Surrey & Hants Tai Chi - December 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friends

One thing which encourages me is the enthusiasm and positive atmosphere my students bring to the classes, week in week out.  So many people have commented on the friendliness of the classes. This is a great reward for me as a teacher and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your attendance and effort throughout 2011.

Growing your own Tai Chi

As we come to the end of 2011 it's inspiring to look back at the progress you've all made. Your efforts week by week are paying off and although you may not feel like it at times, trust me, your growth is definitely perceivable. 

First the roots, then the branches, then the fruit :) 

Thinking of that analogy and in an attempt to be 'seasonal',  if Tai Chi were a Christmas tree, it definitely wouldn't be available from the local garden centre as a ready to decorate tree.

Our 'Tai Chi tree' must be grown individually from seed. In its early stages, we may be discouraged by our tree's appearance as a weak seedling, not yet resembling the mature tree it will become. But planting it in good soil and allowing it time to grow, the little sapling will eventually reach fruition, provided it is not neglected. 

Such is the way of things. 


But who bothers growing their own Christmas tree?' you may ask, and you'd have a point of course. In these days of convenience everything, where we get frustrated if we have to wait 10 seconds for an internet page to load, studying Tai Chi takes a certain kind of person. 

Someone who is on a journey to develop themselves and who wants to reap the rewards of true 'Gong Fu' (sustained effort over time).

A person who sees the benefits of investing time & effort in a healthier, happier future, or can see the hazards of not doing so.

Maybe it will take 2, 5 or even 10 years for your tree to mature but what is marvellous about Tai Chi is that the more effort you put in, the more it gives back in return. 

Now and then we will all hit a 'wall' in our practice and we seem to make no progress for a while.It gets frustrating. Maybe we feel like giving up. Others are storming ahead but we remain stagnant. 

Don't be discouraged by periods such as this. Remember that winter must come to complete the cycle of growth. Our 'tree' is pooling its resources, having a rest, preparing for a new spurt of growth in the coming Spring. Everything is perfect, according to its season :)

Christmas Chi

The usual classes at St Joseph's on Thursday (6pm & 7pm) and Friday (7pm & 8pm) will run as usual on 29th & 30th December, for those in need of a little exercise, a break from festivities or some Chi therapy for the sake of sanity!

Come along if you can. 

My apologies if you came along for the Thursday class on 22nd December and found the hall in darkness - I was urgently called into my 2-day a week office job for a 3rd day before the Xmas closure and I didn't get away until nearly 6pm, hence my late arrival. 

An Unexpected Visitor

One stormy night in November an unusual customer walked through the doors of our St Joseph's class. A rather dishevelled and clearly lost black cat came in from the cold and made himself at home. His deep soulful mews prompted me to raid the church hall fridge for some ham and milk which he gulped down ravenously.  

Silk reeling was a challenge with the newest member of the class circling in & out of my legs and the class giggled under their breath as he sat on my feet during standing meditation.  He knew how to win hearts for sure! After a while he settled down on a warm coat for a snooze, where he remained until nearly going home time. Not having the heart to turn him out in the cold, he spent a warm night at my house, much to the disgust of my own cats who hissed and spat at him, though he cared not as he slept peacefully behind the sofa, glad to have somewhere safe to close his eyes, I guess. 

In the morning a quick Google search for 'Lost cat Aldershot' turned up a forum post by a family in Farnborough who had lost their beloved moggy 10 days before.   An hour later 'Lucky' as he turned out to be called, was reunited with his, now tearful, owners of 10 years. Initially, the family had found him whilst holidaying in Spain they told me - just a little ferral kitten, caught up in some wire. They had him fixed up by a Spanish vet and brought him home, after spending 6 months quarantine, to the UK. 

Aw,  what a nice ending for Lucky!

Chinese New Year

If you haven't been to London for the Chinese New Year celebrations before, then why not grab yourself a cheap day return to Charing Cross and sample some eastern culture? 

I will be in London on 29th January for my weekly Sunday morning Tai Chi training, so if you fancy meeting up in Chinatown afterwards (2pm), drop me an email and we'll enjoy the afternoon's celebrations together. 

Must see's include:  Lion Dance in Gerrard St, Shaftsbury Ave street performers, Traditional Chinese market stalls selling souvenirs, chinese clothes etc, Trafalgar Square martial arts displays, Leicester Square firecrackers.

Useful phrases for the day: "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year) & "Gong Xi Fa Cai" Wishing you joy & prosperity.

2012 Classes

There is a new timetable in operation for 2012, starting on 5th January. 

In keeping with the creative dynamic energy of the Dragon (2012 is Chinese year of the dragon) we are adding more classes to the timetable and ruthlessly curtailing one or two less popular ones. Please check class times below or on the January Calendar page of the website before coming along:

Classes in RED are suitable for complete beginners / new joiners.

 2012 Timetable - starts 5/1/12
Mon: 2-3pm (H) Yang 24 Tai Chi Beginners

Mon: 6.00 - 7.00 (C) Wudang Tai Chi Beginners

Mon: 6.30-7.30 (C) Wudang Tai Chi Intermediates

Thur: 6-7pm (SJ)Yang Tai Chi Intermediates

Thur: 7-8pm (SJ) Yang Tai Chi Beginners

Thur: 8-9pm (SJ) Shaolin Qigong (All levels)

Fri: 10-11am (M)  Health Qigong (All levels)

Fri: 11-12 noon (M) Tai Chi for Health (All levels)

Fri : 6-7pm (SJ) Chen Tai Chi Beginners

Fri:  7-8pm (SJ) Chen Tai Chi Improvers

Fri:  8-9pm (SJ) Chen Tai Chi Intermediates

Prices range from £5 per hour to FREE, depending on how many classes you attend each week. See website for info.

M= Canal Centre Mytchett

H= Hawley Leisure Centre

C= Connaught School Aldershot

SJ = St Josephs Aldershot

Full class & venue information is available on our website

Some of our Mytchett students practising Wu Qin Xi - 5 Animal Qigong

We were a little surprised to turn up the week before Christmas to find a children's party in full swing in our room, but unperturbed we donned our coats & scarves and practised outside, beside the canal. Well done everyone, especially for being brave enough to be 'cheeky monkeys' in public!

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Surrey and Hants Tai Chi | 39 Lower Farnham Road | Aldershot | Hants | GU12 4DY