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LEEDS TAI CHI BLOG

Our classes are a bit different to the usual Tai Chi Class in Leeds. We have some Tai Chi Classes that are more gentle for the over 50's but the majority of our classes are aimed at a young er crowd who want to integrate the mental health benefits of Tai Chi by understanding the philosophy of Taoism plus the health benefits of Tai Chi, Taoist Yoga, Meditation and Kung Fu in Leeds.

On this page you will find a number of blog posts that give you a flavour of the philosophy and practise of Lishi Leeds Tai Chi.

DOES TAI CHI, LISHI AND DAOISM HELP CURE STRESS, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION?

A New Article in the Guardian Suggests Reasons This Could Be True…
 
Does Tai Chi, Lishi and Daoism Help Cure Depression, Stress and Anxiety?from WaiYiiYeung
 

Stress, anxiety, low confidence and depressionare all common reasons why people turn to Tai Chi as a natural anti-depressant to help boost their mood.

I’ve seen many times how joining a class transforms people’s mental health and I’ve just read an article that provides some evidence why.

“It turns out that, in the same way that we have basic physical needs like food, water and shelter, all humans have certain basic psychological needs.”

“We need to feel we belong. We need to feel valued. We need to feel we’re good at something. We need to feel we have a secure future.”

“There is growing evidence that our culture isn’t meeting those psychological needs for many, perhaps most, people…

….we have become disconnected from things we really need, and this deep disconnection is driving this epidemic of depression and anxiety all around the world”

Lishi Way Out Daoist Path 3D Compressed 533 x 667In my book, I describe how the modern world is crazy!

Working life, the economy and technology mean there is a constant pressure to operate at an unnatural pace.

By trying to keep up, we neglect our true nature and suffer the consequences.

Some people are more sensitive and recognise this imbalance earlier.

Others continue to drive themselves until a major physical or mental illness slaps them across the face and makes them sit down and take a good look at their life.

The Drugs Don’t Work

The article reveals that much of the ‘evidence’ that depression is caused by low serotonin levels has been conveniently fabricated by drug companies in order to sell the idea to prescribing doctors.

Whilst it is convenient to absolve responsibility and blame it on one’s genes, the research suggests…

That using these drugs to boost serotonin only provides temporary respite.

These feelings are in fact messages that there are things about our external world that need changing.

The author of the article found, when speaking with local doctors in countries where they don’t use drugs as anti-depressants,That they looked for other more effective approaches. According to these doctors:

“Finding an antidepressant didn’t mean finding a way to change your brain chemistry. It meant finding a way to solve the problem that was causing the depression in the first place.”

 

…we need to change our understanding of what depression and anxiety really are.

Finding A Way

Sometimes people are not aware what is causing their mental health challenges.

Often people don’t know how to change their situation or they feel powerless to do so but after coming to one of our classes for a while they experience how they can shift their mood.

It is within their control.

There are things they can do that naturally make a difference to how they feel.

This realisation can be hugely empowering. It starts a positive feedback loop. They start to make choices that are more positive. This brings further benefits.

Perhaps they start to come to two classes a week instead of just one…

Perhaps they start to implement some of the Daoist dietary guidelines we teach.

Perhaps they start to rise a little earlier and start their day with some breathing exercises.

They start to contribute to the running of a class. They feel part of a community.

Soon it becomes clear that their life can continue to get better and better and they have the strength to influence how.

The research asserts that one of the main causes of depression is the perception that one’s life is meaningless.

When people begin practising Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation and Lishi regularly, they discover that they can create the life that they want.

What could be more meaningful than that?

______________________________

Wai-Yii Tai Chi Teacher and Author Daoist Way Out BookIf you want to read the full article, it’s here

If you’d like to explore how daoist philosophy and practise could benefit you, why not get my book ‘Way Out – A Daoist Path to a Fearless Life

Read the reviews to find out what people are saying about it 🙂

To start doing lishi, either use this special link to get a big discount on my online course here

Or if you’re in Leeds come along to a class

Or if you’re not near Leeds,  find a class near you

 

#naturalantidepressant #naturalhigh #depression #anxiety #confidence #stress #stressed #stressedout #taichi #taichileeds #taichiliving #taichilife #taichilifestyle #health #healthylifestyle #healthy #balance #leeds #headingleytaichi #chapelallertontaichi #yoga #yogatime #livewell #wellbeing #wellness #peace #loveleeds #lishilifestyle

 

10 Reasons to Breathe Deeply

The human body is designed to take in 75% of its energy requirement through breathing; oxygen is the most fundamental unit of fuel that we take into our body.

Further, we also eliminate 70% of our toxins via the breath;

Did you know that the human body is designed to take in 75% of its energy requirements through breathing. oxygen also cleanses the cells by oxidation and enables waste products to be carried back to the lungs via the bloodstream.

Given these basic facts it is easy to see why learning to breathe correctly is one of the most fundamental things we can do to support and maintain our health and wellbeing. In our Tai Chi classes we have lots of specialised breathing exercises to help develop your lungs and add to the natural benefits of Tai Chi with the natural benefits of deep breathing.

The Daoist who first developed Lishi Leeds Tai chi always knew the secret that breathing deeply is important for not only your body’s health but it’s also a key factor in emotional wellbeing.

Let’s face it during this cold and dark time of the year keeping the SAD (seasonal affective disorder) away so you keep smiling through winter is essential.

The results of poor breathing practices are:

Under-oxygenation and low energy levels, toxicity build-up, high stress and stagnant emotional states.

It is well accepted that long-term emotional stagnation eventually leads to physical and emotional disorders. By becoming a conscious breather we can re-take control of our lives by fully oxygenating our system and maintaining a lucid state of emotional freedom.

Since most of us are not educated to become conscious of this fundamental metabolic process, over 90% of us are using less than 50% of our breathing capacity here are 10 reasons why you should add it to your everyday routine.

1. Breathing Detoxifies and Releases Toxins
Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. If you are not breathing effectively, you are not properly ridding your body of its toxins i.e. other systems in your body must work overtime which could eventually lead to illness. When you exhale air from your body you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body’s metabolism.

2. Breathing Releases Tension and Stress
Deep breathing helps decrease your heart beat and relax your muscles there by lowering blood pressure to reduce stress

3. Breathing Relaxes the Mind/Body and Brings Clarity
Oxygenation of the brain reducing excessive anxiety levels. Paying attention to your breathing. Breathe slowly, deeply and purposefully into your body. Notice any places that are tight and breathe into them. As you relax your body, you may find that the breathing brings clarity and insights to you as well.

4. Breathing Relieves Emotional Problems
Breathing will help clear uneasy feelings out of your body.

5. Breathing Relieves Pain
You may not realize its connection to how you think, feel and experience life. For example, what happens to your breathing when you anticipate pain? You probably hold your breath. Yet studies show that breathing into your pain helps to ease it.

6. Breathing Massages Your Organs
The movements of the diaphragm during the deep breathing exercise massages the stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas. The upper movement of the diaphragm also massages the heart. When you inhale air your diaphragm descends and your abdomen will expand. By this action you massage vital organs and improves circulation in them. Controlled breathing also strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.

7. Breathing Increases Muscle
Breathing is the oxygenation process to all of the cells in your body. With the supply of oxygen to the brain this increases the muscles in your body.

8. Breathing Strengthens the Immune System
Oxygen travels through your bloodstream by attaching to haemoglobin in your red blood cells. This in turn then enriches your body to metabolise nutrients and vitamins.

9. Breathing Improves Posture
Good breathing techniques over a sustained period of time will encourage good posture. Bad body posture will result of incorrect breathing so this is such an important process by getting your posture right from early on you will see great benefits.

10. Breathing Improves Quality of the Blood
Deep breathing removes all the carbon-dioxide and increases oxygen in the blood and thus increases blood quality.

 

 

 

 

We offer Tai Chi classes for people in their twenties and thirties as well as gentler classes for older people.

 

 
 
 
 
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Today we were guests at the 2018 Sino-British Wushu Culture Forum organised by the Wehai Wushu Association and the Shandong Wushu Association. There were many distinguished guests from the world of Wushu/Martial Arts. My Master gave a speech and I gave a presentation about the work we are doing in the UK to promote the Chinese Culture and Practise of Daoism through the Arts of Lishi. . . Beginners Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation and internal Kung Fu Classes in Leeds starting soon: https:// lishi.org/leeds . . . . . #taichi #taichileeds #taichiliving #taichilife #taichilifestyle #taoisttemple #daoisttemple #health #peace #peaceful #leedslife #beijing #headingleytaichi #chapelallertontaichi #wudang #wudangtaichi #wushu #culturalexchange #china #livewell #wellbeing #wellness #Leeds #loveleeds #lishilifestyle #livingthelishilifestyle #Daoist #Taoist #Daoisttaichi #Taoisttaichi

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Today I am at the sacred cave where Wang Chuyi (1142–1217) trained and meditated and taught his students "The Seven Perfect Ones of the North" or "The Seven Real Taoists". We visit every year and have a strong friendship with the Abbott of this temple. Visiting this mountain and being with these Masters is very nourishing and inspires me to keep creating a portal in Leeds and Tenerife where people who feel drawn to can experience the benefits of Daoist practice in their life. . . Beginners Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation and internal Kung Fu Classes in Leeds starting soon: https:// lishi.org/leeds . . . . . #taichi #taichileeds #taichiliving #taichilife #taichilifestyle #taoisttemple #daoisttemple #health #leedslife #headingleytaichi #chapelallertontaichi #weihai #weihaiwei #wushu #culturalexchange #china #livewell #wellbeing #wellness #Leeds #loveleeds #lishilifestyle #livingthelishilifestyle #Daoist #Taoist #Daoisttaichi #Taoisttaichi

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How doing Taichi helps exam stress and anxiety

Let’s face it—being a student is stressful. You not only need to prepare for each class you take, you also have to take care of your social life, bills, and anything else that needs attention. Having to study for an exam only adds to this stress.

Fortunately, there is a way to fight back. That method is Tai Chi. Before you roll your eyes and assume that Tai Chi is only for ‘older’ folks who’ve recently retired and have time to move slowly in the grass for hours on end, hear us out.

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese health ‘technology’ and practice that involves slow, sometimes odd circular movements of the body—in particular the arms and legs. It helps keep the body healthy and strong and can be practiced by virtually anyone, regardless of their current physical condition. It is among the gentlest martial arts practiced, and has gained serious popularity over the past several decades.

How it Helps with Exam Stress

The number one benefit of Tai Chi is relaxation. Exam stress is unfortunately linked to lower test scores and a dissatisfaction in life. You don’t have to suffer these consequences, however. Tai Chi can help you physically relax, slow down, and enjoy each moment.

Research proves that Tai Chi can physically relax the body, the nervous system, and promote mental relaxation. Because it requires heightened awareness of your senses and your body, Tai Chi puts you in the here and now and removes the chatter of the mind. This increases concentration and can actually improve your test scores!

 
 
Benefits of Tai Chi

Calming the nervous system, re-focusing the mind, and relaxing the mind and body enable you to stay calm on exam day. When our bodies have built up anxiety and tension, it is difficult to concentrate and feel positive. With regular practice, Tai Chi can eliminate negative thoughts and tension in the body and help you maintain a positive outlook no matter what subject you’re testing for.

Consider doing Tai Chi if you suffer from serious exam anxiety, and discover its many benefits beyond just alleviating exam stress.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daoist Tips for surviving the winter - Lishi Leeds Tai Chi
5 Tips for Surviving the Winter

This year as soon as 1st November arrived – there was a change in the season brrrrr!

It was like someone had turned on a switch.  Winter had arrived.

We still got the odd day of warmish weather as the season moved from end of autumn to proper winter.  But there is no mistaking the cold damp that seeps into the bones, the nights drawing in and the desire to stay in bed for longer.

The Daoists have long recognised the need to pay attention to the changing of the seasons and so here are 5 Daoist ways to work with the natural changes and help maintain the balance of Yin and Yang this Winter.

 
 
    1. Invest in a cosy scarf
      According to Chinese Medicine it is important to protect yourself from pernicious influences such as cold and wind.The back of the neck is particularly vulnerable to wind as it can enter through the acupuncture points here.  This is especially important if you’ve done any exercise and you are sweaty.When your pores open up it increases the risk of Wind invasion if you do not wrap up warm. So make sure you have a good scarf and wear it even if you are hot from exercising.
       
    2. Make sure you have good quality boots (and slippers)
      TCM also warns against the cold damp entering through the feet. It is important to keep the feet warm with socks and shoes when outside.Even inside, beware of cold floors. A pair of cosy slippers will help prevent the body’s heat being leached out and the cold invading through the soles of your feet.If you suffer from poor circulation and cold feet during the winter months try soaking your feet in hot water before bed. In fact it is worth doing this even if your circulation is fine. Soaking the heat in through your feet helps keep your energy high.Winter is related to the water element and organs associated with this in particular are your Kidney and Bladder.  Warming your feet will help nourish your Kidney energy which is sensitive to the cold during this time.
       
    1. Cook up some warming foods
      As winter is a yin time of the year, it’s important to balance the external cold by eating “warming” yang foods to help activate the blood circulation and keep you well.So forget the cold salads and get some hot and warming stews and soups into you.  Add more root vegetables such as parsnips and sweet potatoes, garlic and ginger, and warming herbs such as rosemary as well as spices such as cinnamon in your cooking to boost your body’s yang.For some good Chang Ming Recipes check out our other blog posts or the Chang Ming Cookbook
       
    2. Hibernate!
      As the nights draw in you may feel the urge to cosy up in bed and sleep for longer thank usual.  This is perfectly natural!Our ancestors would have lived their lives much more in accordance to the seasons than we do, due to the lack of artificial light.  Go to sleep earlier and rise with the sun.Sleeping earlier and longer in Winter is important to help nourish your yin, as winter is the season to conserve energy and build strength in the prelude to an active Spring.
       
    3. Stay active
      The best time to do Yang exercise such as the Lishi Hand of the Wind Kung Fu we teach is when the weather is colder.  These arts are wonderful to help condition and strengthen the body, improve and maintain your cardio-vascular system and boost your overall body temperature and resilience to the cold.Doing the Yang Arts will help boost your circulation and increase your body’s core temperature further supporting your lymphatic and immune system in the cold winter months.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tai Chi Classes in Leeds

Hyde Park Evening (Tai Chi Class, Dao Yoga Class, Moving Meditation Class, Kung Fu Class, Self Defence Class)

Mondays 6pm - 7:15pm  Wrangthorn Church Hall Hyde Park Terrace LS6 1BJ Beginners courses start throughout the year. Click the button to get full details of the class and add your name to the waiting list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tai chi hyde Park Headingley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tai Chi Stick and Kung Fu Staff

Lishi is a system that was developed for the physical, spiritual and personal growth of it’s practitioners. It is thousands of years old and was originally practiced by ordinary peasant folk in China.

When people first come to a Lishi class they learn to train with the “empty hand”. It is safer that way until they develop a level of body-awareness, co-ordination and skill.

Teachers at Lishi Leeds Tai Chi quickly develop a student’s ability through the Tai Chi classes learning forms and partner exercises like Pushing Hands.

It is very important to train the “Open Hand” before introducing weapons training.

The most basic implement we use in Lishi is the Tai Chi Stick or Kung Fu Staff. This wooden rod is used as an extension of the hand.

Originally, these were tools that were used in the daily lives of the peasants.  They were used for farming the land and were often found on their person. It made sense that they would use these implements to develop their abilities in Tai Chi and Kung Fu in their daily kungfu training.

There are many examples of indigenous people such as Chinese or Philipino peasants using these simple daily objects when fighting off imperial invaders such as the Japanese in the 1930’s and the Spanish in the 1560’s even though they were up against more sophisticated weapons such as metal swords and sabres.

Fighting off invaders is not the main intention of Lishi Daoist practice. The lessons learned by gaining skills in these implements help us understand ourselves and others. They’re also a lot of fun 🙂

We are running a couple of weekend workshops in Junefor anyone who would like to get to grips with the ancient moves of Lishi Daoist Stick and Staff work.

 

 

waiyii lishi leeds tai chi madeinleedstv still
Lishi Leeds Tai Chi Teacher featured on Made in Leeds TV Show

Did you miss the recent Made in Leeds Tv show known as “The Book It List”? It’s on freeview Channel 7 and it featured our Lishi Leeds University Tai Chi class.

They were keen to learn more about why Lishi Leeds Tai Chi is a great form of exercise for young people wanting to get fit, keep calm and get confident.

Watch the clip below…

 

9 Classes across Leeds, 6 days of the week catering for all ages and abilities.

Join a friendly community of people taking positive steps to create a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Learn Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation and Self Defense. All our teachers have over ten years experience and are fully qualified in how to teach beginners courses all the way up to advanced level.

“It is an amazing system that I’ve benefited from in many ways including stress-relief, strength, balance, focus, overall health and by experiencing things I didn’t know I could do or feel.”

Ben - Musician (Leeds)

 

LOOK WITHIN

Weekly Tai Chi classes will teach you the basics and take you on a journey of self-discovery.

We use the physical body as the focus for mindful exercise and moving meditation.

Our structured and internationally recognised programme of leadership development will rapidly build your capability and confidence.

Guided meditations, online courses and in-depth blogs provide you with ways to explore how Lishi Leeds Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation and Self Defense can help you build a strong foundation of calm confidence.

``Lishi has a positive effect on every area of my life: my body is healthier and fitter, my emotions and thoughts are calmer and my mind is more alert.``

Laura - Community Worker (Leeds)

 

THE LISHI LIFESTYLE

In addition to the weekly classes we run there are also weekend workshops, a chang ming cookbook, an online video course, a best-selling book on Daoism and winter retreats in the sun.

The wealth of opportunities to learn and practice Tai Chi in Leeds and learn Tai Chi at home give you the opportunity to experience a life of flow in harmony with the ancient principles of Daoism.

We call this the Lishi Lifestyle.

 

The Lishi Journey - Why Do Lishi?

The Lishi Journey - What is Lishi?

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