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

03 September 2020

Great news, Mark's classes will resume this September

Mark's classes at Trinity Large Church Hall, Tooting will resume on Tuesday 22nd September at 7pm. All students from whatever class are welcome and Covid-19 compliant procedures will be in place, with hand gel, and new guidelines re the toilets and tea break. I am currently assembling a risk assessment for the hall, but as badminton and other face to face groups are meeting in the halls, we were invited to return. I will post face covering guidelines here once Mark has decided on details. As the hall is large and well ventilated, social distancing is completely possible. We shall have another good reason to practice our sticking to each other at a distance.

At first, the September sessions will be 7-9pm, as Mark wishes to ease himself back into teaching after his recovery. There will be no partner work in these sessions, just group 'solo' practice: Warm ups, Heartwork, Forms, etc.

In October classes will run from 7-10pm, and hopefully from November or early December we will return to 6.30-10.30pm. I will post revised class prices as soon as I have them. Weapons study will resume as soon as Mark feels able to teach it.

If you are able to come along for the first class on 22nd September at 7pm we would be so glad to see you. It has been a difficult time for many, and the weekly dose of friendly faces and T'ai Chi together has been sorely missed by all. Mark is really looking forward to seeing everyone and I do hope you can join us. We may not be able to hug each other hello yet, but we can at least spend some quality time in each other's company. 

Best wishes to you all. Get in touch with any queries.

26 August 2020

Classes this autumn with Mark and Caroline

Mark is waiting to hear back from Trinity Church to see if classes can go ahead on a Tuesday night in Tooting again, and under what protocols. We should know very soon and will post here as soon as possible. 

121s with Mark resume next week and you can book one by calling and texting him direct. If you don't have his number, just drop me a line at caroline at greatrivertaichi dot co dot uk and I will send it to you. Small groups are also possible in Mark's T'ai Chi studio, which is easily kept clean and is not used by anyone else. If you are already meeting up with a couple of T'ai Chi friends, and would like to book a session for up to three of you to study together here, that's totally possible. Just get in touch. 

I will be moving home next week, so for the foreseeable will not be teaching 121s. The Tooting Lido Pavilion class is sadly still not resuming, as the space apparently does not meet the correct ventilation requirements (bizzare, as its huge doors and windows literally open onto the poolside). The space is currently being used for storage and pool staff so they can have socially distanced breaks. Perhaps after the public swimming season ends, and only SLSC members can use it, fewer staff will be present at one time and the venue can resume its movement classes and kids' events. I hope so. It was a lovely short form class. 

Meanwhile I will start teaching this class online again starting next Wednesday 2nd September 9-10am, as planned. All students of Mark and mine are welcome to join in this hour-long class comprising warmups, chi kung, Short Form and questions. We look at a new posture each week or two. We are at Golden Rooster stands on one Leg. The class costs £5 and is also available afterwards on the Dropbox for those who cannot attend at 9am. I hang out online for 15 mins afterwards for those who have any questions or who would like to catch up and chat. I can't tell you what room will be the background yet, but wifi gods allowing, it could be my new boat...

Aberdeenshire classes are subject to different rules, and the instructors will post here when they have details. Very best wishes to all who read this. Mark is doing really well and is almost completely recovered. Thanks for all the good wishes. Caro.

05 August 2020

Looking forward

I have formally handed-on my regular Aberdeenshire teaching responsibilities to our teacher, Master Mark Raudva, who is looking forward to teaching there from October. Now that I have contacted all my Scottish students in person, I would like to say here what a great pleasure and privilege it has been to teach such great students over the years and to get to know and spend time with such wonderful people. I shall still be coming to the October workshop, and will see folks when they are studying down south. I am available by email and phone, and will keep this blog and the website running, as Great River T'ai Chi is by no means ending. Wherever any of us teach or practice, that's Great River. Those who may be able to return to instructing after Covid measures change, just let me know, and we'll put it online. (I will update and renew the website in September).

As most of you may know, the last year and a half have been full of external challenges, the kind of periods we all have at times, when despite being fine in oneself, difficult events seem to come thick and fast, leaving no time to recover in between. It's fine, and not a calamity, like those effecting so many I know, through death of a loved one, illness or injury. Practice, nature, family and friends have been true wellsprings of support, thanks to everyone who has reached out to me in this time. 

I will be taking at least a year off teaching advanced T'ai Chi groups and 121s. Due to Covid, I am unlikely to travel to Sweden for the foreseeable future, so do not know what the future holds for teaching the small group of advanced students in Gothenburg. I will keep abreast of the travel rules and changes of advice. My plan is to spend a great amount of time in the woods and at the huts on the coast, to rest in Tao and do non-doing. It is also an opportunity to practice T'ai Chi 'just for myself', rather than as part of a conveyor belt of learning to share with others, however wonderful that is. This will be a first for me since 2002.

In September I hope to resume teaching the 1hr Short Form class at Tooting Bec Lido again on Wednesday mornings. However, there is as yet no opening date for the venue, and emails to them go unanswered. So for now, I will be teaching online again by Zoom 9-10am from 2nd September, unless I post otherwise here. There are email and Whatsapp groups for the weekly invitation to this. If you are a student of mine, Mark's or used to study with John Kells or his other instructors, you are so welcome to join us for chi Kung, T'ai Chi and warm ups. Just get in touch via caroline at greatrivertaichi dot co dot uk. The class costs £5 per week, and the video is uploaded to the school's Dropbox or can be sent by email, for those who are not free at 9am, but would like to do the class at their own leisure. Lastly, there are plenty of study resources on the Dropbox, get in touch if you need the code, as it's for our students only. 

Have a wonderful late summer, full of fruitfulness and warmth. I send my best wishes from the great river, in this case, literally, as I am standing in my boat, looking out over the Thames. 

24 July 2020

Summer greetings

Today would have been the start of the T'ai Chi Centre 15th Annual summer intensive. In lieu of this, may Mark and I take this chance to wish everyone a great summer. 

In August we'll post here the start dates of Mark's public classes which will resume again in September, Covid allowing. 

My public classes in Tooting may resume in September, but so far I cannot get any reply from the lido pavilion, so I have no news as yet. In the meantime I will plan to resume the weekly Zoom classes in September, dates and times will be here as soon as I know. There are no more Zoom classes this July due to ongoing circumstances, and I always take August off.

Best wishes to all who read this! Enjoy outdoor practice. 

14 July 2020

Summer news

Mark is recovering very well, you'll be glad to hear, and was fishing today. He caught a PB Barbel, which I saw. Huge...

This is the first July in 15 years that I have not been planning the summer workshop. It feels strange not be be getting ready to meet up with all the T'ai Chi posse, from near and far. Mark and I send our very best wishes to you all. We are hoping September brings in-person classes and workshops back into possibility. 

Wednesday classes online continue until the end of July, get in touch by email or text from www.greatrivertaichi.co.uk if you want the Zoom login details to join us live at 9am each Wednesday. The lessons, along with all our resources, are available at our schools' private Dropbox, get in touch for links. 

08 July 2020

News 8th July 2020

Thanks to all who have sent best wishes to Mark for his recovery. He is doing really well.

I am just uploading today's Short Form lesson to Dropbox right now. Classes continue online each Wednesday morning in July. We break for August as usual, but in the meantime I will record a lesson that you can play to have an hour's practice anytime. Of course you can replay any of the 13 weeks sessions so far any time too. I will also do some little stand alone sessions on Chi Kung and Five Elements, Warm ups and and so on, for folks to practice along with. 

Any suggestions gladly received. 
Have a great week.