I recently wrote to the 40+ people who are attending my classes:
I have enjoyed my Qigong and Tai Chi in 2020. It has given me a support, a purpose and an interest during these dull, dreary, repetitive, stay-at-home Covid-19 days and months. I know that it has also been a support for many of you.
My Qigong has developed in a number of directions, deeper, and with new exercises and forms; I feel my teaching has also developed as I have worked out how to cope with Zoom, social distancing, hall closures and lockdowns.
There are many other positives for me, including the development of my internet site, daily emails over lockdown, producing and sharing 130 videos with you all and the success of the Zoom Shibashi class.
There are also encouraging signs that Qigong and Tai Chi are becoming more mainstream, better known, better accepted – particularly by the NHS – and appreciated as an all-absorbing health exercise regime.
The 2020 abiding memories for me were to see how absorbed you all are in Shibashi, and, something which I will always keep as a treasured memory of Covid-19 times, the garden Qigong classes in the summer, a deep, learning, peaceful, sharing Qigong experience.
I want to put a page up on my internet site of comments about what Qigong and Tai Chi mean to you all, what you get out of it and any memories of 2020 classes and daily (or not quite daily!) practice. If you can, please let me have a sentence (or paragraph) or two – and any photos if you like. All contributions will be nameless on the page.
I had these responses – they are unedited and include a few typos:
I have very much enjoyed my qigong/shibashi classes this year. They have given me a routine and sense of constancy and something to look forward to during all the changes and uncertainties fluctuating around us. The zoom classes have provided a safe and secure environment to maintain and develop individual practice whilst still feeling part of a wider group with a shared interest. Thank you, and Valerie, for all your hard work.
Lincoln, I have really enjoyed my classes during 2020, they have helped me no end, and I’ll always be grateful for the Zoom classes, nothing much on the diary, but the two lessons each week, in the garden and at home. This is a remark that my son Martin made at the office. One lady said she must get into doing some keep fit but didn’t quite now where to start, so son said try Tai Chi, response. I couldn’t do that, son then said well my mum who is………years old does it and she is probably the fittest person in the family. Reaction from the lady, I’ll look into it then.
That remark certainly made me puff my chest out. So thanks Lincoln for your classes.
I just want to thank you for the Zoom weekly Shibashi sessions. They have been incredibly significant in my life as we continue through the pandemic. I appreciate the work you put into the sessions; always punctual, and the content has obviously been meticulously planned. I think you have the balance right of working through the form, and time for some discussion and verbal teaching as well as working through a few exercises in depth. I have done many years of Tai Chi (on and off), and I find the Shibashi to be the gentlest, most balancing, graceful form I have done. I love the simplicity and healing of it. Even if I have felt tired coming to the class, I always come away feeling refreshed, calmed and restored. I suffer with a chronic back problem, and the gently solidity and grace of the exercises has been very helpful. I realise that most of the people there are local to Emsworth and will have attended your classes. That hasn’t stopped me feeling very much part of the class as we learn together. Thank you so much for the gift of these classes.
Having only done a few Tai Chi classes over about six months twenty years ago, I was a little apprehensive when I joined the class a few months ago. I needn’t have been. Lincoln is very professional and an excellent teacher. Then lockdown came & the class moved on to Zoom which I had concerns about! However, I needn’t have worried & have found it incredibly useful. I find it so helpful to go through all the routines and then the moves in great detail.
I just love the Shibashi routine we’ve learned. The two classes weekly are the only opportunity I give myself to ‘take time out’ in a really busy life, – even in lockdown! It requires total concentration & I do really get absorbed in the routine(s) & trying to follow Lincoln’s every move (even in mirror image!). It is therapeutic mentally as well as being good all round physical exercise which helps the body keep supple.
I am really enjoying the classes and positively look forward to them each week!
Thank you to Lincoln and Valerie!
I remember reading a statement by an eminent doctor advising that a long and happy life could be achieved by a healthy diet, regular physical and mental exercise, and choosing the right parents.
I am extremely lucky in my choice of parents and grandparents, all of whom showed bravery and positive attitude in extremely difficult circumstances. I was particularly fond of my maternal grandfather who survived the trenches of the Somme. Despite the hardships, and returning home with shell shock and injuries from gas, he said that it wasn’t too bad because he was with all his mates and their officer was a local gentlemen who was a good leader.
Tai Chi provides the physical and mental exercise we need; and the group provides the companionship and leadership which has encouraged me to do more and think positively. When the first shutdown started, Tai Chi was growing in importance to me, but rarely practiced outside class. Empty hours and daily messages, changed this to daily practice, and I am now starting feel the benefits and beginning to feel a few of the movements.
While there are many benefits and reasons for practicing TaiChi, my bottom line is that I enjoy it.
Tai Chi in Lockdown
Now we have a level four, life could become a dreadful bore
How to fill the empty hours, count the petals on the flowers?
Just sitting in my chair, life begins to feel unfair
Getting through a book each day, running out of games to play
Christmas Bubble has just burst, that really feels the very worst
Then I go for a walk, see a friend but cannot talk
A glimmer of hope through the gloom, only 2 weeks and back to zoom
Lincoln leading us in line, for that hour, we’ll feel fine
Seeing familiar friendly faces, best attempts, in all cases
I feel so happy after class, even time for chat and laugh
Some movements are quite hard, at the end I do feel tired
Will I remember all we’ve done? from last week, and everyone
Thinking back to the daily e-mail, when starting to follow without fail
By the end I had missed a few, not sure exactly what to do
I will go back to the very start, learning each, off by heart
Will I get through them all? Not long now, before the zoom call
Got to go now, so much to do, very best wishes and luck to you.
Tai Chi first entered my psyche just over two years ago, That painful year I was diagnosed with Spinal Osteoarthritis. Self-fused vertebrae found in Sacrum saddle and poor support across shoulder saddle and neck. I was ‘firmly encouraged’ by my Doctor to attend a 9 week Chronic Pain Clinic, (humph, that won’t help … WRONG!) I learned a lot about mind and body awareness and Tai Chi was one of the self-help recommendations.
I heard of Tai Chi for Health starting up at Hewitt’s. I guess I could now say …. “and the rest is history” …. but it isn’t. It is my Past, my Present and my Future. Tai Chi has totally changed my life – mind, body and soul and it just keeps on giving. From debilitating Chronic Pain I am now able to do most things I did 10 – 15 years ago, obviously carefully and more measured. So many, many different ways I have learned how to care for every joint, muscle and the concentration of mind that blends it all together. Such fluid, joyful, gentle movements. Posture, breathing, memory, I could go on and on!
I know for certain that had I not become aware of Tai Chi I would have been unable to celebrate my recent 80th birthday with the mental and physical mobility I did. Every day is a bonus and if I could be an ambassador for anything it would be ……. “scrub morning Assembly in schools and get out into the playground for 20 minutes Tai Chi every morning!”
Many, many thanks to you Lincoln for introducing something to me which has often helped with my ‘raison d’etre!’, also for the work that you put in for the Tai Chi groups, especially these past 9 months. We had a magic summer in your garden.
I always enjoy the class, and live in hope that one day I’ll brush the correct knee! in Tai Chi. I keep hoping that like driving it will suddenly click.
The Shibashi has been a revelation, thank you, much easier to practice in a small space..plus a little more two dimensional, thus easier to learn. However I must remember to slow down a little… As you are seeing we all very much get into the zone.. It’s all good.
Thanks again for being a nice and endlessly patient teacher.
What a lovely email Lincoln. Like you I have lovely memories of qigong in 2020. It was a lovely routine in my upside down Covid world. My favourite times were the magical sessions in your garden. Thanks to both you and Valerie for allowing us to come into the garden and practice during those beautiful summer days.
Thank you very much for all your efforts. It is very much appreciated by both of us. Thank you also to Valerie.
You wanted to know our thoughts regarding the classes:-
I am really enjoying them and feel much more flexible as a result. In addition I also find them calming and relaxing and like the way the movements seem to flow, especially when practising Shibashi.
I now appreciate more the movement of the body in the various exercises and the overall calming affect it has on you. Should have joined these classes years ago.
Remember to breath properly.
… want to let you know how much your persistence and hard work in keeping the classes going is appreciated. Plus, how impressed I (and many others I’ve spoken to – socially distanced of course) are at your smooth transition to online classes/communication – nothing like as good as classes in person, and the cup of tea afterwards is just a distant memory, but great that you have kept the weekly classes going. Thank you!
Thank you for today it was good.
Thank you also to your wife Valerie, I have never met her but she has helped you so much on Zoom etc, and therefore has helped me too!
My comments re Tai Chi and Shibashi follows.
Tai Chi has made a real difference to my life and being over 80 has helped me with my* balance and coordination. It also relaxes me and lifts my mood. *No falls!
With Lincoln’s expert tuition & his kind consideration, it makes the whole experience very enjoyable
and knowing its doing me good is a bonus!
Classes have been tremendously good in terms of physical and mental heath, not to mention enjoyable.
An oasis in the mayhem that it our modern life.
Relaxing calm and quiet, ‘me time’.
Improving my balance in body and mind.
Tai Chi sustains me for the week ahead giving me renewed energy both physically and mentally, in my very body life.
Great session yesterday, despite my “back-stop” pains. I particularly enjoyed the first 10/15mins of physical continuity along with the verbal guidance, which helped concentration to reach the “zone” as I call it!! Looking forward to trying to be a butterfly when I can comfortably bend and stretch again! Mohammed Ali never floated as rhythmically as you did yesterday!!!!!😂😂