On this retreat we will play the simple Tai Chi Shibashi set of 18 movements to help us explore the gentle flow of the breathing body as it moves. Our bodies naturally move with the breath, but the stresses and strains of daily life mean that we often override and create habitual movements and holding patterns that block our natural breathing and movement. Tai Chi Shibashi helps us to regain the natural joy of an integrated and flowing breathing body. This set can be practised in small spaces, anytime and by anyone. It can even be played sitting down.
Yoga asks you to turn your awareness inwards and to notice your physical experience, breath, emotions and mind. This is a traditional Buddhist approach commonly used in meditation and also in the practice of life, asking and teaching the practitioner to cultivate self reflective awareness, the ability to know what they are doing as they are doing it. It is not a dry and removed observation but an alive and creative awareness which experiences sensations directly and tangibly whilst being aware that this is what they are doing. This helps the mind, body, breath and emotions to become calmer and more grounded in the reality of our present experience. As a result our focus and often scattered energies become more integrated, together and wholly behind a single purpose. So when we do something we do it with the whole of ourselves.
Both Mindfulness (self-reflective awareness) and Metta (loving-kindness) will be the intention behind the Tai Chi, Yoga and sitting meditation we do on this retreat. By combining the two of these highly transformative practises together in combination with the physical aspects of Tai Chi and Yoga, wonderful things can happen.
This retreat will be quite meditative through the movement and sitting practices and there will be some periods of silence overnight and until the morning teaching sessions to allow space and an opportunity to deepen your experience of yourself. Please do let the office know, on booking, of any physical difficulties you currently experience and either Holly or Hridayagita will be in touch to check how best to support you in that.
(Suitable for all. No previous experience of Tai Chi or Yoga required)