Tai Chi, a form of exercise that's relaxing, not rough on on the body, and has well-documented health benefits? Ha...what is not to like? We are all in! And so we met Jason Chan through a mutual friend. My first conversation with Jason was fast, clear and high in energy...and funny too... No doubt in our minds that we want to work together and offer his transformational work to our travelers and participants from all over the world. Jason will open our 2018 retreat season...will it get any better than this?
Still need some convincing? Here you go .... 5 reasons why to learn Tai Chi
#1: It’s for everyone
Absolutely .... young and old, physically active or sedentary, to people in good health and those dealing with chronic illness—to everyone, literally. Physical activity and stress reduction are so important to everyone, and those are the very benefits afforded by tai chi without the risk of injury. The retreats are suitable for everyone. But at the same time everyone is encouraged to take sufficient rest due to the high energy of the retreat, which builds as the week goes on. Living in the Light... get ready to go home glowing and all!
#2: It’s inexpensive-ish
Ok, the retreat is an investment, we get that. But you get a whole lot in return. The full program (mornings and afternoons teachings, we have seen very different in other retreat programs), all meals ( yes Italian, organic and home cooked style ) and the excursions are included. But you know what... once you get home your tai chi practice does require no equipment or a special venue, just comfortable shoes and clothing. You can find classes at various federations, websites but also in hospitals and communities; and what you have learned this week you can directly repeat once you get home!
#3: . Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Exercise of almost any form is known to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s one of the first things a doctor will tell a patient to do if they are suffering from these issues (and let’s face it, who isn’t impacted to some degree by stress and anxiety these days). Although Tai Chi is a relatively gentle form of exercise it is still exercise and probably equivalent to fast walking. But the added benefit of focusing the mind on the movements, akin to meditating, makes Tai Chi ideal for calming the mind, slowing the brain and becoming more ‘in the moment’. Ofcourse being surrounded by 60.000.000 (yes sixty million!!!) olive trees does help here as well. Of these 60 million minimum 5 million are considered monumental. The olive tree and its oil are the symbols of the Mediterranean's history. The olive tree is the source of olive oil which has fueled the lights in the temples of the Egyptian God Ra, in the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, in mosques and churches. Even before the great monotheistic religions the oil has been considered sacred by the Phoenicians, Hittites and the Greeks. Its foliage is a symbol of peace since thousands years and also symbolize honor and victory. Kings, Priests and Bishops have been consecrated with the olive oil, it was used to give strength, hope and salvation to the believers, and also to divide birth, death and the most important moments of life. I feel more relaxed just reading this ... you too?
#4: It's communal
Tai chi is structured around groups and clubs, and the sense of community that fosters is deliberate. You are surrounded by people who are learning something new and you are encouraged to help eachother. Most participants come by themselves; genuine friendships are made and no-one feels “lonely”. Of course, sometimes you may wish some time to be alone, and this is always respected. A week on Jason’s retreat will leave you feeling uplifted, energized, empowered and joyful. Come to Puglia, and see for yourself! ( and all meals are shared together, in true italian style)
#5: It's empowering
One of the striking things about Tai Chi is that it triggers an intrinsic—and proven—belief that you can have a powerful impact on your own health. We b