We offer evening classes and workshops in Chinese movement and meditation, or qigong. Our teaching style is relaxed and fun.
Qigong & Tai Chi in North London
Tai Chi for beginners & Elemental Qigong starts 17th September
Next Workshop 1st December
Qi Gong Classes in Highbury and Islington, North London N5 and N7
The exercises we teach can be loosely gathered under the heading Qigong (also spelt Chi Gong or Chi Kung), an umbrella term for many diverse practices.
The primary aim of Qigong practice is to enhance the flow of Qi (vital energy) through the body, and comprises exercises to mobilize the joints, special walking exercises and static meditations. Qigong forms are often inspired by nature and the movements of animals. They can also relate to the vital organs and to the Chinese Five Element theory.
There are both Taoist and Buddhist traditions of Qigong, as well as specialised medical and martial arts systems. The movements are generally slow, gentle and flowing, with an emphasis on moving from the centre of the body (the "dan tien") and often coordinated with the breath and with visualisation.
Who can do it?
Qigong is generally suitable for all ages and abilities. Our classes and workshops are open to both beginners and those with previous experience. Please contact us to discuss classes if you have any concerns about its compatibility with specific medical conditions, or feel free to come along to observe and see for yourself.
What will it do for me?
Regular Qigong practice can bring many benefits:
- Improved organ function
- Deeper breathing
- Improved circulation
- Strengthened immune system
- Improved sense of balance
- Greater flexibility
- Increased strength, energy and stamina
- Inner stillness and peace of mind
What do I need to get started?
Qigong requires no special clothing or equipment. For comfort and ease of movement it is best to wear loose-fitting clothing and flat-soled shoes (such as plimsolls or 'kung fu' slippers) although you can also go barefoot.
What is Alchemy of Baguazhang?
Baguazhang is a martial art that is based on the eight trigrams (ba = 8, gua = trigram, zhang = palm). Alchemy of Baguazhang focuses on the energetic side, i.e. alchemical, rather than the martial, working with the five internal and nine external vessels (the five viscera and the combined six major joints and three cavities respectively). This may sound arcane and complicated but it's straightforward to follow and do in class. Fundamentally, it is a subset of qigong with a specific set of practices. The essence is "circle walking". Our grounding in this practice is through Oleg Tcherne (www.inbiworld.com).
What is Elemental Qigong?
In the Elemental Qigong class we very much follow the seasons and work with the Element for the time of year, based on the Chinese Five Element Theory (wu xing). We usually continue this theme in our workshops. Many of the forms are related to the movement of animals, as in the Animal Frolics, and this connects the work back to the earliest Chinese shamanic practices of pre-history. A class will generally include joint opening exercises, standing practice, Qigong walks and seated meditation. Our grounding in this practice is through the College of Elemental Chi Kung.
What is Daoist Qigong?
We use the name Daoist Qigong to differentiate this material from the Elemental Qigong. In the Daoist Qigong classes and workshops we focus on sets of seated and standing meditations that aim to open the body’s internal and external vessels and both soften and strengthen the body’s tissues. Daoist Qigong can serve as a practice in its own right or as preparation and support for Daoist Alchemy practice. Our grounding in this practice is through Oleg Tcherne (inbiworld.com).
What is Taijiquan?
Taijiquan (also spelt Tai Chi Chuan, and often shortened to Tai Chi or Taiji) is usually thought of in the West as a soft, flowing, dance-like exercise. People are often surprised to learn that it is in fact a martial art, one of the so-called “internal” Chinese martial arts. Though it is not our intention to teach students to fight, we do look at applications of the movements and postures as we learn them, this being the best way to understand and feel their intention and so correct our execution of them.
From September 2012 we will be offering tuition in the Yang-style Taijiquan 24-Form, often referred to simply as “the Short Form”. This is the most widely-practiced taiji form, as reflected in the saying: “When you know the 24-step Form you will find friends wherever in the world you go.”
The 24-Form was created in 1956 by Grand Master Li Tian Ji, one of China's ten “Greatest Martial Arts Treasures of the 20th Century”, from movements found in the traditional Yang-style Long Form. The object was to make Taijiquan and its health benefits accessible to a wider range of people by creating a form that could be learned more easily and practiced in less time.
It is an elegant form that retains the Long Form's essence and most of its movements, but removes most of their repetition. It is also structured to take the practitioner from simpler movements into more complex ones, literally step-by-step. Another difference from the Long Form is that the postures are balanced by being performed to each side.
Richard Thomas is qualified as a Qigong teacher through the College of Elemental Chi Kung and has also completed the 'Advanced' and 'Refinement' aspects of their four-year course. He is a level 2 student and registered instructor with Oleg Tcherne (inbiworld.com). Richard has a keen interest in Daoist philosophy and the Yijing (I Ching). Besides teaching qigong he also practices and teaches Yang-style Taijiquan and is a qualified shiatsu practitioner.
Tom Watson has also completed the College of Elemental Chi Kung four-year Teacher Training course where he is now a faculty member. Previously Tom studied Qigong and Tai Chi with Simon Robins in Brighton (taichiwisdom.net), is currently a level 2 student and registered instructor with Oleg Tcherne (inbiworld.com) and has been teaching for more than six years. Tom's main interests are in Daoist alchemy, particularly the system of Ba Gua, and he enjoys exploring the playful animal Qigong forms. Tom is also a qualified acupuncturist, having graduated from ICOM, and has an interest in teaching the emotional causes of illness.
Richard and Tom have been teaching together for more than four years and are both teaching faculty members with the College of Elemental Chi Kung. (elementalchikung.com). They are also instructors for INBI (inbiworld.com). “We offer evening classes and workshops in Chinese movement and meditation, or qigong. Our teaching style is relaxed and fun. We generally alternate teaching of the evening classes on a weekly basis and come together to lead the workshops.”
Classes - what, where and when
Our regular classes and workshops are run at two locations in Highbury, North London. The evening classes are run in five week blocks, with two or three week breaks between the blocks. Our workshops are held on a Saturday or Sunday approximately once every two months and offer an opportunity to explore forms and themes in greater depth. The workshops are often over-subscribed so early booking is recommended.
Yang StyleTai Chi for beginners (6.30 - 7.30pm) and Elementary Qigong (7.40 - 8.45pm)
St John's Highbury Parish Hall, Conewood Street, N5 1DL
(Within a few minutes walk of Arsenal Underground)
Cost: Please go to www.zhunarts.co.uk/Qigong/Classes.html
Autumn Term starts 17th September
To book please call Richard on 07939 592 975 or email email@example.com
We offer a half-price, no commitment introductory class for any of the evening classes, as well as generous discounts for attending multiple classes and workshops held at the North London Buddhist Centre.
Workshops are also held at either St John's Highbury Parish Hall, next to St John's Primary School or at the North London Buddhist Centre, 72 Holloway Road, N7 8JG. These are held on a Saturday or Sunday approximately once every two months. The day focuses on a particular theme.
Next workshops: 1st December.
Please visit Qigong Workshops for details of all workshops.
For more information on any of our classes or workshops or to book your place on the next course please call Richard on: 07939 592 975 or Tom on: 07961 177 003 Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.zhunarts.co.uk