20 October 2020

Tooting class with Mark still running

Hi all, the classes in Tooting and Hampton Court including tonight's session are still running complying with all the government's guidelines. Exercise classes are still allowed, we have excellent social distancing, ventilation, hand gel and hand wash facilities. Feel free to wear masks. 

I am away for a day or two and will see you all next week. Zoom short form class continues tomorrow.

14 October 2020

New lessons up on Dropbox and Tooting news

Today's Zoom lesson has everything done with the rear view, as though you were at class with me at the front, by request. Hope this is helpful. I have labelled rear view and today's date for ease of finding. 

Outdoor session yesterday was postponed by heavy rain, and I am away for the next two weeks. Two student shave offered their large back gardens which have side access, for us to have sessions on a Tuesday afternoon, when I am in Tooting anyway. So I will arrange this soon and plan provisionally to begin on 3rd November. More on that soon. 

If you are using the weekly Zoom class recordings, they are £5 each, whether live or recorded, as these are weekly ongoing classes with much prep by me re changing topics, progressing skills, new postures taught and questions answered. All our other resources are free to use / by discretionary contribution. Janet has asked for Mark and I to record a much slower film of the dance partnerwork, and solo parts. We will do that soon. Get in touch with other requests.

07 October 2020

121s with Caro

Folks have asked if they can have 121s so that they can get on with their Short Form, or advanced things they are working on. I am not able to do lessons in-person where I live at the moment, but I am happy to do sessions via Skype or Zoom. If there's something you'd like to look at or ask, just get in touch. I am also happy to do short 1/2 hr sessions, working on one main thing, so that you don't have to endure too much screen time, but can get the detail to help you on what you are working on, whether a posture, a quality, some principle, or whatever. Get in touch. It'll be £10 per 1/2hr. 

I thought it would take me longer to get settled and ready to do this, but it seems a week in the woods works magic on me. It always does, not sure I should be so surprised! Pics soon. 

Tooting outdoor T'ai Chi meet up news

I have just uploaded today's lesson to the Dropbox for those studying Short Form, or those who would find it useful. Talking to the class, the problem of 'mirroring' or not mirroring is tricky, which way are we facing? and so on. These problems arise when we have not been able to consolidate things in person in class, by moving together as a group, and getting the forms in our body mind and muscle memory. It is important to remember how challenging it is to learn online something as rich and complex as T'ai Chi, and that you are all doing really well. It's good to get the body moving, and many of the benefits of T'ai Chi simply come from doing the movements, as best we can.

However, to help move things along here is a possibility. The lido pavilion is still not available for classes. Zumba is running outdoors at the pool, but rain is always possible, so it's not an option for me to regularly hire the outdoors space there on a Wednesday morning. However, I am now back in Tooting on Tuesday evenings to study and assist with my teacher. I could certainly spend an hour doing T'ai Chi in the park near the lido carpark. It would not be 'a lesson' (this is not allowed by the park authorities). However, we can do socially distanced T'ai Chi together, in our warm clothes. It would be great to see whoever came along, and for you to get the form back in your bodies. Then we could discuss ways forward to meet outdoors in person. Perhaps someone will have a suitable garden with a side entrance. I am sure something will turn up. Of course, as I am the opposite of a hard marketeer, I do not even have everyone's email addresses from class, being firmly of the 'if they want to come, they'll turn up' school of thought. So if you are reading this and know that old colleagues from the class are not in the Whatsapp or email list, please let people know about this blog post and the planned first meet up next week. All Mark's students are obviously very welcome too.

If no one turns up, I shall do a form, then head to my brother's for tea! Here's the details.

T'ai Chi Short Form informal meet up session 4-5pm, 13th October 2020, within sight of the lido carpark, wherever the ground feels not too boggy! It will run unless heavy rain falls. I will find a good spot... Wrap up warm, especially hats or ear-warmers, bring a flask of tea if you like! We'll make plans for future sessions and outdoor venue. Wear a mask if you like, we won't be touching and will keep 2m distanced. Any contributions will be entirely up to you. See you there!

06 October 2020

London and online classes

I am back from the woods and looking forward to seeing folks at Mark's class tonight.

Tuesday class continues in Tooting, 7-9pm, with social distancing measures. Feel free to wear a mask too if you prefer. Hand gel is available and we have plenty of room to stay apart yet work together. It's really been great sticking together in our movements as a group. Sure, it doesn't make up for not being able to push hands and touch, but still it's great to outreach and work together like this. Class costs £15 / £10 concs.

Thursday class at Hampton Court 7-9.30pm is available but needs booking by phone or text in advance. If three people book the class can run. Get in touch with Mark to book it. Class costs £15.

121s are always available in person or on Skype with Mark. Cost by arrangement. 

The Wednesday morning Zoom Short Form class is open to all my or Mark's students. Just get in touch and I will send you the link by email and Whatsapp. The class is uploaded onto our Dropbox afterwards, so it can be used later. Either live or recorded, the weekly classes cost £5. I have just uploaded a lesson which includes warm-ups, chi kung set, 5 elements, front heart salutation and a full short form, File is called 'Zoom Short Form Lesson 2020 09 30'. There is minimal speaking and no teaching, so you may well find it a nice relaxing change! It is perfect for use as guided timing for an hour of solo or group short form level practice. If you download it for use with others, please let me know, as our videos are only for use within the schools.

Get in touch if you have any requests of this for Mark or myself to record. Thanks for your continued study, contributions for our teaching, and all round goodwill. See you soon. 

24 September 2020

woods ahoy

 I am off to the woods for a week. I may not have any signal, who knows? See you after 2nd October. Mark's classes continue next week on Tuesday in Tooting, Hampton Court on Thursday if people book by Tuesday, and 121s by appointment and on Skype.

Thursday class in Hampton Court cancelled tonight

 Due to just one person booking. It will run  next week if there is demand. Please contact Mark by next Tuesday if you'd like to come along. 

23 September 2020

Lots of news

Zoom classes are ongoing and are all online, including today's class. Join us on Wednesday mornings or download and use at your own leisure, £5 per session. Get in touch for links. I am recording a special class for next week as I will be in the woods on Wednesday... more details soon.

Students studying online, or stuck at home, if there is a resource you would like me or Mark to record, please get in touch, for instance, a form filmed from behind, a mirror image of something... let me know and I will try to sort that within a fortnight. 

Mark's Tuesday classes resumed last night, 7-9pm at Trinity Church Tooting Large Hall. We had social distancing, hand gel, so much space and room, plus all windows and doors open. Masks were won by whoever wished to do so and we followed all church guidelines, the person responsible for safety at the halls visited us and was happy with the set up. You are very welcome to join us, and classes will continue as long as it is allowed by the church, who check guidelines daily and are responsible for the hall use. Each class is just cash / e-payment on the night £15 / £10, as we do not know if 'terms' will resume for some time. Everyone's safety is our concern, so we fully understand those who do not feel able to come. You are welcome to book a socially distanced 121 with Mark, or a Skype lesson if that appeals. It is also still warm enough to practice outside, so if you'd like to meet up at 2-3m distance in a park to do form, that would be ideal. Mark can also teach outside. (I am still not teaching 121s until the spring.)  

On a personal note, it was just so brilliant to be moving in a room sticking to other people's movements. It was great to see everyone and to smile and laugh together. I missed you all!

Thursday class at Hampton Court will run weekly from tomorrow 7-9.30pm. Contact Mark to book a place. The class will run as long as it is legal and safe to do so. 

We were just about to organise an alternative Aberdeenshire workshop venue when the rules changed yet again yesterday regarding Covid. Mark and Davina will be talking very soon and we will post a definitive message here this week. Sadly we have just heard that the October workshops and 121s have been cancelled due to renewed Covid restrictions. Thanks to Davina for all her hard work on the admin side finding alternatives. Mark will arrange something in Scotland as soon as conditions allow it. 

Thanks to all who have been contributing to Mark and myself during this time, and to those paying for lessons. Banks transfers are best as Mark has had some Paypal issues. get in touch if you need either of our bank details. 

18 September 2020

Classes with Mark resume in London

On Tuesday at Trinity Hall 7-9pm and Thursday at Hampton Court Studio 6.30-10pm.

Educational activity is not affected by the rule of six. The Tuesday hall is huge and spacious, all current guidelines will be followed.

The smaller Thursday venue will have only 5 students, please call Mark to book your spot. All his students are welcome to this class. It is a 10 minute walk from Hampton Court train station and there is parking 5 minutes away.

I am off to the sea to blow out the cobwebs of what has been possibly one of the most challenging 6 months of my adult life. I have been practising Heartwork everyday for weeks now first thing in the morning, and what a difference that has made. I will post pictures from my practice places next week, but for now, adieu friends, and see some of you next week, I hope. I send the very best wishes to you from the great river. 

11 September 2020

Marks classes resume in a week

We have checked with the Trinity Hall and Government guidelines and with hygiene and social distancing rules, T'ai Chi can indeed commence on Tuesday 22nd September at Trinity Church Large Hall in Tooting from 7-9pm. Please come promptly if you can, Class will cost £15 (if you need a concession just ask) paid each week rather than by term for now, due to possibility of sudden lockdown interfering with terms. In October if enough students have returned, classes will run 7-10pm, and then extend to their normal length in November or December.

Thursday class at the studio near Hampton Court resumes on Thursday 24th September 7-10pm and continues weekly. Class costs £15. To maintain correct gathering size, there are 5 spaces for students in each class. Please text Mark directly by Monday evening to book your space each week. Mark will conform your place by text.

121s are available with Mark in person and by Skype, just get in touch with him for details. If you don't have Mark's number, email me at caroline at great river taichi dot co dot uk and I will give it to you. 

The October workshop in Scotland should still be running this year, but we are awaiting updates as the Covid situation in Scotland is fluid. Keep an eye on this blog for updates.

All current students are welcome to Caroline's weekly 1hr Short Form class 9-10am Wednesdays live on Zoom, drop me a line for the link, £5 per session. This week's class has just been uploaded onto our Dropbox. Folks who can't attend at the scheduled time use it as a recording later. If you are using these lessons at whatever time, you can pay easily by Paypal or bank transfer. We do the warm up set, chi kung, salutations, five elements and form, looking at a new posture each week. 

09 September 2020


Due to the new Government guidelines, we will need another day to go through them and discuss things with Trinity Church Hall regarding Mark's classes. Should have details about this, Thursday group at Hampton Court and other study groups by the weekend, staying within guidelines. 

Thanks to all who attended The Short Form class which started again on Zoom today but I have not yet had time to upload it onto our Dropbox. Will do so in the morning. Today I went into London for the first time since March. It was sad to see the Southbank Centre quiet, with no free lunchtime concerts, no gallery visitors. But it was great to see Jonathan!

08 September 2020

Zoom Short Form class with Caro resumes tomorrow morning

 I have just sent out the invitations by email and whatsapp. Let me know if you'd like to join. Details on the right hand sidebar on the full web version of this blog. See you tomorrow! Caro