This weekend we organized three accelerated weekend beginner classes in the Netherlands. In our centre in Helmond and in our clubhouses in Rijswijk and Haarlem we welcomed 126 participants of which 23 real beginners. What a good way to start the Taoist Tai Chi® arts.
Category Archives: Beginner Weekend
Beginner weekends are growing in popularity in Great Britain and here’s why:
“I felt so welcome” – Marzena (38)
“Perfect environment” – Maggie (63)
The first Beginners Weekend at the UK National Centre in Edinburgh started on Friday 13th February (lucky for some!) with a warm welcome to all. There was a total of 66 participants, from all five of the branches in Scotland, Edinburgh, Aberdeen Angus, Highlands and Islands, Scotland West and Strathtay. We were delighted to have the opportunity to share Taoist Tai Chi® arts with such a positive group.
Friday 19:30 to 21:30
Arranged in rows and columns – new beginners in the first few rows, assistants to the sides, and leaders at the front – we did the first 17 moves. It was lovely to see the beginners making such positive progress throughout the evening. The leaders and assistants made quite an impact in their red t-shirts. Towards the end of the evening we had a taste of the next 17 moves, in preparation for the morning session.
“Utterly relaxing and tingly” – Fiona (27)
“Loved the relaxation and sense of calm” – Jane (59)
Saturday 10:00 to 13:30
An atmospherically foggy day was left behind for a bright practice hall full of relaxed, smiling people. Throughout the session we progressed to move 54, with a break to watch “A Moving Meditation for Body, Mind and Spirit’’ giving first-hand accounts of the many different ways Taoist Tai Chi® arts have affected people’s lives.
There was plenty to talk about during the tea break, and beginners and experienced members chatted away happily. You can see how well the orange t-shirts stood out in the photographs.
“I feel as if I’m walking better” – Peter (60)
“I like the focus on helping each other – whatever stage you get to, you can always help someone” – Sarah (40)
Sunday 10:00 to 13:30
Carrying on to move 73, we looked more closely at Brush Knees in particular, with an emphasis on keeping the tigers mouth open – a good reminder for all. There was an opportunity to see the movie “Motions of the Tao“, based on the opening of the Temple at Darcy Street in Toronto, and gain an idea of the richness of the culture and history available in the Taoist Tai Chi Society. This was further highlighted in a “walk the walls” session, where groups were given a guided tour of the hall. As with all good things, we soon ran out of time, but clearly the weekend had made quite an impression of all of those attending.
“This great foundation will allow me to drop into different classes to suit my schedule” – Teja (35)
“It’s been really good not waiting a week between classes – it sinks in better and flows” – Jody (34)
We hope to run another Beginner Weekend later in the year – bring your friends!
After talking to people from many different countries at CIT week, who’ve already helped to run Beginner’s Weekends, we decided we were ready to go ahead in the UK. And we’re glad we did. It was a great success. So a big thank you to all those who’ve shared their experiences with us and helped to make it so.
There were 29 participants, a mix of completely new people, people already participating in beginner’s courses, some returning after a break and a few continuing students. Some travelled from as far away as London and Suffolk. We had a lot of fun, found our balance and everyone said they would keep coming back.
Friday 7:30 – 9:30pm
After introducing everyone to Taoist Tai Chi™ and Master Moy Lin Shin we got going with the first few moves. Everyone worked well together and were soon enjoying tai chi.
The group just kept soaking up the silent instruction and finding their own balance as suggested and so we just kept going to move 108. During tea break we also watched Taoist Tai Chi™ arts: A moving meditation for body, mind and spirit, which of course we all found fascinating..
We practised the set together several times, looked at the first two foundation exercises, talked about health benefits in general, put some more content and detail into the first 3 moves and reviewed fair lady. At tea break we ‘walked the walls’ of the centre talking about some of the items on display; we discussed meditation and other Taoist arts, the international nature of what we do, branches, International Centres, volunteering, fundraising, aims and objectives, intensives, workshops and other events, health, Awareness Day, the internals and the shrine.
It was quite a roller coaster ride from start to finish but all the participants entered into it whole heartedly and seemed to have a great time.
One completely new member told us on Sunday that the previous day she had knelt to weed the garden when she got home – the first time in 10 years – citing the previous two days of tai chi as the reason. Another said he was already feeling much calmer and many commented on the calm atmosphere in and around the centre. Someone who started in June told us that she can now stand happily on one leg for the first time with a feeling of being balanced. Our youngest new member, 14 years old, said it she found it lovely and relaxing and every enjoyable. Currently studying for exam’s she said that she particularly enjoyed it being non-competitive. Her friend noticed her t-shirt on Saturday night, was shown a few moves and now wants to start too.
A couple of people remarked that the timings were great for them as they could get things done that they needed to before they came out and get back in time for dinner. Some also said the weekend was ideal because their work or studies meant they couldn’t commit to the same evening each week.
Everyone involved was happy with how this wonderful event went and we look forward to many more.