Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sand play stops practice

There will be no class this morning. Unable to teach Tai Chi due to a muscle strain caused while sand jumping with my energetic son and daughter on Sunshine Beach. There must be a lesson in there somewhere, about not mixing business with pleasure. I was there to rehearse Waving Hands like Clouds, the movement due for introduction to Tuesday morning Tai Chi students.
Thank heavens Tai Chi helps with fast recoveries and we will be back to practice in no time. As simple and gradual as the opening exercises appear, they succeed as sound strengtheners of mind and body. The Tai Chi form lifts (and can conversely calm) spirits. But you do not attempt Waving hands like clouds with strained backs.
The principle behind the movement is to get feet, hands and body moving as one. Gazing at rounded masses of cumulus cloud moving effortlessly through an expansive sky can evoke feelings of freedom. We draw earth energy into the feet then direct it through the waist to manifest in the hands. Hands that move like feathers in wind with fingers layered as tiles on a temple roof. Air. Earth. The union of opposites. With Yin and Yang balanced, emotions even and shen (spirit) radiates clearly through the eyes. We see and feel TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) working for us.
But first, the back. And a little less sand-jumping with the kids on Sunshine Coast beaches.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I listen. I follow. I feel

As surf crashes in where soft sand meets ancient rock, my form begins.

Later, on grassy parklands with children playing and dogs barking in the distance our regular Tai Chi classes prepare for practice. Tai Chi, music, and family fill my day.

Students watch as I demonstrate one of the faster Tai Chi forms, giving me opportunity to explain the dynamics of Yang. Energetic. Fast. Explosive. Yang fighting movements are a highly effective means of self protection, reputedly the most lethal martial system ever devised, but they have a higher purpose. The external movements express feelings from within. Yang energy increases the ability to overcome inner fears, doubt, and a raft of other uncertainties.

Alternatively, Yin is the slow form of Tai Chi and feels like poetry in motion. A slowing down, tuning in to nature. We relax into a place we really enjoy. This slow form brings most benefit to the outdoor morning classes. “Looking to the horizon, crown gently suspended and chin tucked in ...The class begins.

First, simple exercises. “Observing the movement of the breath. Feeling the movement of the chest and abdomen.” S-l-o-o-o--w-ly. Then, moving further into the form, the essence of Tai Chi takes hold, inherent in individual movements inherent in the whole cycle. We finish renewed and refreshed.

Beach front, park, mountain top, or community hall – Tai Chi brings you to yourself wherever and whenever it is practiced. An acquired skill that spiritually focusses on inner awareness. Listen. Follow. Feel. And by all means contact me at if there is more you’d like to know.

Full one-hour Classes : Cooroy, Monday, 8 am, opposite Butter Factory | Noosaville, Thursday, 7 30 am, Lions Park | Pomona, Friday : 8 am, Stan Topper Park. Private courses by arrangement. Telephone – 5442 4179

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spread the word on music, meditation, and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

When current lifestyles tend to reduce health and vigour, Chinese medicine ignites the flame that returns you to a healthier outlook and leads to a balanced sense of self. When self indulgent creature comforts (heavily carpeted floors, highly processed food, and excessive air conditioning) seduce you away from nature's changing seasons, I encourage you to investigate the benefits of the healing system that evolved in China several thousand years ago – a healthy balance of music, meditation, and TMC.

Begin with the Five Elements (Wu Xing) of earth, metal, water, wood and fire. In association with Yin and Yang they play an important role in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). These five elements also relate to five seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter and a transitional stage at the end of each season. Five seasons. Five elements. They marry mind and body.

Spring makes a good start – closely linked with the element of wood and signifying dynamic movement with new growth thrusting through warming earth. Rapid change and development the Spring/wood elements associate with the liver and gall bladder and share close affinity with the eyes. Time to avoid allergy bearing winds, drink warm teas, less alcohol, breathe in sunshine. Imbalances in our bodies block the flow of energy (chi) travelling through our bodies. Acupuncture, acupressure, and certain herbs all help unblock the chi and bring the body into harmony. Lay on the knowing hands of good massage with invigorating Tai Chi Chuan (the supreme ultimate) and fitness takes on renewed meaning.

There is much to discuss so decide to take the matter further Click here and you'll connect to my home address. We can talk. And remember to spread the word. Music, meditation, and TCM. Stay well Ian

Thursday, July 9, 2009

a song bowl for dolphins

Being Australian I tuned to the sounds of nature at an early age. The whistling of the wind, bird song, crashing waves, and even the sound of my own breathing caused exhilaration. These days I enjoy playing the didgeridoo whilst ‘toning’ the crystal bowl. Like practicing Tai Chi, the playing of the bowl leaves me energised yet calm.

On a recent summer evening I headed over to Main Beach Noosa to harmonise crystal bowl sounds with my didgeridoo improvisations. Holidaying tourists gathered around. More so, three dolphins surfed close in to enjoy the moment. They stayed. The harmonic sounds appeared to call these wonderful sea creatures. They posess a sonic radar system and possibly picked up on the timbre of high frequency vibrations emitted from the quartz crystal bowl. Whatever. An uplifting experience and unexpected crowd pleaser.

The oscillating sound emitted by playing a crystal bowl is often called the purest tone in the world. The instrument, similar to that of the Tibetan singing bowl, creates fluid sound that reverberates to create feelings of well-being and harmony. This ancient Chinese science of sound and guided imagery is known as Qigong. Prounced 'chee', Qi is your vital life energy, and gong represents the skill and discipline used to harness this Qi.

Chinese medicine and sound qigong can be traced back over two thousand years and its practice achieves a relaxed, harmonious state of dynamic equilibrium between people and nature. Practise a little Qigong every day and experience the dynamic unity of life. And remember to email me regarding the experience. Ian