The last school newsletter in April advised that new changes were afoot at Earth Balance Tai Chi. As many of you know instructor Nicola has a unique insight into training Chen style Tai Chi and Qigong when living with chronic and degenerative health, through injury recovery and living a different baseline from the norm. She has recently re-opened her school doors to online students.
Introducing Hibernating Bear Tai Chi
The phrase “Hibernating bear” comes from instructor Nicola’s ethos to make authentic Tai Chi and Qigong available to all abilities of students, no matter age, physical ability or location. A bear knows instinctively when to rest and rejuvenate, and when the winter is over he knows when it is time to be active again. It is all about balance, following the natural ebb and flow in life and responding to changes from yin to yang with grace.
The new online hibernating bear lessons are without expectations, judgement or disadvantage. This class is designed for those who would like to learn how to be active in their health recovery and self-management. ‘Life is what it is’ and instructor Nicola chooses to embrace this in her teachings. She has distilled her professional training to pass on the most effective methods for improving health and wellbeing through authentic Tai Chi and Qigong movements.
Instructor Nicola follows the modern Taoist principles as guided by her mentor Casey Kochmer of www.personaltao.com Those being kindness, modesty and non-judgement. Her lessons follow these principles, where she helps students improve their quality of life through Tai Chi and Qigong movements with compassion and validation of you as a unique individual. Nicola has a well honed friendly and approachable teaching style, and is able to adapt her teachings to suit, often knowing instinctively what will be of benefit, no matter of her lesson plan! She is a great communicator, imparting her knowledge clearly and effectively. She will encourage you and pass on her enthusiasm for the regular practice of the Classical Chinese arts.
Hibernating Bear Tai Chi – What You Will Learn
- How to exercise to your physical base line
- Gentle loosening exercises to warm the body
- Relaxing deep breathing and soft movement techniques to calm the mind
- Standing meditation practice
- Qigong movements
- Chen style Tai Chi exercises
- Drills that train both sides of the body symmetrically
- Learn how posture, breathing and awareness apply to your daily life
- What makes Tai Chi and Qigong sophisticated forms of healthy movement exercises
- Learn how to progressively to build up to a regular exercise practice and the importance of frequency
- The importance of not pushing passed your body’s tolerance, to avoid extremes and train moderately at 70-80% (ebb and flow)
- Learn to stop fighting the body and how to truly relax the muscles and soft tissue
N.B. This is not tuition where you will learn a Tai Chi routine or a qigong set. The focus is on Tai Chi movements, drills and exercises for health. Especially correcting and maintaining physical alignment, with deep muscular / soft tissue /joint movements and diaphragmatic breathing.
Benefit of Training with Chronic Health/Injury
It makes you focus on your physical alignment, body sensitivity and the very foundations of what makes an authentic Tai Chi and Qigong movement practice. There is nowhere to hide, discomfort is a constant reminder and diagnostic of how important accurate movements are. Read my article ‘Pain Instructs‘ and ‘Chronic Pain‘. Gene Burnett discusses this theory very well in his youtube clip.
Health Benefits (to name a mere few)
- Rotation of the joints
- Correct skeletal alignment
- Muscle flexibility, strength, unity and elasticity
- Soft tissue fluidity
- Deep diaphragmatic breathing for organ and whole system health
- Connect the mind, body and spirit
- Develop right brain awareness
- Blood and lymph fluid circulation
- Balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
- Whole body symmetry
Hibernating Bear Tai Chi is for Students Looking to…
- Be flexible in your Tai Chi and Qigong practice, whether seated, standing etc.
- Aid recovery from injury or illness
- Help ease the symptoms of living with chronic or degenerative health conditions
- Learn to aid chronic fatigue
- To gain confidence before attending a public class
- To get back into exercise after being sedentary
- Would like to learn in the privacy of the home
She has trained many students with a differing base line than the norm, both in private tuition in the home, SKYPE classes online and group classes and workshops in her local community. Listed below are some of the conditions within her experience:
- Parkinsons disease
- Cancer (pre and post op)
- Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Recovery from brain injury
- Recovery from sports injury
- Depression, stress and anxiety
- Recovery from heart failure
- Fall prevention / balance
- Senior citizens
- High blood pressure
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As with all medical conditions, injuries and/or ill-health, please consult with your Doctor prior to starting a class. Tai Chi, Qigong and Meditation are not a replacement for conventional medical treatment. All students will be required to complete a medical history form prior to joining a class.