Five Seasons Qigong
Learn how to integrate qigong practices into your normal busy life whilst staying in harmony with the seasons. Let the naturally changing energies of nature nourish and guide your mind, body and spirit. For the first time, we will be teaching a series of 'immersion' weekend workshops that span the year and its seasons. Discover and embody ancient practices that were created to naturally resonate with the energies of the Earth through its annual cycle.
Much of Chinese culture and philosophy is based on 5 seasons and their tradition also works with 5 elements. During each of the 5 Seasons of the year, we aim to bring you the best practices to support your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing for that seasonal phase. If you attend all the workshops, you will have learnt 5 beneficial sets of practices to help you integrate your lifestyle with the core energies of nature.
- Learn how to monitor and return your energy to balance, in tune with nature.
- Use ancient natural wisdom to cultivate 'Lifestyle Medicine' - prevention is better than cure.
- Improve your ability to work and interact with others by recognising and understanding seasonal changes in human energy dynamics.
- Release negative and unhelpful emotional, mental and physical tensions and learn to tap in to the boundless, positive energies of nature.
- Recognise, acknowledge and start to address imbalances and core issues within yourself.
- Have fun, on a seasonal basis!
- Find joy, peacefulness, calm, happiness and forgiveness in the Way of the Seasons.
If you cannot make all 5 workshops this year, you will still benefit from what you have learnt, and can always catch-up when we run them again next year.
The benefits of these workshops apply to beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. If you are experienced in one of the exercises we are teaching, you will have the added benefit, with our guidance, of being able to delve more deeply into its components. Each session will also to allow you to integrate the seasonal theme into your daily practice, using whatever Tai Chi or Qigong form or exercise routine you may know - irrespective of its origin.
Saturday (10am to 4.30pm). Cost £60 / £50 if you currently attend one of our classes
5 Seasons 'Sink-in Sundays'
On Sunday we also aim to offer an additional in-depth workshop where you can refine, develop and wire in the previous day's teachings. They will mainly on practice, drilling, Q&A and 1:1 help.
Sunday times (10am to 1pm). Special price of £20 for 3 hours or £7.50 per hour.
Spring Growth & Gentle Extension.
Like its associated element Wood, the Spring season brings the opportunity of growth and gentle extension. The liver and gall bladder come into focus, enabling you to move towards that which you have set your heart on. When these organs are unhealthy it makes us short tempered and angry. Anger arises when we are prevented from doing what we want to do. A healthy liver can help us to respond more calmly to obstacles in our path; to smoothly adapt and change rather than getting emotionally bound and stuck.
So this is the time to return to activity, 'briskly walking and looking around' after having hibernated over winter; dispelling the stiffness and irritations we may have accumulated during the cold and dark months. The nourishing energy that we have been calmly storing can now be used and enjoyed.
Next workshop date: April 2018 (details to be confirmed)
Welcome Summer with Joyful Opening
With the associated Fire element of summer comes the desire to enjoy the sun and spend time outside. The heart energy opens in joy and compassion. The word for heart in Chinese also means 'mind' and it encompasses a much broader understanding than we have in the west. The heart has a very special role as it is the ruler, not only of all the other organs and the blood, but also the emotions, thoughts and the spirit. If the heart is disturbed nothing else will function well.
Summer is the time to pay particular attention to your alignments, in particular keeping the solar plexus and midriff open and constantly moving the shoulder blades - all important to the health of the heart.
Late Summer to Centre and Integrate.
At this time the Earth element rules and we focus, gather and integrate all levels of our energies through the organs of spleen and stomach. The spleen is so powerful it is not limited to just this season but rather, like the earth itself, fosters all things. The spleen is responsible for the use of all post-natal chi in the body. It transforms everything that we eat and drink into chi and blood.
It is considered key to manufacturing blood through its function of extracting the chi from food, which it then sends to other parts of the body where the blood is made. The spleen also controls the blood by containing it in the blood vessels. This is the nature of the earth element, which holds and contains.
Next workshop date: Sept 2018 (details to be confirmed)
In autumn the predominant element is Metal. The two systems in the body that are most strongly activated at this time are the lungs and the large intestine. Both organs have the function of gathering in what is essential and of letting go of what is not needed.
After the growing and lengthening out of summer (the element of Fire), and the centring and integration of late summer (the element of Earth) it is now time to soften and draw our energy back in.
Physically, we must prepare for winter and not over exert ourselves. Rather we must breathe, release tension and consolidate what we learned during the spring and summer.
Next workshop date: 4-5 November 2017 (click for full details)
Winter Calm & Storing
There is a calmness and stillness deep inside all of us. The element Water predominates in this most yin of seasons and the associated organs are the kidneys, our source of vitality. The sense of hearing is closely related to the kidneys and in the stillness of winter we can further cultivate our listening skills, which require focus and concentration to derive meaning.
Winter practices do not over exert the body or mind. Now is the time to give yourself permission to allow your body and mind to settle and rest. We move smoothly and meditatively in harmony with the quiet of this season. The steady, slow movements of Qigong at this time are ideal for settling, integrating and nourishing your energy.
Next workshop date: 13-14 January 2018 (click for full details)