New Tai Chi Beginners Classes Start April 2019

If you've been wanting to take Tai Chi from the very beginning but haven't been sure when to start, now's your time! Or rather, the first week of April, 2019.

Tai Chi is a wonderful way to get a whole-body workout, and to challenge yourself to learn a new way of moving that will help you with everything you need to do throughout your day. Tai Chi is a great way to improve lower body strength and flexibility, remobilize stiff joints, and undo injuries (old and new!) and the effects of chronic stresses and strains. The form we do is 108 moves long, and is for anyone who wants to sink into a substantial practice.

The new Tai Chi Beginner's Cycle will start on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019. Classes will run on Wednesdays at 2:15-3:30pm, and Saturdays from 2-3pm. Your monthly fee ($40 regular; $20 students / financial need / people on ODSP) covers you for all Beginner's classes and, if you wish, Qigong classes on Mondays (11:15-12:15pm) and Fridays (3-4pm).

To register, or for more information, contact Melissa Smith at (905) 521-0043 or smithmk2@gmail.com.

Learn more about what Tai Chi and Qigong can do for you here.

Holiday Weekend Classes are On + Upcoming Workshops

Dear All,

I've had a couple of people ask after classes this coming weekend, particularly the holiday Monday. All classes are running as usual, including classes on Monday, February 18, 2019. Note that I am away this weekend, but Gillianne and Vince will be covering classes. Please come out if you can and support them, and your own practice! It's always good to work out regardless of whether I'm there or not!

Mark Your Calendars:

The Spiritual Development workshop, which was originally scheduled for this coming Sunday, will run on February 24, 2019. This workshop runs from my home. This time around we'll be focusing on ways to welcome in the fresh energies of the Lunar New Year.

On Sunday, March 3rd, 2019, I'm offering a Qigong workshop at the Regent Centre, 150 Locke St. South, from 1-5pm. This workshop will focus on cultivating inner peace through a focused mind. Despite one notable interruption, January's Qigong workshop was absolutely wonderful. I hope you'll join us this time around!

After February's Lok Hup Ba Fa workshop, I decided to offer another one in April, so look for the return of Lok Hup on Sunday, April 7, 2019.

Please email me at smithmk2@gmail.com and let me know if you would like to attend any of these workshops, or inquire there or at 905 521-0043 for more information.

NOTE: If you're receiving this message by email, please don't hit reply--your answer will go into the void! Add my email address is in the "to" line, or start a new email to smithmk2@gmail.com if you wish to correspond with me. Thanks!

Classes are Cancelled for January 19, 2019

Saturday classes at Regent Health Centre are cancelled due to the weather.

NOTE: If you're receiving this message by email, it will be arriving late--the system that pushes notifications through to email does so hours after I post to the blog. Always check for live updates about weather on the blog itself, in the hour before class.

Upcoming Workshops, January 20 2019 and February 3 2019

A quick reminder: the next Spiritual Development Workshop will run this coming Sunday, January 20, 2019, from 1-4pm. As usual, this workshop is run from my home. The idea behind these workshops is to offer an opportunity for participants to reflect on their own personal journeys, and to talk about how to use the practices we're working with in class to enhance or improve whatever intentions you're setting for yourself.  You can read more about the philosophy behind these workshops here.

We've got another workshop coming up at the Regent Centre (150 Locke St. South) on Sunday, February 3rd, 2019, from 1-5pm. This time around we're going to be returning to the advanced internal martial art form Lok Hup Ba Fa. This workshop is for people who have already studied Lok Hup, whether with me or elsewhere. Even if you've done it and you don't remember it as well as you'd like to, that's fine: we'll be spending the day polishing, refining, and going over some sequences to try to bring everyone up to speed.

For those of you who participated in the January Qigong workshop, and wanted to do another, I'll be running the next Qigong workshop at the Regent Centre on March 3rd, 2019.

You can find more information about all upcoming workshops here.

If you'd like to join any of the workshops or have questions, please email me at smithmk2@gmail.com, or call or text (905) 521-0043.

Note: If you've received this notice by email, don't hit reply if you want to respond--your message will go into the void! Make sure my email address, smithmk2@gmail.com, is in the subject line, or start a new email addressed to me.

A last note on the weather: with impending wintery-ness, please use your own discretion with regard to whether it's safe for you to drive to the Centre! In extreme cases where the weather genuinely looks grim and I cannot make it to class, I'll post a cancellation note at the top of the blog, at taichionlocke.blogspot.com an hour prior to the class start time. 

Qigong Workshop, Sunday, January 6, 2018

Qigong Workshop
Date: Sunday, January 6, 2018
Time: 1-5pm
Cost: $60
Location: Regent Health Centre, 150 Locke St. South
Prerequisite: Open to All.

Please contact me to let me know you'd like to attend: smithmk2@gmail.com, (905) 521-0043, or in person.

This workshop will focus on gentle movement, flow, and meditation to help us align with the slower, more contemplative energies of the winter season. Now that the rush of the holidays is over, we're at an ideal point in the year to release remaining tensions and direct our attention inward.

Note: if you're receiving this via email, don't hit reply if you want to respond to it--your message will go into the void! Make sure my email address is in the To: field before you hit send. 

December 2018 Holiday Schedule

Just a quick heads up about the class schedule this December (2018, if you're reading this in the future).

All classes will run as usual throughout December, with the following exceptions:

Monday, December 24 (no classes)
Wednesday, December 26 (no classes)
Monday, December 31 (no classes)

I will still be running classes on the Friday and Saturday before Christmas (the 21st and 22nd) and the Friday and Saturday between Christmas and New Year's (the 28th and the 29th).

A reminder, there is a Tai Chi Workshop open to Intermediate and Advanced students on Sunday, December 9, from 1-5pm at the Regent Centre. I will also be running the Spiritual Development workshop on Sunday, December 23rd. Go here for more information about workshops!

If you are receiving these posts by email, and wish to inquire about anything you've read here, please don't hit "reply"—your message will go into the void! Start a new email to me at smithmk2@gmail.com OR make sure that address is in the subject line before you hit SEND. Thanks!

Upcoming Workshops: November and early December 2018

Note for email subscribers: If you wish to inquire about these workshops or about anything else, please don't hit reply to this message—your email will drop into the void! Make sure that my email address, smithmk2@gmail.com, is in the address line before you hit SEND.

I ask that you enroll ahead of time for workshops. It's easiest for me if you contact me by email so I can track attendance, but phone works too. Thanks!

In the club where I learned most of what I know, there was a strong tradition of monthly workshops. The idea was that these were days when we could put aside whatever else we would normally do on a Sunday, and spend a longer amount of time than we usually managed to take for practice. It always felt like an absolute luxury to me, to go much more slowly and deliberately through the steps to good practice on workshop days. With a longer amount of time to practice than we had in class, it was much easier to dig deeply into a topic or issue or correction, and really let it sink into our bones and sinews.

In the past few years I've continued that tradition with the workshops I offer at The Regent Centre. It is a remarkable boost to one's practice to be able to think deeply about a single topic related to Tai Chi, Qigong, or any of our other practices. In December, I'm offering a Tai Chi workshop, open to everyone at the Continuing or Intermediate levels, that I think will be a wonderful way to ease ourselves into the impending holiday season.

I've also started a new tradition with Spiritual Development Workshops. The Spiritual Development meetings are for the purpose of discussion and meditation. The goal is to help participants use the lessons we learn through Tai Chi and Qigong in our daily lives, to help us become less grumpy, more effective, and more peaceful. Lately, we've been working with Taoist chanting and some traditional Taoist teachings to help us on our way. The next workshop is coming up fast, this Sunday, November 18. Let me know if you'd like to attend either date!

More details follow.

Spiritual Development Workshop
Date: Sunday, November 18, 2018
Time: 1-4 pm
Cost: $15 suggested donation / person
Location: At my home—see below for instructions on how to attend.

Spiritual development workshops are for people who enjoy, or are curious about, the spiritual and esoteric aspects of Taoist practice, and who are also interested in working on themselves as spiritual seekers. While I personally don't plan to hand down spiritual truths or claim to know the answers, I have more than 25 years' experience working in Taoist and other spiritual frameworks, and am happy to help gently guide participants as they work to find answers for themselves.

Participants can expect to work with a variety of different techniques for connecting to Spirit, as well as time spent sharing individual experiences, as we work to bring fresh meaning and purpose to our life journeys.

You can read more about the philosophy behind the spiritual development workshop series here. This series will be run from my home. I need to know ahead of time if you plan to attend. Contact me at (905) 521-0043 or smithmk2@gmail.com. Even if you've attended in the past, I'd like to know if you plan to attend each workshop. Because these workshops represent a more advanced perspective on everything we do, I reserve the right to let you know if it would be inappropriate for you to attend.


Tai Chi Workshop
Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018
Time: 1-5pm
Cost: $60
Location: Regent Health Centre, 150 Locke St. South
Prerequisite: Open to Intermediate or Continuing Tai Chi Students

It's been a while since I ran a workshop that focuses on internal martial art through Tai Chi! Tai Chi is our core practice on the internal martial art side of things, and an excellent basis for your regular workout routine.

This workshop will focus on a key technique that will benefit all your internal martial arts practice: dropping the internals to connect with the ground. Whether you want to call this dropping your weight, dropping your centre of gravity, grounding, earthing, or connecting with the centre of the earth, this method is the key to achieving profound relaxation through your practice, improving mechanics, and completing each movement. It is extremely helpful for fall prevention, and on an energetic level helps nourish and replenish your entire system.

We'll be spending lots of time on physical practice, and will also learn to use guided visualization and meditation to facilitate a nice, deep drop for all participants.

It doesn't matter if you've been doing Tai Chi for just a little while or for years (or decades!) — learning how to drop your weight is something you can start anytime, and which could always use more work.

To attend, contact me at (905) 521-0043, or smithmk2@gmail.com.