About the sessions
They are relaxed as well as meaningful!
We certainly want everyone to enjoy the evening without feeling pressured – Tai Chi is about improving health and relieving stress after all.
There are opportunities to chat before and after as well as short informal seminars during the evening so you’ll soon get to know everyone, particularly those who are at the same learning stage as you.
Beginners work together but we keep track of everyone individually and you are encouraged to go at your own pace, slowing or moving ahead accordingly.
So, you can apply yourself in whichever way suits you best, enjoying the sociability but also taking it as seriously as you wish.
The pattern of the evening
We aim to be set up with the pot of green tea ready by 7.15 pm (a popular suggestion of a student some years ago!) That also gives time to answer questions, deal with “admin” and go through moves from the previous week if anyone wants to (but we always recap in the session and can help you catch up if you’ve been away).
At 7.30 we start with a short warm up routine to ease us into the evening, followed by going through the Tai Chi form together for those who know it, while beginners are taught. We'll usually also do some work on Chi Kung breathing.
Then everyone works separately following instruction, (in groups if there are others at the same level), to progress their Tai Chi, pushing hands or other associated technique and sword or fan forms for those at more advanced stages.
A short interactive seminar later in the session will usually explore a current application theme, giving everyone an opportunity to recognise how to gain benefit from the Tai Chi principles in real situations. Anyone can put forward problems to be considered, maybe as part of that evening’s session or for the following week.
Then we "wind down" with stretching and therapeutic exercises and a few words highlighting a Tai Chi or associated Taoist or other principle for the week ahead.