20 August 2016

A Good Yield

Hope you are all having a fruitful late summer. I'll be back to the blog in September. 

19 August 2016

Autumn terms, Inverurie and Turriff

Both the Inverurie and Turriff classes will restart on Monday 22nd August.

The Inverurie class is 3:30-5pm at Port Elphinstone Community House, 1 Pinewood House (enter by the back of the building).
The Turriff class is 6:30-8pm (to 8:30 for Long Form students) at the Gateway Centre, behind the swimming pool. Please note we'll be in the Craft Room for this term.

The price for each class is £9 per week or £7 concession. Discounts are available for paying in 6-week blocks.

Both classes are open to total beginners and returners will also be very welcome. Please get in touch if you need any further information.

06 August 2016

Year of the Wolf

Click here for Jeremy's photos from the workshop.

I am going away for a few days and may get some more things posted here on my return. Bit too achy from a very long journey home from a Devon camping trip to type much now, but sending all my best to all the T'ai Chi family. Keep practising over the summer to stave off post-workshop-blues.

If you have any good photos from the workshop, or took any video footage, please send it to me over the next few weeks.

Enjoy the sunshine.

04 August 2016

Aberdeenshire Thursday sessions

Thursday sessions at Monymusk Hall will restart on 18th August. The price for 8 weeks will be £30, or £5 if paying weekly. I've just heard the bowlers will be in the large hall 22nd Sep and 6th October so we may have a shorter session if the yoga class is also running on those dates.

Here's the rota:
18-Aug    Scott
25-Aug    Davina
01-Sep    Janet
08-Sep    Marie
15-Sep    Paolo
22-Sep    Sandy
29-Sep    Scott
06-Oct    Davina

In the meantime please get in touch if you fancy meeting up for a little practise and sharing what we did at the summer intensive.

If you can't make the session that you're due to lead then please contact someone on the list to arrange a swap.

31 July 2016

Time off

I meant to get all the last workshop pics and notices up before I went away, but I don't have time. Should all be sorted when I get back next Friday, including wonderful pictures of 'the wolf at the door'.
Me and Carmen working on 'press'. 

30 July 2016

Thanks

To all 57 folks who came to this wonderful week, thankyou. Thanks to Mark for his superb teaching. I am just heading off (a bit late) to hand over keys and help clean up. Thanks to Carmen and Colin for keeping the hall so well. And thanks to Becky for these lovely flowers (in front of my incredible dragon shawl made by Janet R.)

29 July 2016

Massage conga


Thanks to Hamid who just sent these. I really missed out by going to work Tuesday evening!

Thingumy whatsit

Just a quick post as I thought I'd better say - I may not be as organised as usual this workshop, due to hormonal challenges. I can be a bit forgetful about small things, so please be patient with me when I add up your fees tonight, or forgot some detail of a thing you said. Apparently it'll pass in a few years... Anyway, it hasn't affected my T'ai Chi or body-memory for the worse one bit, in fact, I feel better connected and more sensitive. If I seem momentarily teary or strange, just wait a moment- it's unlikely to be anything you did, I'm just having to yield to very sneaky chemical pushes. 'Normal' service may be resumed at some point. In the meantime here's  a great quote from Morrissey / The Smiths:
'If I seem a little strange,
Well that's because I am.'

Wednesday

A really great day, lots of good hard work and laughter. Thanks to everyone for lovely food, too. If your last night was Tuesday, and I didn't get to say goodbye personally, I am sorry. I had to do one evening's work elsewhere which meant leaving at 6pm. Hope everyone has a great summer. Otherwise, see you tomorrow.

It's always someone else's fault*

*not

Full-on Thursday

A quick Thursday photo. We never remember to take a photo on the busiest day... Never mind, here's a representative bunch of the lovely T'ai Chi folk. 

Weeklong Workshop Thursdays are traditionally deep, challenging and rewarding. Yesterday saw much laughter, some tears and really wonderful work by all. Working through, and sometimes despite my frustration has been one of the greatest lessons I have learned in life, and I learned it at The T'ai Chi Centre, thanks to Mark. I simply have never stuck at anything as wholeheartedly and for as long as I have our T'ai Chi. Here's a few tips if you're new to this intense way of working, or if you find yourself unable to work even if you're an old hand... 
•Don't take it too personally if things don't immediately work. (Take take the work seriously, but take one's 'self' with a pinch of salt.) Keep trying different things. Everyone feels different.  
•If you don't understand, ask Mark (or an assitant.) Put your hand up, go over, ask aloud... Not getting the help you need? Find a (friendly, respectful) way to be heard. Catch someone at break, be patient in the meantime. Alternatively, penetrate the mystery on your own via sheer bloody-mindedness/ ingenuity.   
•Relax
•Drink tea
•Refer to principles: what are you doing that is not recommended? (Bum-out, trying too hard, leaning, feet in the wrong place, not turning the waist, hard force, doing something 'at' your partner, etc, etc) 
•Don't expect to 'get it' first time, hard work gives depth to our practice and also  sets you up for helping more junior students out when they learn the new thing. 
•It's OK to get things wrong, to fail. Doesn't matter how many people say that, it still feels ****y, but it's true. Try again, fail better. 
•If you get things to work with someone first time, enjoy it... 

Apologies if none of that is news. 
Good practice is turning up, sincerely attempting to do the work, connecting warmly with others and leaving our stuff at the door. All four of these can sometimes feel hard, but they are actually treasures. I have genuinely never regretted doing those things, and they, rather than any esoteric practice or arcane empowerment, are what have actually transformed my life. 

Phew. Now I must drink tea. See you later for the last day of the intensive. 
  

26 July 2016

Busy (doing non-doing)

Room very full of lovely people yesterday, possibly the most we've ever had all at once... I find it extremely hard to count accurately after many hours of T'ai Chi. Thanks to all for a great day. See you later. 

25 July 2016

Only recently arrived here

My new neighbour: a late Canada gosling. 

Just reading some Rumi to bring to class, found this in Letter 144. It's been really lovely having baby Pannonica at class the last few days.

'The duckling may only just have been born
But the Ocean touches its chest.'

23 July 2016

Saturday

Thanks to all who attended for a lovely, lively day. The heat has finally lifted and a cooler night lies ahead, so sleep well. Also thanks to all for delicious food: tomorrow is a day for folks born in even numbered years to bring a dish.
Back-Heart Salutations


On the balcony overlooking the river. 


Stepping partnerwork

Thanks to all who came last night to warm up the venue. Well done to the new knockers... Also re relative positions of power - 'this truly is not easy'.
See you all later! 

We've had lovely best wishes for the workshop from Scott in Aberdeenshire and Anna in Sweden, who also sent this stunning picture from where she is:
We miss you both!