Chronic illness, fatigue, unbearable levels of stress as well as unprecedented depressions, addictions, auto-immune disorders and suicides are assaulting our society like never before, in addition to ecological degradation and climate change. Stress in particular is propelling millions of people into making understandable, but ultimately unwise decisions regarding their health, but for many, medication (self or prescribed) is seemingly the only answer to the relentless hyperactivity, isolation and disconnection of modern life.
Can Tai Chi help?
Any path to recreating Wholeness-the word “Heal” and “Whole” come from Old English hǣlan ‘restore to sound health’ and hal ” whole; unhurt”– in the stressed body has to start with calming the nervous system down. But before even that can happen, you have to be able to recognise and become aware of your body. That may sound obvious, but it is a source of continual amazement to me how little people are aware of their bodies, unless they are in pain.
So, recognising your body via sensing and tuning in to apprehend the held and bound tension is the path to breaking the vase of tension and letting go, what the Tibetans describe as chod, when bound sticks fall apart after a rope is cut.
Allied to this beginning, in our classes your body is placed in certain postures that are very strong and aligned, and which can be easily tested for structural validity. Starting with a very strong Standing Posture, the Moving Postures of Tai Chi are then explained and demonstrated and tested. A “Form”, which is the collected postures of Tai Chi, is a set of repeated motions that often have recurring physical motifs. It is the essential Motifs of Movement that Jan tries to impart; to de-construct what is otherwise a bewildering routine of ritualised motion, made deliberately fuzzy and vague by uninformed and unknowing peddlers of “Chinese Mysticism”.
The whole premise of Taoism is very attractive, but at the core of your life is a physical body that exists in a heavy, breathing 3-dimensional space-time. We must have a strong body before we can talk about more abstract and abstruse concepts such as Qi and Shen.
These fundamentals- posture, breathing, awareness, can be tested and refined through practice. Tai Chi Ireland offers detailed, serious and comprehensive tuition in the powerful, life-changing movement and mind arts of Tai Chi and Qi Gong. With 26 years experience working with some leading masters in their respective fields, Shifu Jan Golden and his instructors can offer you a body and mind-opening education in the potential of your body for relaxed power and strength, body awareness, balanced, smooth and co-ordinated movement plus a very subtle and fine method of mindfulness. Suitable for anyone of any age, it can enhance any professional sport and repair many long-term postural problems, as well as providing a wealth of other benefits. Try out a class today.
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