Sunday, 18 December 2016

Being still is a moving experience

“Do you have the patience to wait
Till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
Till the right action arises by itself?”

from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu translated by Stephen Mitchell

We stood, we sat, we played, we moved and laughed and ate together. We experienced glimpses of experiencing the patience to wait until the mud settled and the water became clear.  We had a wonderful day of 'Being Tai Chi'.

If you would like to know more about Heartland Tai Chi School please contact Alan.

A glimpse of Birlingham Church from the Village Hall.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Christmas Break - Dates

It's not long now until Christmas and I've already had people asking me about dates for next term, so here are some dates for your diary!

Evening classes
Mondays at the Grove School, Malvern - last class Monday, 19th December.   Restarting on Monday, 9th January 2017.
Tuesdays at Fort Royal School, Worcester  - last class Tuesday, 20th December.   Restarting on Tuesday, 10th January 2017.
Thursdays at Fort Royal School, Worcester  - last class Thursday, 22nd December.   Restarting on Thursday, 5th January 2017.

Day-time classes
Tuesdays at Holy Trinity Hall, Malvern  - last class Tuesday, 20th December.   Restarting on Tuesday, 10th January 2017.
Wednesdays at St George’s Magdalene Hall,  Worcester  - last class Wednesday, 21st December.   Restarting on Wednesday, 11th January 2017.
Thursdays at Birlingham Village Hall, Birlingham near Pershore  - last class Thursday, 15th December.   Restarting on Thursday, 5th January 2017.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Being Tai Chi, Saturday 3rd December, Birlingham Village Hall.

Saturday, 3rd December, Birlingham Village Hall, near Pershore, WR10 3AB, 10.00 - 4.30 pm.

This Tai Chi workshop comes as we head into winter proper. It is a timely opportunity to slow down and connect with our inner resources in a gentle, playful and alive way.
Tai Chi is often called the art of moving meditation and throughout this day we will have opportunities to experience the meditative qualities of Tai Chi alongside the relaxation afforded by inviting the body to move without strain.

This day is an opportunity to recognise the speed of everyday life, to soften into the present and to re-connect with the natural qualities of our being which we so often fail to recognise and appreciate.  Through movement, guided reflection and relaxation, this day will invite you to trust the gentle heart of your being.

'When we soften what is too tight and fill what is too empty, what is revealed is a dynamic state of relaxed-aliveness. This is the experience of Tai Chi'.

The day is suitable for all, whether you have much experience of Tai Chi or none, so please share this with friends and colleagues.

How to book your place
Payment for my workshops  involves a booking deposit of £25 followed by an additional payment or none at the event.  I hope that this enables people to participate in this event and to pay according both to their circumstances and also to their appreciation.

I calculate that the comparable value for this all-day workshop to be £55 and ask you for a £25 booking deposit.  Prior booking is required and needs to be made before Monday, 21st November.

Please make any cheques payable to Heartland and send to:
Alan Smith, 111 Victoria Avenue, Worcester WR5 1EE.
Payment by BACS is also possible - just contact me for details.

Tea and refreshments will be provided throughout the day. Please bring a simple contribution towards a vegetarian lunch.
It's possible to arrange lift sharing. Please let me know if you need or can offer a lift.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Tai Chi in the Park

A big thank you from Heartland Tai Chi to all of you who braved the chilly weather and came to Gheluvelt Park today for an hour of playful Tai Chi. There were around 20 of us, including a dog and a toddler, both of whom contributed to a relaxed atmosphere! Hope to see you again soon.
Alan demonstrating the art of safe squatting during the Five Elements Chi Kung exercise.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Tai Chi in the Park now Sunday 23rd Oct

Hi everyone, well, yesterday was a washout and then a beautifully sunny day!

In view of the early downpour yesterday, we decided to postpone our free Tai Chi in the Park event until Sunday 23rd, 10.30-11.30.

As before, just turn up by the tennis courts in Gheluvelt Park and we'll be there for an hour of meditative movement. Hope to see you there!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Free Tai Chi in Gheluvelt Park, Sunday 16th October, 10.30-11.30

Sunday, 16th October
from 10.30am to 11.30am

Gheluvelt Park, Barbourne, Worcester

Tai Chi is designed to be practised in the open air and this is an opportunity to gather together with Alan and other Heartland Tai Chi students to play some Tai Chi together in Gheluvelt Park, Barbourne, Worcester.

This free event is open both to beginners and experienced Tai Chi players so please do spread the word.

We'll meet in the park near to the tennis courts.
Hopefully it will be a lovely autumnal morning but please do dress for the weather!

I hope you'll be able to come along.


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Being Fully Present

Being fully present comes with the relaxation into open, soft attention.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The closest things are most hidden

The art of Tai Chi invites us to change the way we attend to the world and to ourselves.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Tai Chi Tip #4

Invite yourself to feel the natural enjoyment of moving without forcing anything. Imagine your spine as a vertical line of pearls, gently suspended from above, sinking into the ground, flexible yet aligned.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Tai Chi Tip #3

Expanding our awareness to extend all around our body with soft attention enables us to become more present and awake.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Tai Chi Tip #2

Allow your natural breath to breathe itself. Gently notice when you're holding your breath and invite yourself to breathe out naturally.

Tai Chi Tip #1

Inviting the feet to soften and sink into the ground as if it were warm sand brings our awareness into our body.
This enables us to begin to move with our body rather than doing something to it.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Tai Chi for Living Well

Become as still as a mountain, move like a great river.

All my Heartland Tai Chi classes will soon be re-starting so I hope you'll be able to join me.
If you've never experienced Tai Chi before then arrange to have a free taster session by coming to one of my Tai Chi for Living Well classes.  You can find details of all my Tai Chi classes on

Tai Chi is suitable for people of all ages and is a wonderful way to gently strengthen the body and calm the mind. The slow, graceful movements are a powerful antidote to the stresses of living in the 21st century whilst improvements to balance give a sense of confidence and stability.

As it says in the ancient classics, 'Become as still as a mountain, move like a great river.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Tai Chi Magic

The magic of Tai Chi: a student's perspective.

"This evening I arrived at Tai Chi feeling internally small, crumpled and vulnerable. Because I've been going to Alan's classes for a long time, I did know it was ok to go to the class in that state of mind - I knew it was a safe place.

As we started warming up, all I could manage was to try to do the exercises initially just as I was, and then after a while to help me feel my feet, to help me feel some sense of being even a tiny bit rooted. I was not at all sure I wouldn't need to sit out much of the class at that point.

As the class progressed, I kept on just staying with it all, allowing the feeling of vulnerability, but letting it be, neither holding on to it nor pushing it away. Gradually, the familiar physical movements did their magic.

It seems to be some kind of alchemy combined of Alan’s Heartland approach; how I've learnt to ‘be’ in Tai Chi classes; how everyone is in the class – not competitive, but supportive and playful; what I've learned through Tai Chi about how I habitually approach things and how unhelpful that can be; how the movements take me to a place that is different, that allows something different to happen.

By the end of the evening I'm not sure how well I'd re-learnt the moves I'd studied years ago and forgotten, but I did feel completely different, no longer crumpled, no longer vulnerable, not small. I felt rooted, alive; I had gained a sense of perspective, and regained some belief in myself. I think Alan would say that this is Tai Chi. Or is it magic?"

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Summer Break

Tai Chi Squirrel - via Pinterest - Source
Heartland Tai Chi classes are taking a Summer break from Friday 22nd July to 1st September.

If you are interested in joining the classes when the new term starts just drop me an email.

Tai Chi Reduces Falling Risk


Recent research as shown that practicing Tai Chi reduces the risk of falling in older adults.

"Researchers have compared the effects of tai chi to leg strengthening exercises, a physical therapy called “lower extremity training,” or LET, in reducing falls. Falls are a leading cause of serious injuries in older adults and can lead to hospitalization, nursing home admission, and even death."

To read the original article from in full click HERE.


Welcome to the new look Heartland Tai Chi website. I'll be posting updates about news, new classes and workshops here on the blog.