Both Janet and I had the privilege of holding a Tai Chi and Qigong class at the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists Annual Conference 2013 in Podiatry for some of the Podiatry delegates.
The conference this year was held at the ACC in Liverpool. The dock area around the centre has been really developed and has many wonderful new buildings. This year the Conference was held over three days from the 14th November, 15th and the 16th. It had many concurrent sessions with lots of excellent speakers in their chosen fields who really helped to enhance our knowledge of Podiatry. We found the people of Liverpool extremely friendly and the main capital full of wonderful architectural buildings with many modern shops and indoor shopping malls.
There were lots of trade stands and suppliers in attendance all eager to help us. The whole conference was a great success. Anyway back to the Tai Chi lesson, our session began on late Thursday afternoon and was reasonably well attended by the Podiatry delegates.
The lesson commenced with silent standing and balancing of the whole body qigong exercise. We then did some ‘preps’ to help warm up the delegates and give them a good gentle whole body work out. We chose some feet and ankle exercises thought to be appropriate for our audience. This was followed by an exercise called balancing the whole body, to help calm the ‘monkey mind’ and breath. We then moved onto a standing post exercise called Wuji (no extremity). We did both the yin and the yang family version of this. The delegates really did well this year to remain still and calm throughout, well done! The importance of doing regular standing was explained to all the delegates. Janet then took up a basic stance known as grasp the bird’s tail. I then demonstrated to the delegates by applying gentle pressure to Janet’s arms, hands, and legs the importance of being ‘sung’. Keeping good structure but being soft like a rubber ball. This level of softness with good structure really surprised the delegates.
We then followed this by doing bending the bow an exercise from the ‘Eight Pieces of Brocades’ We chose this exercise as it is a lovely smooth flowing exercise that clearly defines both the ‘Yin and Yang’ within the movement, that would challenge the delegates both physically and mentally . We chose some basic walking exercises such as straight dragon walk which can be found in the long form. These exercises are not only calm the mind and body but are extremely bio-mechanically very sound, perfect exercises for podiatrists, which would be suitable for patient usage.
I then demonstrated some basic self defence moves from the long form by using Janet as the aggressor and keeping relaxed throughout. It is wonderful how relaxed moves can still be so effective. We then demonstrated the first few movements of the long form up to’ grasp birds tail’ and practised them together to give them the flavour of this lovely old form. We ended by gathering our chi and some silent standing to close. Everyone seemed to enjoy the session and we were thanked by all the delegates. It was a pleasure to show the many benefits of long term training to such a knowledgeable audience.