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Join Yoga Therapy Greece in this training to learn step by step the complete Yang style broadsword form in the beautiful location of Azogires in southern Crete. The workshop is primarily aimed at people who have ideally studied some Tai Chi and want to learn a weapon's form whilst enjoying the peaceful mountains and great beaches of Greece. It will also include warm up Qigong exercises and the general principles of Tai Chi that should help with any other forms you may already know.
The Alpha Hotel in Azogires has eight large simple double and triple rooms with balconies and amazing views over the mountains and the sea. You will be trained either in an indoor wooden floored practice room, a cool shaded area in the woods, or in grounds of a small local monastery. The hotel has a big shaded with grapevines open-air terrace overlooking the sea and the mountains for breakfast and dinners.
It also has a big communal kitchen opening at all times that you can use to prepare a meal or a hot drink including medicinal Cretan mountain teas. There is also a washing machine that can be used for a small fee.
On Saturday evening, there is a welcoming, allocation of the accommodation, and a dinner. The training will start in the morning from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (followed by a breakfast) and in the afternoon from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (followed by a dinner), starting on Sunday morning and finishing on Friday evening. On the following Saturday morning, the departure is at 11:00 a.m. after your breakfast.
The training program is such that by the end of the week, you will learn the complete Tai Chi broadsword. Each class will start with Qigong and broadsword warm-ups followed by a specific broadsword form training. Tai Chi principles will be discussed and worked on as required. Daily transfers to the beaches and town are included after the breakfast (around 11:30 a.m.) and from the beaches and town back to the hotel (around 2:45 p.m.).
A DVD of the form will be available showing the moves from different angles and at various speeds to help remember what you have learned. You may also find the workshop of interest if you have studied other martial arts or are used to activities that require a degree of body control such as sport or dance.
Qigong, which is closely related to Tai Chi, combines various postures with breathing techniques to strengthen and allow Qi (energy) to flow within the body. In Qigong, there may be no movement, movements may be very gentle, or at times more vigorous. Some movements are very large, others are subtler almost not seen at all. Exercises may be carried outstanding or at times sitting. The deeper one practices, the more you can understand the purpose of each movement and the very specific effect on body and mind.
Even a small amount of regular practice can have the most profound effects. Both Tai Chi and Qigong are linked to the study of acupuncture and acupressure and the bodies Meridian lines. Some self-massage techniques are also taught with this in mind.
Tai Chi is a Chinese non-competitive martial art which, whilst known for its defensive techniques, is studied more in the west for its unique health benefits. It is considered an internal art as it emphasizes working with one's internal energy and softness with less emphasis on muscle strength. It helps generate a strong flow of Qi. It aids Qi’s circulation and most importantly it works to balance Qi (energy) both within one's body and with the surrounding environment.
It consists of a series of usually slow movements in a specific sequence. The movements are fluid with natural and comfortable postures. When practiced correctly, what looks soft is actually strong, and when combined with spirit and intent, the energy flows freely creating effortless power. It is truly an exercise of the mind, body, and spirit.
Practicing Tai Chi and Qigong has the following benefits:
The training will take place in a beautiful natural retreat located in the small and green village of Azogires, south Chania, Crete, Greece, 10-minute drive from the picturesque small town of Palaiochora and many amazing sandy beaches. Azogires is one of the greenest and coolest villages in Crete, located in the White Mountains. There is a small tavern which is a two-minute walk from where you stay. Here you can buy lunches or drinks.
Azogires is a perfect place to relax where you can take peaceful walks in the woods, visit the small monastry and the village church, explore some local caves, or simply spend time in the hammock or seats listening to the stream as it flows over the rocks and through the woodland.
Your meals included in the prices will be served between 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. for breakfasts and from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for dinners. For breakfasts, you will help yourself to fresh fruits, local honey, Greek yogurt, bread, and jams. Breakfasts and dinners are the traditional Cretan dishes, reputedly the healthiest food in the world (really tasty locally sourced, organic, vegetarian) and cooked by a highly respected local chef.
Please book your flight to arrive at Chania International Airport (CHQ). From Chania, you can take a taxi to Azogires (one and a half hour drive at an additional cost of 90 EUR through an amazing landscape, which is arranged by Yoga Therapy Greece in order to take advantage of the possibility to share it with other participants).
You can also catch a bus from the main bus station in Chania to Palaiochora (10 EUR) and from Palaiochora, a taxi will drive you to Azogires in eight minutes at a cost of 15 EUR.
You can take the boat to Chania from Piraeus port that departs every night at 9:00 p.m. and arrives at Chania port at around 6:00 a.m. in the morning.