Shibashi Taichi For Beginners
Shibashi is a modern style of taichi using exercises drawn from various Chinese traditions, designed to improve flexibility, release physical tension and increase wellbeing. The movements are relatively easy for beginners to learn and suit people of all ages and levels of fitness.
Shibashi, indeed taichi in any form, is the practice of chi gung; or you may see it written ‘qigong’. Chi is the natural energy of the body, our vitality, which we become more and more aware of when doing the movements. ‘Gung’ (or gong or kung) means applying the energy for some purpose. The purpose of kung fu martial arts is of course self-defence. The particular purpose of shibashi is to defend against the ageing process and support the immune system.
The word shibashi means ‘18 movements’. Each exercise is repeated several times before moving on to the next. The whole sequence gradually trains the body to correct misalignments and use energy more efficiently.
We are most efficient and most creative when we breathe easily, when the body is free of stress and the brain is not distracted; when we are flexible and can respond spontaneously to new inputs. Chinese exercise systems were developed over many centuries from principles discovered by Taoist sages who understood the harmonious connection between man and nature. But because our selfish human nature has steadily intervened we are subject to ever more stress and have lost touch with the fundamental creativity of the natural world – represented in our bodies by chi. So it follows that in recent years, as China opens up its secret past to the West, chi gung has quickly become not only popular worldwide but valued as a remedy for stress-related conditions.
This shibashi taught in this class is the basic form taught by Sifu Wing Cheung and handed down to him by the committee of Medical Chi Gung doctors in China who created shibashi and continue to develop exercises to alleviate health conditions. The course leader, Clive Tempest, is certified by Wing Cheung as a shibashi instructor.
Who’s it For
This is a beginners course. You may have done classes like this before but as chi is always fresh and new we all leave the past at the door. You may have no previous experience in any form of taichi, yoga, pilates, fitness training or anything else. You may have medical conditions but if you’re willing to take responsibility for them, and work within your limitations, shibashi will not harm you.
These classes are for anyone who wants to shed the stress, get the weight off the shoulders, slow down and stand firm on the earth. At the very least you’ll breathe more easily, lose some of those worrying thoughts and gain energy.
What You Need to Bring
Wear loose-fitting clothes and soft, flat shoes. Taichi shoes with cotton soles are ideal and can be bought cheaply online.
About Your Tutor
Clive Tempest began practising taichi in 1981. He has been leading workshops, instructing classes and helping people with meditation and spiritual guidance for over thirty-five years.