October-November Newsletter, 2013

In this newsletter:
Ongoing Qigong Classes
Tai Chi for Beginners (I)
November Qigong Meditation Workshop

Dear All,

I hope this finds you all well and looking forward to fall. The class schedule has been on the light side through August and September as I am taking some time away to relax and plan our fall and winter program. There is some very exciting stuff coming down the pipeline, including a new meditation workshop (November) and a brand new Tai Chi for Beginners Course (starting October).

We'll officially be at two locations this fall: in addition to the studio at the Regent Health Centre, I'll also be teaching at Chalmers Presbyterian on Hamilton Mountain. I couldn't be more excited to announce that Gillianne Shaver will be teaching the Tai Chi for Beginners sessions on Wednesday afternoons at the Regent Centre. Gillianne has many years experience practicing and teaching Tai Chi. Many of you know her from the Monday Qigong classes.

My aim is to make it easier than ever for you to explore Tai Chi and Qigong. I believe that these practices are among the most powerful tools for self-transformation a person can learn. I hope you'll be able to join us this fall.



Ongoing Qigong Classes

It is never too late to come out and try Qigong on Mondays at 1pm or Saturdays at 2. While Tai Chi is hundreds of years old, Qigong is thousands of years old, with many routines and exercises to explore. My students have reported that they feel stronger and have more energy even after a few sessions.

If you're not familiar with Qigong, it is an ancient science of movement and meditation, designed to take your body and mind through a complete workout. Its aim is to make you strong and flexible, inside and out.

While Qigong is every bit as sophisticated as Tai Chi, its learning curve is a bit less steep in the beginning. It is an excellent practice on its own; Qigong also makes a wonderful accompaniment to Tai Chi lessons and will enhance your Tai Chi learning experience. Qigong classes are always open to new beginners. See the website for complete information on the schedule and fees.

Tai Chi for Beginners (I)

This fall I'm launching Tai Chi for Beginners (I), a ten-week course designed to take you through the first part of the Tai Chi set and help you build a strong foundation in Tai Chi technique. Tai Chi contains all the same components as Qigong, but is a more vigorous physical workout that gently challenges balance, coordination, strength and flexibility. October is a terrific time to start learning, because we have three different times available.

Course 1: Thursdays, 7:45-9:15pm
Start Date: Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
End Date: Thursday, December 12, 2013 (no class October 17)
Location: Chalmers Presbyterian, 200 Mountain Park Avenue, Hamilton, On
Instructor: Melissa Smith

Course 2: Saturdays, 3-4pm
Start Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013
End Date: Saturday, December 21, 2013
Location: Regent Health Centre, 150 Locke Street South, Hamilton, On
Instructor: Melissa Smith

Course 3: Wednesdays, 1:15-2:15pm
Start Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
End Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Location: Regent Health Centre, 150 Locke Street South, Hamilton, On
Instructor: Gillianne Shaver

Here's the really good news: when you join any of these courses, you get access to all of them. Let's say you want the Thursday night course, but you know you'll have to miss two classes. You are absolutely welcome to attend the Wednesday or Saturday class to make up the lesson. Let's say you plan to attend the Wednesday class, but you know you'll also want to drop by as many of the Thursday and Saturday classes as you can. Please do!

Bottom line, learning tai chi means repetition and practice. You can do that on your own, or you can come to class and refresh your memory, get answers to your questions, and pick up whatever you might have missed. All classes are included in your course fee.

Also included: access to both of my Qigong classes at the Regent Centre. Any time you like for the duration of the course, you are welcome to drop by, work with the Qigong exercises, and practice standing meditation. (I personally include Qigong at the beginning and end of all my Tai Chi workouts. It is an amazing way to settle into a workout and to ensure that the effects of practice continue long after the session is over.)

Tai Chi for Beginners (I) Course Fees:
Regular: $100
Seniors: $50
Students / ODSP / Under 18 / Financial Need: $30

Again, the course fee covers attendance at any or all Tai Chi for Beginners classes, as well as Qigong classes at Regent Health Centre for the duration of the course - from October 3rd to the December 21, 2013.

November Qigong Meditation Workshop
Sunday, November 10, 1-4pm. Open to All Levels of Experience.

The connection between stress and illness is becoming increasingly acknowledged and understood by modern medical science, but Qigong practitioners have long had an incredible understanding of the mechanics behind this vicious cycle and how to break it. The fact is that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself and recuperate from stress, if we allow it to do so. Qigong meditation helps relieve stress and intervene in the formation of illness by literally getting you out of your own way and pausing thought patterns that disrupt the body's natural processes.

Qigong meditation is a pure meditation form. It aims to allow the mind to simply focus and relax. It uses no visualization or mental tricks to create a state of awareness. Through this form, you learn to conquer the mind's habit of moving from thought to thought and experience simple, unadorned reality in all its beauty. There is no limit to how deep you can go or what you can overcome.

On Sunday, November 10, we'll explore sitting and standing Qigong meditation along with simple foundation exercises from Qigong and Tai Chi in order to stretch the body and make meditation more comfortable. No experience required.

Qigong Meditation Workshop Fee: $75