On a cold nippy Saturday morning on 24 June 2023, a group of some 30 die hard Tai Chi enthusiasts gathered for a Park Lesson. There were students, Instructors and some absolute beginners all warmly rugged up waiting for the lesson to be delivered by Senior Master Chin Min.
The weather was cold and slightly breezy with a threat of a shower. The sun shone through periodically providing some warmth. Fortunately the showers did not occur and as Master Chin Min commented it has never rained during all his previous Park Lessons. (Let’s hope I have not jinxed it!!)
The morning started with Instructor Wayne from the Moonee Ponds Centre taking us through some gentle stretching exercises and some Shibashi Set 1 movements.
Master Chin Min then instructed us on some movements from the Daoyin 12 Movement Health Qigong.
The Qigong consisted of symmetrical bilateral arm and leg movements with stretches, rotations and bending of the spine. Some of the movements were complex. However all-in-all it was invigorating. Due to the constraint of time we only managed to do 7 movements with names such as:
1) Beginning of Heavens, Creation
2) Double Fish Hung on Wall
3) Old Horse Stabled
4) Ji Chang Shoots a Louse
5) Bending the Body to Brush the Shoes
6) Rhinoceros Gazes at the Moon
7) Lotus Flower Appears Above the Water
Hopefully we can complete the Set at future Park Lessons.
We then progressed to do some Traditional Yang Tai Chi. Master Chin Min explained the concept of “Song” in Tai Chi. In simple terms it means to “relax”. However, when simply relaxing the whole body would collapse and lose its structure. My interpretation of “Song” is to release and loosen the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons but maintaining a firm posture. This will allow the “Energy’ to sink to the Dan Tian and allow grounding. He stressed that the Basic is vitally important.
We then did Level 1 Tai Chi with explicit instructions and demonstrations by Master Chin Min which was followed up by practice. He also stressed the importance of hip (Kua) rotations and movements. After this short master class we separated into our various Tai Chi Levels to refine our moves.
The session ended with Master Chin Min giving a demonstration of the Tai Chi 32 Sword.
We were then provided with light refreshment provided by Keilor student Zenaida which was greatly appreciated by all especially after spending 2 hours in the cold. It also provided us with an opportunity to chat and network.
Thank you Senior Master Chin Min for the Lesson and more importantly to everyone who attended and made the Park Lesson a success.
I look forward to more Park Lessons in the Western suburbs in the future.
Keep practicing everyone.
Tsi Wai Kang, Assistant Instructor
My Tai Chi Experience
With the encouragement of my sister, I started at the Keilor Tai Chi just this year. I’m so glad that I finally did!
Not sure at all what to expect, I must say I really enjoyed it from the very start. With no idea on my first lesson, I was made to feel very welcome and I soon felt encouraged and able to relax into the flow, comfortable as a beginner, and forgetting all my own worries for that hour or so.
After my first lesson and experience with Tai Chi I felt sure I wanted to continue and can’t believe we are already into Term 4. Learning step by step, always building on the previous week’s learnings and in the very good hands of our Instructors, Jacquie, Siew and Tsi, I really am enjoying learning something new and beneficial for the mind and body.
I also attended the recent Park Lesson with Senior Master Chin Min and even with my very limited experience, I felt very welcomed there too; amazed at the Master’s skill and thankful for the opportunity. A great mixed group of friendly people to share the experience with.
I do some practice at home and look forward to each week to hone the learnings, ask questions and progress. It’s a sense of achievement to finally “get it” and be able to move through each movement to the next. I was unable to make it to a couple of lessons and was able to do a catch up class at Moonee Ponds. Thank you to Joy and Doreen for welcoming me and teaching me there too.
Thank you, Celestial Tai Chi College; I’m looking forward to continuing on the Tai Chi journey.
Mary N., Student
My Tai Chi Journey
I’m so grateful that Celestial Tai Chi found me. I only started at Keilor Centre in October of last year. My journey started some time earlier when I joined my local Community Centre for some lessons and was so lucky to reconnect with Siew Ang who was the Instructor there. I knew I was in very capable, caring hands immediately as we had been work colleagues many years previously.
Siew explained that she was affiliated with Celestial Tai Chi College and I was happy and keen to attend Keilor Centre lessons with Jacquie, Siew and Tsi Wai the Instructors there. Jacquie and Siew are especially patient and encouraging with new students.
The levels are challenging and sometimes a bit overwhelming but then slowly things start falling into place as we build on previous lessons.
There are so many subtle movements and considerations that it will always be a continuing learning experience which is good. Thank goodness for all the experience of our Instructors and the friendly group of students who are also quite encouraging.
The recent Park lesson at Essendon with Senior Master Chin Min present really enhanced our Tai Chi experience. What a warm, welcoming smile he has and such strong, controlled, graceful movements. It was really nice to meet Instructors and students from other Centres over a cuppa afterwards. Thank you to the lovely lady who supplied the cuppa.
I really appreciate the holistic benefits of Tai Chi with slower movements and gentle exercise being a really good fit physically for a few old injuries and stiff joints. There is so much more and I’m really looking forward to continuing my Tai Chi journey.
Kathy Power, Student
Tai Chi Tuesday Evenings at Keilor
My exposure to Tai Chi started several years ago. With occasional interruptions I have progressed through Levels 1 to 6 to complete the Form. I am now in a group labeled ‘revision’. However, this group may better be called ‘refiners’. Under the supervision of our Instructor Siew our
techniques are enhanced and movements finessed.
These ‘refinements’ were well illustrated by Senior Master Chin Min at the Park Lesson at Essendon. Master Chin Min told us that mastering Level 1 would provide excellent underlying principles for the entire form.
He also showed that by fully stretching we could extend the benefits further.
We have been reminded that being mindful of the way our weight is distributed can enhance our Tai Chi flow.
To add variety to the sessions Siew is also working us through the Lohan and Wild Goose Qigong routines.
John Bourne, Student
On a cool, windy winter's morning, some of the Moonee Ponds, Keilor and other classes, and a few beginners, met in Maribyrnong Park. We started our warm up exercises with Wayne (Moonee Ponds Instructor), and then Master Chin Min took us through some new and interesting exercises.
He then demonstrated Level One, and we slowly did it together. Then he gave us a few pointers, and we went through it again. Then we broke up into levels. Joy took 3 very important beginners, while Wayne, at the other end took Level 6.
And now a quote about one beginner (my mum), who was said “to be doing quite well." She was very impressed and called it “very inclusive" - no judgement if you can't do it.
Master Chin Min demonstrated the 42 Sword Form at the end, and then we all had tea and cakes.
Words from Jenny Whipp
Moonee Ponds Centre
Updated: 10 September 2023