This is Roundhay Park, Leeds, on a cold and moody winter’s morning. This is the time of maximum “Yin”, when all energy is directed inwards, for survival, and renewal in spring.
T’ai Chi stokes the inner fires
My classes in T’ai Chi and Chi Kung begin again on Tuesday 7 January 2020 at the Quaker Meeting House, Roundhay, Leeds. This wonderful, gentle, flowing technique, is a useful way to support the body and mind, during a time of winter depletion. It builds energy, without over-stoking the fire. There is a rhythm to nature, and to the changing seasons. And this season is primarily one of rest. But we need to guard against illness and weakness, brought on by the winter cold. T’ai Chi is one tool in our armoury, helping us stay strong, calm and flexible.
If you are interested in the deeper intricacies of the T’ai Chi Form itself, then my workshops at Leeds Buddhist Centre are an ideal way to practise. The next session takes place on Sunday 19 January and further details can be found on my Classes with Barney page.
My own links to T’ai Chi go right back to the wonderful Gerda Geddes, who was the first westerner to learn in China, in the 1950s, and to bring back her knowledge to the UK, where she practised and taught for many decades. A whole generation of dancers and T’ai Chi practitioners – including myself – owe their roots and branches to her. She wrote eloquently about her journey through the T’ai Chi in a little book called ‘Looking for the Golden Needle’.
In it, she was most insistent that T’ai Chi is directly connected to the natural world. We must move with the seasons and learn from the animals who belong inside that natural world, as she says here:
“Many of the movements of the T’ai Chi Ch’uan stem from men observing, and enacting, scenes in the lives of animals and birds. These movements were adapted by martial arts experts, making the T’ai Chi Ch’uan into an intricate system of self defence, and by philosophers who were interested in longevity, good health and peace of mind. If, in trying to understand the different aspects of the T’ai Chi Ch’uan, one points to this background, one cannot be wrong; one can only make it richer and give it deeper meaning.”
Here are the roots of my favourite beech tree in Gipton Wood, the little wood that stands at the end of my road. This is close to where you will find the Reiki Room in Oakwood.
Reiki for balance and calm
Reiki is a hands-on practise, bringing renewed balance and calm to the body. It is very gentle, but goes deep. Its principles are entirely compatible with those of T’ai Chi and Chi Kung, but with Reiki, one receives the treatment through the warm hands of the practitioner, rather than through movement and breath. If you would like to read more about this lovely Japanese healing art, take a look at my Reiki in Leeds page. The Reiki Room is open again from 7 January 2020 and you can make bookings with me via my email or mobile number.
“After we have set our intent and the energy starts to fall down we must make no judgements at all, just like the rain. The client will absorb the energy according to his or her needs and ability to do so, just like the tall trees, shrubs, flowers and grass…”
(The Inner Heart of Reiki by Frans Stiene)
Read more about my T’ai Chi and Reiki practise in these blogs:
Looking for the Golden Needle by Gerda Geddes is published by Manna Media
The Inner Heart of Reiki by Frans Steine is published by Ayni Books