Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Antique Collectable Boot Fair Finds by Angie Wood

Well here we are into Spring 2015 with the new season of Car Boot Fairs and Antique Markets ahead of us with up at dawn or possibly a little earlier cold mornings. Thursdays will be Strawberry Fields at Bridlington from 6am onwards. Then Sunday on to Leberston car boot then possibly Pickering Show Ground Car Boot if the weather is not so good and not many stalls at Leberston as Pickering is indoors.
Have got my woolly hat, gloves, boots and rucksack ready with plenty of plastic bags to fill up with all those great finds.
Bridlington 02 April I found a great Prettywell Pen and Ink Well Stand in Bakelite with round ink well (a little chip on rim), a wonderful set of A T Faber Castell Clutch retractable balance illustrators pencils, some odd little Christmas cracker tin whistles, Printed silk pictures of "Queen of the Belgians and President Poincare" must admit had never herd of this guy before, so looked him up on Wikipedia, I am now a little wiser and have to just master remembering him and what he did. Also a lovely little pocket Discount and Commission Tables book, we are so privileged to have computers, how did it all work! and not forgetting about "Eric The Brave" Avon Soap, one of those unused Christmas gifts in the 70's. Great collection of Tin Whistles that most will have come out of Christmas crackers and lucky dip bags. Then popped into an old tin like this one from Macintosh's Quality Streets after all the sweets have been eaten.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Making Time for T'ai Chi

TIME for Tai Chi,
Its time to practise Tai Chi
Having time to practise Tai Chi
Fitting things in so I can do my T’ai Chi
Making Time for Tai Chi
Using the word Time in connection with T’ai Chi should be thought about in more than just a clock as to count away the hours, minutes or seconds but as space as in using a part of space for the purpose to practice T’ai Chi, taking hold of time and mastering the surrounding space you take up with your practise and what you do with it.
So we practise T’ai Chi in a soft slow and controlled way taking time to do what we want, go where we want, so moving time to only go as fast or as slow to our movement in perfect control.

Have you ever been in an incident where you have seen something happen and it is as if you saw it in slow motion as if time stood still for you?  Well the clock did not stop ticking for you for that incident but because you were there totally and completely with your whole been , feeling, seeing , smelling, hearing every single part of the incident, making such an impact on your mind and body that you can remember every single split second.
This is as we should be when moving in T’ai Chi.
Totally in the time and space we are using.

Angie Wood Scarborough Autumn November 2014 UK

All settling down to colder days having to wear warmer clothes, even purchased new thermal socks at Marks and Spencers, turning on the heating and thinking how to economise on this for the winter months , crunching through the leaves, seeing the twinkling lights come on in the evening.
Reading Mandelas Long Road to Freedom. Thinking back to days younger on listening to the news broadcasts as this is unfolded over years and how peoples lives can be so different but connected at the same time.
Passing thoughts to plans for Christmas, spending with our daughter Siobhain in Manchester.
Treating the outside while the inside reaps the benefits.
Small ways we can help our body to help itself while performing everyday tasks.

On doing our daily care of the body or ablutions as we wash our skin, if we become mindful of the action of washing and apply our minds to the doing of the action with intention and actually feel the action of one hand touching and doing something for the other part of the body like a massage of the skin then with slightly more pressure and mindfulness we can use the washing to activate our internal system so the inside reaps the benefits of an external action. 
This can be applied to drying, washing  and applying creams and make-up to the body. 
If you want to take it one step further and really help the body, make sure you wash and dry with the action of stimulating or sedating the body in the correct manner and places that need this by following the flow of the energies of the body. To activate or stimulate the upper body while doing our daily care, move the hand from the inside upper arm to down around the fingers and back up the outside arm to up and over the shoulder, to calm and sedate the upper body reverse the action. 
The lower body move the hand down the outside of the leg around the foot then back up the inside of the leg up to the abdomen, again to calm or sedate the lower body reverse the action.

Most of the time you would want to stimulate in the morning and sedate in the evening.
Do one action to create action in another place.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

February 2015 Scarborough UK

Scalby Table Top Fairs Scarborough
Boot Fair Pickering

Looking into the Principles of T'ai Chi

1, Keep your body erect.

Begin with the spine as the leader moving it like a string of pearls, tucking the pelvis in and down, with the Tan Tien in the centre which then in turn can direct the arms and legs. Eyes looking forward and out so you can see all-around in any direction and the mind can look back in so you can feel what is happening inside the body so it is erect without hardness and soft without sloppiness. Maintaining your balance by using the three points of pressure off the feet against the floor, the ball of the big toe the ball off the little toe and the back edge of the heel, firm with intent of been.

Upright and honesty in yourself and to yourself.

2, Everything about you should be completely relaxed especially the mind.

Opening and emptying the body and mind letting go of any tension so we are relaxed, composed, alert, aware and ready to move with ease in any direction, using less energy burning less oxygen. Making sure we are without having any pre conceived set mind to what will happen next and are in this moment only, not thinking about the past or future just relaxed and ready.

Now looking forward to lighter nights and warmer days

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Focus in Tai Chi

Focus in Tai Chi

We use the term focus in many different ways in the practice of T’ai Chi.

In the early stages of our practice we use the term "focus the eyes into the near distance". By focusing your eyes into the near distance you let go of intent control of the body so the muscles in the body can loosen and soften relaxing the joints and becoming more flexible, giving us greater balance and support while using less oxygen giving us more energy, the mind can clear, calming the monkey chatter making us aware of our orientation in space, so we can pay more attention to the inside feel of the body cultivating inner awareness and calm.
So by focusing your eyes outward you actually bring your attention inwards on yourself.
Doing less but giving us more effortless power.

Then when we move further into our T'ai Chi practice we focus on the alignment and position of the body so we know where each hand and foot comes from and where it is going to, transferring weight from one side of the body to the other side, coordinating the body and connecting with our breath by been present and as one, so we are in tune with each movement giving our body a full workout strengthening the body releasing stress and anxiety.

Further along we focus on the expansion and movement of the energy of the body so as each heel, ball of foot then toes come in touch with the ground we move the energy from the earth up through and around the body opening and closing the meridian pathways as it passes through the body and out of the hands to where it is needed connecting each move with the next as one long continuous silk thread giving us meditation in motion.

Then we can give total focus to absolute precision timing, moving the energy around so it cannot be seen where the energy is coming from or where it is going to, connecting the earth and heaven through the body giving us vital energy and life force with moving but not moving, having complete inner strength and stillness.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Grounding and Centering

In studying Tai Chi we use the word grounding or centring oneself, this is a phrase used to help us come back to our inner body and feel where we are at this present moment in time letting go of everything that is not needed.

Breath IN

Standing hip or shoulder width apart with our toes pointing directly forwards, feeling the three main points on the soles of our feet, which are the back edge of the heel, the ball of the little toe and the ball of the big toe, feeling each part as we press our feet firmly to the floor.

Then up to our knees slightly bending them both relaxing them letting go of any tension, then up through the hips feeling them sit directly above the knees making sure they do not tilt backwards or forwards, tucking in the tail bone. Up the spine to the shoulders letting each arm relax down at each side keeping the shoulders square above the hips, making sure we do not let them fall forwards or pull them backwards. Then finally to the head gently pulling the chin in so the crown of the head lifts up.

Breath OUT

Letting go of anything that is not needed.

Relax then start all over again if needed.