CLASSES & WORKSHOPS OFFERED:
Qigong (pronounced Chee Gong) is an ancient Chinese way of fitness and health promotion that focuses on cultivation of internal energy through physical exercises which center on breathing patterns, physical posture and coordination to help stimulate hormone secretion, immune function and oxygenation of body cells.
Qigong provides a thorough, non-stressful and extremely low impact work out for the whole body. People of all ages irrespective of their current physical conditioning or state of health can participate in and benefit from Qigong. However you should always let your instructor know if you have a specific physical/medical problem (e.g. Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Ulcers etc., or if know you are Pregnant), so that the necessary modifications to certain exercises can be identified to you.
1) STANDING QIGONG
This class introduces participants to simple breathing and standing exercises that promote better health. Participants should wear loose comfortable clothes.
2) WALKING FOR HEALTH QIGONG
This class introduces participants to basic breathing and standing exercises, and introduces three walking styles that promote better health.
No previous knowledge of Qigong is needed. If you are able to walk you may enjoy and benefit from this class. If you have concerns about knee, hip or ankle injuries please consult with the instructor before registering.
3) SEATED QIGONG
Seated Qigong can be done anywhere – at home, at the office or even while traveling. It provides a thorough, non-stressful and low impact work out for the whole body and is therefore a good choice for seniors and for cardiac patients, people with auto-immune diseases, living with cancer or severe mobility problems.
In my Seated Qigong program participants engage in a 40-minute period of seated exercise with tranquil music playing in the background. One feature of the program is that the exercises are transportable, require no special equipment and can be done by participants on their own at home.
TAI JI QIGONG / TAI CHI
Tai Chi & Tai Ji Qigong both emphasise the cultivation of internal energy (Chi or Qi) through physical exercises, which focus on breathing patterns and coordination. The form and exercises taught in this class are accessible to all irrespective of one’s previous experience.
Taiji Qigong includes exercises that help to build physical strength and energy and, exercises which focus on breathing and posture. They also help participants learn the Tai Chi form more easily.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese Internal Martial Art. Tai Chi is usually translated as the “Supreme Ultimate Art of Fists” or “the system of self defense based on the great polarity”. Although originally developed as a highly effective method of self-defense, currently Tai Chi is mainly practiced as a moving meditation for relaxation and for its benefits to health and well-being.
There are many forms and variations of the individual ‘sets’ of Tai Chi. The style I teach is Mountain Crane Tai Chi.
Mountain Crane Tai Chi is a contemporary and hybrid form. The ‘crane form’ incorporates elements not only of the root forms of Tai Chi Chuan (particularly the Yang Family’s Tai Chi and the Yang Family’s ‘secret form’) but also elements of other soft and internal martial arts (e.g. Qigong, Hsing Yi).
The Thirteen Kinetic Movements features flowing movements, which strengthen the body, calm the mind and raise the spirits. The form emphasizes 8 postures and the 5 directions, uses both sides of the body equally and brings to the surface many hidden subtleties and internal dynamics of the external movements found in all forms of Tai Chi.
A TASTE OF BA GUA
Ba Gua Zhang (Pa Kua Chan) is considered one of the “three sisters” of Chinese Internal Martial Arts, the others being Taiji [Taichi] and Xing Yi. As a martial art it is considered one of the most effective and unpredictable styles and is usually characterized by its “whirling circles” and its improvisational “formless form”. In addition to being a very effective martial art it is also a very powerful exercise form and a means of maintaining good health and increasing longevity.
In my “taste of Ba Gua” classes I introduce participants to some of the basic stances, “palms” and walking patterns and Eight Animals for Health [Bagua Qigong] The Taste of Ba Gua classes are more physical than my usual Qigong classes and involve a lot of walking.
THE ART OF SELF DEFENCE – AN INTRODUCTION
This class introduces participants to the “Art” of self-defence. It is based on a Taoist approach, that seeks to integrate techniques drawn from a wide range of martial arts with an emphasis on Master Hu’s concept of “Anti-Martial Arts” – the use of everyday movement to defend one’s self against attack.
The focus of the course is on developing awareness and intuition, through relaxing and centering the mind, thus reducing anxiety and lessening ‘victim’ status, while at the same time developing the body as a ‘weapon’ to defend one’s self against attack.
ALL the above classes may also be offered as short introductory Workshops.
Below are examples of some signature workshops that I present on a regular basis. Workshops can be delivered in various formats that range from a ‘taster’ lecture /demonstration (lasting 1-1.5hrs), through a half or full day workshop to a full week intensive course
1) Sit, Breathe … and Smile: simple exercises and ideas to reduce stress and promote health
“Life is lived one breath, one smile, one heartbeat at a time”
We live in a very stressful society where trying to balance the demands of our work and our family schedules often leads to a fear of not being a good enough at our job, as a parent or even as a person and contributes to “insipient stress”, which is a silent killer.
This workshop introduces participants to simple seated exercises, primarily drawn from the ancient Chinese exercise system known in the west as “Qigong”, which need no equipment and can be done almost anywhere. In addition throughout the presentation lifestyle choices and strategies, which can help participants reframe behaviours, combat stress and lead a more healthful life are presented and discussed.
VARIATION: Breathe and Smile: simple exercises and ideas to reduce stress and promote health
Includes standing and moving exercises in addition to seated exercises.
2) Breath, Thought And Action – an introduction to qigong as a way of honing the “body instrument”.
“If you ain’t got your health, you ain’t got nothing”
For each of us our body is the instrument with which we express our thoughts, feelings and emotions. It is through our body that we develop our character on both social and theatrical stages. However, all too often our body betrays us. Whether it be through ill health or some vocal or physical obstacle, this impediment gets in the way of us developing and embodying the character we “see in our head”
This workshop introduces simple qigong exercises that first and foremost help participants to keep their body healthy. In addition the exercises presented help participants extend their range of movement and over time help them overcome vocal and physical blocks so as to enable them to fully express what they wish to “say” in thought and word and action.
3) Don’t Forget To Breathe And Smile: breathing exercises as warm-ups for art activities
The primary purpose of this workshop is to help individuals to develop, control and shape the personal energy that in large measure is needed in any creative undertaking. The exercise presented emphasize self-discipline and concentration which help participants slowly become more attuned to their own body and help to improve posture, breathing patterns and energy flow.
The simple activities presented in this workshop can not only help individuals prepare for creative endeavors but also, if done regularly, help reduce stress and prevent (and in some instance help to heal) many illnesses. Throughout the workshop lifestyle choices and strategies, which can help participants to enhance the creative process, combat stress and lead a more healthful life, will be presented and discussed.
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