Review of the “Healing Dao” course, october – december 2016.
What was your primary reason for taking this Healing Tao course?
Well, I have done Qi Gong a little bit before and always enjoyed it. But the reasons for doing it now would be for building up a sense of calmness and relaxation. Just trying to build a steadiness in my life, in my general life.
Did you have any views or feelings before about Qi Gong before you started this course?
Somehow I always found it relaxing. I always found it did me good, in terms of relaxing.
And it is the same now.
But it is giving me a great deal more in terms of the exercise element of stretching as well. I get a lot more out of that, as a physical fitness and health aspect.
This Qi Gong is exercise for both my body and my mind. It combines physical and mental/emotional well-being in a way which I don’t think I could find in gym exercises.
What was your experience with the group and the difference it made for you?
For me there have been two aspects. I like Tom’s teaching, and I like the fact that we are cohesive as a group really.
The same people come, it feels right, the atmosphere feels good. It’s the same people each week, we are all relaxed with each other, and I feel more and more relaxed as well.
I think it makes a big difference. It has built into a proper little group. And we get into the vibe quicker.
Could you describe to a newcomer how this course is taught? What they can expect?
The teaching is very, very clear, and very confident. But very relaxed at the same time.
As I said, with the group Tom has become more and more relaxed and confident in his teaching as well.
I never have any doubt, even though some exercises can be difficult, of what I have to do, when he explains to us what the movements are. I would really recommend it to people.
Also, it is gentle but strong – not aggressive or pushing – and makes me want to look after my health. Other exercises sometimes seem to approach health and fitness as a punishment.
I like its grace and fluidity – again unlike gym-type exercise. I like its gentle repetitive rhythm.
Describe the teacher (yes, even the irritating part) :
It is pretty much what I just said. I have done Qi Gong before. The last teacher was great but I don’t know what it is with this class: I am just feeling very clear and confident about what I am doing.
As well as being clear he is also observant of what is happening with everybody which I think is very good. I have never mentioned it to him, and of course it is obvious, but I have a curved back but he mentioned it the other day. He notices what is going on with people.
Again that’s a confidence in him, because if he would be worried about what he is doing and how he’s putting it accross, he can’t see what is going on in the group. So I feel confident in Tom’s hands, if you like. He knows a great deal about what he is doing, and clearly has a solid background in it.
And as well as being clear and serious about his work, he brings a lightness and gentleness – and jokes!!
For you, how does this course compare with other courses of Qi Gong, meditation and yoga for you? What is unique about this class?
Well, I prefer Qi Gong to yoga, I really can’t answer why exactly, but I do. I did Qi Gong for some years in Manchester but that was complétely different, completely different really. Not as good as this at all. It was just a very different teacher. She was lovely and great and we had great fun but it was all very fast. Not like Qi Gong really, I felt, now that I have experienced other things.
I don’t go to meditation class. I did in Manchester, to a buddhist meditation, but that was very different again anyway. Very, very different styles. So, I don’t go to any other exercise classes now. I have never been a big exerciser.
What specific feature did you like most about this course?
It’s hard to answer that really, I get something out of each of the exercices really, but I can’t say about any particular parts.
What would you say are the biggest benefits of this course for you?
Some things that happened in the past few years, and I would say that it’s more in the last couple of months that I have been feeling better with myself. I like to think that there are different elements to that, and within that I put the Qi Gong. I’m just feeling calmer. It’s encouraging to do my meditation every day, to keep up going to the walking group, it’s just all coming together in that sense.
A couple of times I have gone out of this class… I can remember one particular day, when I had a very, very restless day, and I walked up the road a different person. I know this sounds exaggerated, but it was incredible. I was so calm, but not floating and high, I was just incrédibly calm, I was standing tall, I was relaxed and confident.
A similar thing happened, certainly after one of the other classes, but I always feel better afterwards. So for me it has encouraged me to want to keep doing things, to want to keep at this because it’s a good way of life. So yes, I find it really, really good.
How did the extra online material of the exercises help (if it did)?
If I would have looked at them and done them they would have helped but I have not done it yet, but I will.
Would you recommend this course to others? If yes: for any reason in particular?
It benefits your general outlook, on the way you live your life really.
And you will be in good secure hands doing it. You will feel sure that the whole thing is all of a piece, as it were.
Did you find the course hard at times? Mentally? Physically?
Some of the streches were physically difficult, not mentally no, just physically, which is to be expected. Exercise classes are meant to stretch.
Are you considering signing up for another course?
What advice would you give to people who are looking to join a Qi Gong class? What do they need to look for in a QiGong course, based on what you know now?
They need to look for a confident teacher who knows exactly what he’s doing, who is clear, and who’s observant.
And who brings the group together. Somehow Tom managed, I don’t know how this has happened, but very often when a group starts it falls off, but this has pretty much stayed together now. There is something good there that has worked.
Did you feel like there was something missing from the course? If so, what?
No nothing, I can’t think of anything. I am just content. I was saying to somebody the other day, “I’ll go to Qi Gong early to give a little feedback”, and I said “I don’t know what I can say except ‘I love it, love it, love it!’ ” And that was genuine. I am just very happy, that’s all.