Welcome to the Blog and some basics...

Ok, allow me to start with some basics..

Both t'ai chi and qigong (breathing exercises) have a deep effect on the body and mind of whoever is practicing them

The gentle, rhythmic movements activate the parasympathetic nervous system which induces a relaxation response as opposed to the "fight or flight" response activated by the sympathetic nervous system (which we spend most of our time in!)

When this relaxation response is brought into play the body goes into 'care and repair' mode. The mind and body work on repair and recovery in all the systems: physical, mental and emotional

Slow, deep breathing also plays a pivotal role in inducing this glorious state of tranquility, peace and ease, mentally and physically. The majority of people only use a third of their lung capacity. T'ai chi teaches you to use your full capacity.

We take energy into the body in two ways. One, through the food and drink we ingest and the other through the air that we breathe. As the Chinese say, if you want to know which is more important, stop eating for 10 minutes, then stop breathing for 10 minutes and you'll soon realise the answer

The movements also help to realign your musculoskeletal structure, taking pressure off joints, bones and internal organs. The Chinese made the connection between mind, body, energy and emotions many hundreds of years ago, something that is only now just becoming acknowledged in the West.

When your physical body is free from stress and strain then your mind will be likewise and vice versa. Our exercises integrate mind, body and consciousness together so that you can live a balanced, effortless life.

You will respond appropriately to everyday situations from a calm mind and relaxed body, not from a tense, reactive body and a fearful mind. That's not to say that you won't have any problems anymore, you will, but you'll be of a far, far better disposition both physically and mentally to deal with them.

I'm a big fan (some of you in the classes may have gathered) of Paul Chek's idea of the work-in. If you've been ill or haven't exercised for a while, you can't go stressing the body out with high intensity training or some other stuff like that. You have to work some energy into your body first to get it to a foundation level. Then you can work out. When your body tells you it feels like doing more, do more. Simples.

But do it gently and intelligently at first.

Ok, that's all for today. In the next post... well, just hang in there, it won't be long, I promise.