Healing Qi Gong & Tai Chi Retreat

Andalucía, Spain

14-19 May 2017
Pulsing (Opening & Closing) Techniques:
Let Go & Awaken Your Qi

21-25 May 2017
Pulsing in Qi Gong & Tai Chi to Cultivate Qi

All students are welcome to attend either or both week(s):

At the most fundamental level, the purpose of all qi gong and tai chi practice is to improve blood and energy circulation. Both arts are designed to bring about relaxation by systematically releasing tensions stored in the body and mind. Circular movement is the core means by which both increased circulation and relaxation are achieved because:

As the practitioner releases entangled tensions in the body, the nerves discharge, which smoothes out and integrates bodily motion, lulling the mind–and body–into a state of letting go.

The positive feedback loop that is enacted, that is between relaxation and circulation, can be wilfully supercharged as the practitioner begins to embody essential internal (nei gong) techniques, such as Pulsing (aka Opening and Closing).

Each nei gong component is combined with others to access and progressively root out ever-deeper layers of stored tensions that become embedded in our body-mind-energy matrix as a result of trauma, illness, injury and unresolved emotions over months, years or even decades. These stuck places, initially and particularly those of the outer casing of the soft tissues (muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments), must be actively released or, from the perspective of Chinese medicine, will prevent optimal organ function and downgrade overall health and well-being, making you susceptible to more serious injury and illness.

After the initial learning and tuning in period, nei gong brings to life qi gong and tai chi forms, where yin and yang energies can be developed within the practitioner. As they rebalance their body and internal landscape, experiencing and consciously connecting with their environment becomes a natural extension of their development. The larger interplay of yin and yang comes into focus, and the opportunity to harmonise with greater cosmic flows becomes a tangible reality. So a simple exercise that starts as a means for relaxation can grow to deliver profound results, if practised regularly with the right mix of content and attuned intent.

Whether you’re a new or an existing student, you may attend either or both week(s):

Week 1: Pulsing (Opening & Closing) Techniques

14-19 May 2017 (24 total course hours)

Pulsing is a naturally occurring phenomenon replicated in countless ways throughout the universe as an essential aspect of all life forms, including human beings. From an energetic perspective, the pulse is alive through all of nature. The wavelike motion of the jellyfish and squid illustrate and accentuate the action of the pulse as they move through the water.

Simply put, pulsing (aka opening-and-closing) is a synchronised and balanced alternating rhythm of expanding and condensing energy that activates the qi-energy, fluids and soft tissues of the body. The most obvious pulses in the human body are the heartbeat and breathing, although more accurately the type of breathing done by a healthy newborn rather than the average adult. It’s not only the heart that pulses, but also the internal organs, cavities, cerebrospinal system, skeletal frame (via the joints) and subtle energy anatomy.

Pulsing techniques serve as methods for practitioners to tune into, influence and amplify at will the various pulses of the body. Embodying, balancing and synchronising the pulses have been a major focus of Water method adepts for millennia to create whole-body harmony via:

  • Deep nerve release
  • Profound relaxation
  • Detoxification as a result of releasing otherwise inaccessible tensions
  • Rejuvenation of the ligaments
  • Generating abundant qi
  • Unifying the body-mind-energy matrix

This weeklong course is a mixture of hands-on and solo physical and energetic practices to enable you to directly experience the pulse inside your body and develop it. Paul will teach simple qi gong movements, as well as subsidiary exercises, to spread, balance and embody the pulse throughout your body with a focus on pulsing the joints and the entire skeletal frame: the initial and primary objective of Pulsing techniques within the Water methodology.

Please note that Pulsing techniques involve working below the musculature, that is under the muscles. Therefore, the better your skill with Bending-and-Stretching nei gong techniques and the more you have been able to release the soft tissues of your body (fascia, muscles, ligaments and tendons), the better the potential results from applying Pulsing techniques. So Paul highly recommends focusing on Bending-and-Stretching techniques in advance of the retreat as preparation.

All students are welcome and everyone will train together as one group.

This course is particularly recommended for internal arts practitioners, bodyworkers, healers and therapists of all backgrounds.

Week 2: Pulsing in Tai Chi Circling Hands or Tai Chi

cavel-tai-chi-1221-25 May 2017 (22 total course hours)

The aim of this retreat is to:

  • Embed the pulse into a form–Tai Chi Circling Hands or tai chi
  • Balance the pulse throughout the body by opening up stubborn, stuck places and bringing the pulse alive locally.
  • Deepening and unifying Opening-and-Closing techniques into one whole-body pulse.

Tai Chi Circling Hands
Tai Chi Circling Hands is an excellent vehicle for achieving these goals because the set embeds the pulse in the body through a gentle, repetitive circling action, lulling the nervous system into a state of let go and freeing the mind to focus on content rather than form. Circularity also happens to be one of the essential ingredients of Open-and-Close techniques without which the pulse is dramatically downgraded. This is the reason why Tai Chi Circling Hands serves as a bridge between being able to pulse and being able to pulse in a more complex qi gong, tai chi or bagua form–two very distinct and necessary aspects of training to gain the full potential of this deep, internal set of (nei gong) techniques classified as “Pulsing”.

Tai Chi
If you know a tai chi form well, however, it is possible to make the jump directly to pulsing in a more complex form. The flowing, rhythmic nature of tai chi movement sequences were designed with the pulse being a critical component. In fact, a tai chi proverb shared by adepts is: “Without the pulse, there is no tai chi”.

Choose the Tai Chi Circling Hands or tai chi group:

Tai Chi Circling Hands Group All students are welcome in this group, and may learn or review the choreography of Paul’s Tai Chi Circling Hands set with the specific goal of embodying the pulse in the full set of circles.

Tai Chi Group Existing tai chi stylists of all backgrounds are welcome in this group. Paul has studied the Wu and Yang styles and will make specific references to these forms. You are welcome to train any tai chi style you already know well as Paul will not be offering form corrections per se, but rather postural and internal adjustments that allow your form to receive and carry the pulse.

Both Groups – If you do not attend week 1, when Paul teaches the Pulsing methodology, please do not expect to learn them in week 2 as there isn’t sufficient time for a full-scale review. The second week is aimed at applying Pulsing techniques in a form. However, if you cannot attend week 1 and you wish to attend week 2 to learn the chorography and basic content of Tai Chi Circling Hands, the more important Pulsing material will indeed be reviewed in order for everybody to realise the pulse (to the best of their ability). Paul highly recommends only joining the tai chi group if you have years experience with your form and you can train it by yourself with ease.

Energy Arts Instructor Jackie Smith will assist Paul on the course.
Learn more about Jackie and his courses in England and Scotland >>

Retreat Notices

New and existing students are welcome to attend the first, second or both weeks.

A Word to the Wise
Paul reserves the right to make the final decision about whether any student can join the more advanced level of study to ensure a safe and healthy training environment for everyone involved. Energetic practices are trained with the purpose of dislodging and releasing stagnant energy, which carries energetic and emotional tension. Since discharges of this nature are the point of training, it is highly likely that you will experience one or more during this retreat. If you recognise a discharge is happening for you, simply ground and relax to make the transition as smooth as possible!

Health Issues? We Need to Know…
Please let us know about any serious health issues, including recent injuries and medical conditions, so Paul and his teaching assistants can offer modifications as warranted. Please make it brief and to the point.

Training in a Natural Environment
On retreat, Paul teaches a range of energetic and Five Element exercises not available in seminars as a serene and natural environment is necessary to tap into the depths and subtlety of traditional Water method arts training. When immersed in nature, the abundance of qi-energy increases your ability to integrate ever-more profound layers of internal and energetic content in body and mind for optimal results.

Training Venue & Onsite Accommodation
La Posada Romana, set amongst seven acres of Andalucían parkland with mature trees and stunning sea and mountain views to the south, is the nurturing home of our seasonal retreats. Paul highly recommends staying onsite for the full retreat experience.

Malaga Airport (AGP) Rideshare
We facilitate bookings for rideshare via EcoTaxi to keep Malaga Airport transfer costs to a minimum. Rates are as follows:

  • 1 passenger – 120 € per journey
  • 2 passengers – 60 € per person per journey
  • 3 passengers – 40 € per person per journey
  • 4 passengers – 30 € per person per journey

Notes: You will pay the driver in cash (Euros) on arrival. All rates are exclusive of tip and are subject to change by EcoTaxi. We will only book taxis for groups greater than four people by request as it is cost prohibitive and increases the risk that any one delayed flight affects more people. Book early to ensure the best possible rate. Please be sure you read our rideshare policies before you book.

Taxis depart:

  • From AGP – Saturday, 13 May and 20 May 2017 at 16:00 to coordinate with onsite check-in (starting at 18:00) and to give you time to shop in Gaucin during afternoon business hours (17:00-20:00 or 21:00). Flights MUST arrive by 15:00.
  • Heading to AGP – Saturday, 20 May 2017 and Friday, 26 May 2017 at 08:00 (onsite guests) and 08:15 (offsite guests). Please do not book flights before 12:30.

If you’d like to book rideshare, download the guidelines here >>

If you prefer to book your own taxi/rideshare via EcoTaxi, you can do so in English at http://ecotaxitransfersmalaga.com/en/home.php. Onsite guests: Please take into consideration the check-in/check-out schedule and make arrangements accordingly. We cannot permit early arrival or late departure.

Airport Info

Malaga Airport (AGP) – recommended

  • Malaga Airport info
  • Car hire – Scroll down to see the listing of car hire options. Select a company under the list of “Firms in Terminal Buildings” for the most convenient options (although they may cost more)
  • Bus – you can take the bus to Estepona and taxi up the mountain from there
  • Train – We do not advise taking the train between Ronda and Gaucin as “Estacion de Gaucin” is 15 minutes away by car (no taxi queues, so you must arrange a taxi ahead)!

Gibraltar Airport (GIB) – not recommend unless you speak some Spanish, and plan to hire a car or taxi. Taxi service to Gaucin is limited and runs ~150 € per journey. We can assist in arranging rideshare from Malaga Airport (AGP), but do not offer this service from Gibraltar.

Please arrive on Saturday, 13 May 2017. For those staying onsite, check-in at the finca starts at 18:00 and, at 18:30, we’ll offer a shuttle up to the village to get groceries and supplies. A meet and greet, registration and the first class starts on Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 10:30.

For those attending only the second week, check-in at the finca starts on Saturday, 20 May 2017 at 13:00 and, at 18:30, we’ll offer a shuttle up to the village to get groceries and supplies, as needed. Registration and the first class starts on Sunday, 21 May 2017 at 10:30.

The last classes are scheduled as follows, but please note that Paul may extend end times to ensure students are left in a good way and that all promised course hours have been met:

  • Week 1 – Friday, 19 May 2017 at 13:00
  • Week 2 – Thursday, 25 May 2017 at 19:00

Check out at the finca (onsite students):

  • Week 1 – Saturday, 20 May 2017 by 08:00
  • Week 2 – Friday, 26 May 2017 by 08:00


Book Your Place

Course Fees
Non-refundable, non-transferable deposit reserves your place:
£300 for one retreat; £475 for both spring retreats. Full payment is due 7 April 2017.
Payments received after 7 April 2017 will incur a £45 late fee.

£475 – Week 1, May 2017: Pusling Techniques
£475 – Week 2, May 2017: Pulsing in Qi Gong & Tai Chi
£895 – Weeks 1-2, May 2017: Both Spring Retreats (£55 discount)

Join “The Tai Chi Space” Membership for just £120 (or equilvalent Euros rate) >>
£530 – Week 1, May 2017: Pusling Techniques
£530 – Week 2, May 2017: Pulsing in Qi Gong & Tai Chi
£995 – Weeks 1-2, May 2017: Both Spring Retreats (£65 discount)

Payment Options

We highly encourage you to read our training policies page in its entirety before booking.

Paul’s courses are hosted by Internal Engery Arts Limited.