I feel that I am finally doing something for myself


I feel that I am finally doing something for myself, distracting myself from the “rat race” and the daily routine of the race. I consider it a luxury I can choose. Then I feel calmed down, satisfied with myself (!) And ready for normal functioning.

Basia, Warsaw –Poland

When I practice chanting, I feel joy to be doing it with others. That I am among those over 800 people every Saturday. Or among several dozen on Wednesdays, when I chant with Czechs, Slovaks and Ukrainians. 

Przemek, Warsaw- Poland.

Weight Shifting in Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland

2018-07-01 IWS Ballina - the smiling group
2018-07-01 IWS Ballina – the smiling group

108 moves … and all made up of don-yus and tor-yus!
“Isn’t that simple?”, is the question.
“Yes, but not easy!”

Instructions and advice follows….

“Smile! Not so serious, Relax”

“Do you see the don-yu and tor-yu in each movement of the set? It makes it stronger and better.”

“Call it out. Call out clearly, what you need to do.”

“Know what you’re doing. See what you’re doing clearly. How can you improve this within yourself?”

“Mindset, if we’re distracted, we’re not focused.”

And one that really sticks in my mind,

“Wweeiiiggghhttt  Ssshhiiffttiing!!!”

Weight shifting,  load the foot, contraction, expansion, elbows down,  eyes level, elastic, balance, apply the circle and rip it open,  kneading the dough – hand coiling out …

These instructions help so much.

After getting us to use these tools and feel our bodies opening up as our balance, confidence and relaxation improved, we were asked to consider:

“How good will you feel in a year’s time?”

“Do you clearly see the don-yu and tor-yu?”

“Are you calling out what you must do in your mind as you expand, contract and turn?”

Some answers to these questions from participants are:

“I’ll be dancing next year!” said Mary, who has Multiple Sclerosis.

To see Mary’s balance improve over the 5 days. To see her confidently stepping through, where before her steps were tentative, I do believe she will be dancing next year!

From her experience as a psychotherapist Mary explained that,

“We are developing a positive mental attitude through mindfulness.
I’m mindful of shifting weight and being grounded.
Before, I was doing too much  thinking.  
Now I’m more in the flow, not caught up with the nitty gritty, and taller.”

Are you calling out what you must do in your mind as you expand, contract and turn?

“Calling out the weight shifting while doing the tai chi set,
really helps the timing and rhythm”, 
said Isabelle, an instructor.

Do you see clearly why you feel better?

“It’s about muscle memory, making new, better habits. Using the eyes really works.
I have an  inner ear problem and balance  is difficult. I’ve had to re-learn.  
Eye level really helps me balance. Two specialists I see say I’m doing well.
They gave me exercises to do with my eyes but asked what else I’m doing.
When I told them I was doing tai chi they said you can’t do better than that.”
said Peter, also an instructor.

Do you have any pain?

“Before the workshop I woke up on Tuesday morning with a bad back, 
and was worried I wouldn’t be able to do tai chi.
Following the instructions,
finding the don-yu and swinging arms as spine turned, I’ve no pain!”
said Jim, another instructor.

How do you feel?

“I have Polymyalgia. The weak muscles feel stronger. 
Inflammation in the chest became a stiffness and is now nearly gone.”
said Geraldine, a continuing instructor.

Seeing clearly what is the don-yu & tor-yu, finding it in our movements makes us better. Our balance improves, our confidence improves. We open up and are much happier and healthier for the experience.

And most importantly:
We stop worrying and start to SMILE with our mindset focused!

Is it that simple?
Yes! …. and after all that good guidance even easy!

Sincere thanks to our workshop leader,  Andrew Hung, from the 137 participants of IWS Ireland 2018!