Syllabus

Exploring Mind, Body, Breath & Senses In Motion & Stillness

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Approach

My teaching approach is principle based, pragmatic and informal – with a focus on exploring, discovering, developing, and embodying the essential qualities of the practice. The syllabus is an evolving expression of my understanding and exploration, from over two decades of practice.

Qi Gong – Body, Mind & Breath 

Classes include simple mobilising, body awareness & breathing exercises.  These help release tension, improve co-ordination, mobility and increase body/breath awareness. Unifying mind, body and breath is the essence of Qigong and Tai Chi. 

Nei Gong – Internal Cultivation 

‘Nei Gong’ refers to more detailed postural, breathing and movement practices that enable students to learn and embody the subtler and deeper (internal) principles of Tai Chi & Qigong. ‘Nei Gong’ translates as ‘internal cultivation’. 

Forms & Sequences

‘Forms’ are the flowing movement sequences which most people associate with Tai Chi. Students initially learn simple moving, stepping and walking forms, gradually progressing to more complex movements and sequences. The main Tai Chi form taught is the ‘37 Form‘ sequence (a ‘Yang style’ Tai Chi form developed in the 1940’s by Cheng Man-ch’ing).

Classes include some additional Qigong / Neigong / Internal Martial Arts forms and sequences from a range of selected sources – e.g. Cheng Man-ch’ing’s 8 Methods, Shibashi 18 Movement Tai Chi Qigong, Huang Sheng Shyan’s Five Loosening Exercises, Liu Xiheng’s exercises – the goal here is not to learn lots of sequences, but to explore a small selection in order to explore different aspects of the core principles, and ultimately to find your own expression, understanding and embodiment of these.

Partner Practice 

Partner practices are non-competitive methods to enhance our understanding and embodiment of Tai Chi & Qigong. These practices cultivate numerous body-mind qualities – including sensitivity, stability, fluidity, connection, mobility and co-ordination. Tai Chi & Qigong partner work is fascinating and enjoyable, and approached with a spirit of co-operation and mutual learning.

Complementary Practices – Yoga & Meditation

I’ve practised Yoga & Meditation alongside Tai Chi & Qigong for many years and found them to be complementary. These additional practices can enhance and deepen our Tai Chi & Qigong, and broaden our perspective and awareness on many levels – I increasingly see these as variations of the one practice, which transcend any labels we might attach to it.



“Stand like a balance – Rotate actively like a wheel – Walk like a cat”

From the Tai Chi Classics