“Where Movement Follows Nature”
Hello and welcome to Earth Balance Tai Chi, school of internal martial arts, qi gong and Taoist meditation. Meet instructor Nicola, in her own words dated July 2018…
“I have been a student of Tai Chi and Qigong since 2006 and held classes as a teacher from 2010 – 2015. I live with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and when faced with health challenges during the first few years of my personal Tai Chi and Qigong journey, I found the movements so beneficial that it led me to become an instructor. My circumstances have given me a unique and personal understanding of chronic health issues, relating to healthy exercise, pain management and managing the psychological aspects of degenerative health.
My health base-line declined to the moment I decided to close my school in Horsham, West Sussex in January 2016, this was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. It was a very sad moment for me with just over five years of teaching as Earth Balance Tai Chi across the Sussex community. I felt unable to continue teaching a full time schedule across the county without detriment to my own health and wellbeing.
Living with EDS, there is an unpredictable nature to the degenerative effects. As I get older I am faced with an increase in symptoms and injury, which results in the management of my base-line becoming much more intensive. After closing my school and taking a health sabbatical, in early 2016 I injured my spine and spent some time unable to walk. Together with my physical therapist, I embarked on a ‘hands-off’ method of recovery using Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga, meditation, laughter, creativity and art. Within three months I was able to walk again, and although I have not returned to the same physical health as I had before, I continue to train Tai Chi and Qigong, exploring and studying to help me prevent further degeneration.
Every movement I make in my practice has purpose, focus, principles and alignment, it is great to be able to teach and correct myself with a good level of developed awareness. I meet each day no matter how challenging with hope and perseverance, as everyday holds potential, even in times of rest and rejuvenation.
My aim as an instructor is to show people that there are other routes to improved health and wellbeing, rather than reliance on allopathic medicine and our crumbling health service. Healthy, frequent and accurate Tai Chi/Qigong movements are a key part of my life and I hope that I can inspire others with my passion and dedication.”
Earth Balance Tai Chi: 2018 +
In 2018, I opened my school once more to online students and aim to slowly build a Tai Chi and Qigong community that embraces daily practice of the Classical Chinese arts no matter age, health or physical restriction.
Earth Balance Tai Chi: 2010 – 2015
From October 2010 to December 2015, I taught Chen tai chi, health qigong and taoist meditation in public classes and private tuition in the towns of Dublin, Horsham, Crawley, Worthing and Brighton. During this time my syllabus covered:
- Chen Style Tai Chi – Master Wang Hai Jun of Chen Taiji Academy, UK.
- Health Qi Gong – The Chinese Health Qigong Association.
- Qi Gong for Women – Tina Chunna Zhang of Wu Tang PCA, NYC.
- Phoenix Alchemy Qigong – Master Joe Lok of Natural Energy Academy, Hong Kong.
- Taoist Meditation – The Inner Smile and Microcosmic Orbit.
My Tai Chi training has included Southern Wu Short Form, Old Yang Long Form, Bagua, Chen 11 Form, Chen 18 Form, Chen Laojia Yi Lu, Chen Double Fan, Chen Laojia Er Lu and Chen Sabre. My Qi Gong training has included 5 Animal Frolics, 8 Pieces of Brocade, Hun Yuan Chi Gung, Earth Qi Gong for Women, Phoenix Alchemy Qigong, Yi Jin Jing and Eight Energy Circle Walking.
The teachers I have trained as an instructor with are listed below:
Master Joe Lok of Natural Energy Academy, Hong Kong.
- 2014 – 2016.
- ‘Phoenix in Graceful Clouds of Blessing’ Daoist Qigong.
Master Wang Hai Jun of ChenTaiji Academy, UK
- 2013 – 2016.
- Silk Reeling, Chen 18 Form and Chen Laojia Yi Lu (74 Form).
Sifu Tina Chunna Zhang of Earth Qi Gong for Women, New York, USA
- From 2010.
- Earth Qi Gong for Women.
Master Faye Yip of British Health Qigong Association, UK
- 8 Pieces of Brocade Qigong (Chinese Health Qigong Association).
Master Liming Yue of the Tai Chi Centre, UK
- 2010 – 2013.
- Chen Tai Chi, 8 Pieces of Brocade and 5 Animals Health Qigong (Chinese Health Qigong Association).
College of Management Science, London, UK
- Taoist Meditation, the Inner Smile and Microcosmic Orbit
- Cherry Collins, Surrey and Hants Tai Chi
- My Chen Tai Chi mentor, peer and instructor from 2012 to 2016. On moving back to the UK I was lucky to be taught by her regularly both in public classes, workshops and private tuition. I remain inspired by her commitment and passion of Chen style Tai Chi. I am also grateful to Cherry for introducing me to Master Wang Hai Jun.
- Mat Ward, Inner Harmony School
- My training partner, who I met at a Bagua workshop and have been crossed training with from 2012 to 2016, sharing and exploring Tai Chi and Qigong. Mat is from the Cheng Man Ching lineage and has a vast mind of knowledge and experience in martial arts, I feel lucky to have experienced his teachings.
- Alda Gomez, House of Movement
- Alda and I met as students learning Yang and Wu Tai Chi. We embarked on teaching training together in Wu style before both our journeys evolved and centred around Chen style Tai Chi and Health Qigong. We spent many many hours training together and I feel blessed to have started this journey with her.
- As of 2016 Nicola has 12 years experience teaching within adult education.
- Instructor membership with the Tai Chi Union in the UK – Dated 2011 – 2016.
- Full professional and public liability insurance – Dated 2010 – 2016.
- Enhanced CRB / DBS Checked – Dated 2015.
- Member of Awakening Dragon Taoism – From 2013 to date.
- 3 month course with a Senior Citizens Club, 2010/2011
- 4 month programme with Rehab Care, HOPS Centre, 2011
- Weekly classes with Total Physio Studios in Horsham, October 2012 to April 2013.
- Introduction to Tai Chi Workshop for Adults with Special Needs with Cavendish Care in Ifield, Crawley – January 2014.
- Get Active Programme (Weight Management) in Horsham, run by Horsham Wellbeing Hub, part of Horsham District Council – January – February, March, May – July 2014.
- EDF Energy – 6 week meditation course in Crawley, June- July 2014.
- Horsham Heathers & Crawley Chrysalis Breast Cancer Support Group, May-July 2012
- Horsham Heathers & Crawley Chrysalis Breast Cancer Support Group, June-July 2013
- Horsham Parkinson’s Support Group, July-August 2014
- Horsham Fibromyalgia Support Group, January 2012.
- Horsham Heathers & Crawley Chrysalis Breast Cancer Support Group, March 2012.
- Horsham Heart Failure Support Group, June 2012.
- Horsham Holistic Mind, Body, Health Group, October 2012.
- St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley, June 2015.