15 pm and will run for approximately a hour.

If you feel you need assistance in releasing the stresses of life then the class could help you. The meditative effect of the movement helps you mentally and physically which then gives you wellbeing in general. Students who come into class tired leave refreshed and re-energised.

I look forward to seeing you there!

So we all stay home

Due to the unprecedented pandemic, we are or SHOULD be staying home for the foreseeable future. My classes are very small and I want to assure you, provided I can resume in a central location, the classes will continue once this is over. In the meantime, The Taoist Arts Organisation to whom I am affiliated with has given guidance on whether online sessions can be used to help us over this time.

To join a session, you will need a key from me. I will contact you directly, each session is approximately 30 minutes long. We will be breathing, this is even more important now, and practising our Form.

See you all soon online.

Space, the final frontier

Where have we heard that before? My thoughts on space from a weekend of looking for space.

In karate we create space by measuring up, measuring up is the safety mechanism used in set techniques. Without the safety mechanism, practice would be a messy affair and the uniforms are usually white!

And so we move onto Tai Chi, space in taiji is not necessarily given to your partner so that safety can be practiced. It is more likely used to let your partner fall into. Space is what you are looking for when attempting to disrupt your partner, you know, where you want them to fall into. But is it?

Space is what we are all looking for, but where are we supposed to find it? Is it where the opponent is supposed to fall? Is it the gap between you and your opponent? What is space for?

You need space for your ‘C’ shape, to make your shape you need to bring space inside. Inside what? Firstly inside your body by breathing in, the air fills the space inside, then the mechanical takes over so that you tuck under, so that once the chin is then in place you have your spinal C. So space created by filling yourself with air then needs to be kept In whilst relaxing in your chest, this keeps your back expanded and rounds the shoulders for your other C dimension.

Space in our joints. Getting space into the joints by elongating through the ligaments and moving the muscles above and below the joint. Once the space is in the joint that helps you move more smoothly if in the hips, or takes the weight if in the upper joints to allow correct position for producing the behind the pressure idiom.

The idea of space is not often thought about as you learn the set movements of your tai chi, however, once the concept has been explained a little, movement can be improved.

Is 2020 Your Year for T’ai Chi Chuan?

Harrogate’s Taoist Arts Organisation classes restart for the Winter Term in 2020 on Monday 6th January 2020 with the beginners class.  If you have never tried T’ai Chi before then this is the class for you.  20180618_192323740_iOS

Alison welcomes everyone to the class with a friendly smile and hopes that you will enjoy your journey with her.

We start at 7.15 pm with students arriving a little before hand to get any admin work done. The class starts with a very gentle warm up to manipulate the joints, release the muscles and ligaments a little. There are partner exercises to attempt, followed by learning how to do the Lee Style Form, then finishing with a breathing exercise.

We train in the small hall at Woodlands Methodist Church and I look forward to meeting you there.

Realisation, about starting martial arts in adulthood.

This week started on a bit of sad note, one of my students decided that there was not enough time to find for my sessions, this happens, everyone has a busy life and not everyone can fit everything in. They thought they were not giving themselves enough time to practice at home so therefore thought they should stop altogether.

This realisation probably hit them after they had missed the week before and when they realised it was class again and they had not found the time to practice at all whilst not attending.

Starting Martial Arts in adulthood is a fabulous thing to do, but being able to stick at it is not always feasible unless you let yourself do it. Every man and his dog wants their little piece of you, and to be honest, learning a martial art is a very personal thing. You cannot just think, right, I am going to learn how to defend myself, this is not martial arts, or think, right I am going to use this to get fitter, this is not martial arts, or even that looks so good, perhaps I can do it? That is not martial arts!

Martial Arts is a union of mind and body in meditation, to be able to allow the body to move whilst the effort being put in is tempered to the scenario. When I am practising my arts, I am not thinking about dinner, I am not thinking about what I will be doing tomorrow or what I did yesterday, I am thinking about what my next movement may be. If I have practiced enough I sometimes do not necessarily think the next move through but just do.

Those people who know me, have seen me in some very loud situations and some very quiet ones, I strive to make both as meditative as I can for myself. Training in Martial Arts is one of the few things you can do individually as a group. If you Can get your head around that, it can open doors for you to think differently. The enjoyment from a noisy class is different to that of a quiet one. The energy made by the people and noise around you can buoy you along in the noisiest of classes. The quiet class, the energy you produce pushes you along the path in a simple manner and only affects yourself. Both options have their merits, which is why children enjoy those noisy classes.

Being kind to yourself in everything you do, helps you become more rounded, and trying to fit things around your life, even though can be problematical, should be practiced as their benefits will out way any negativity felt.