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Frequently Asked Questions

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Retreats

How will I know if this retreat is right for me?

If you are seeking to learn enjoyable, nurturing self-healing practices for internal strength, relaxation and rejuvenation, set in a stunning natural environment and taught by an expert Tai Chi and Qigong teacher, then this retreat is right for you. Please read the Qigong page for more information about the body-mind health benefits of this healing exercise art. Please read the About page for more information about the qualifications and teaching experience of Shirsha Marie, or contact Shirsha with any questions  here.

What if I have injuries?

Please advise of any injuries, illness or physical limitations you have which you think may affect your ability to participate fully in the retreat. Classes are tailored to take account of injuries to the best of our ability. All retreats are relaxing and energising however some exercises may not be suitable for you. During the retreat you are asked to practice at your own pace, rhythm and level of comfort to best suit your needs. The teacher is not a qualified medical practitioner so all activities are at your own risk.

How many Qigong classes are there during the retreat?

Early morning classes are energising and wake up the whole system. These are followed by silent walking meditation or sitting meditations. The optional pre-lunch session provides a dynamic workout. Afternoon Qigong classes are deeply relaxing and restorative. These are followed by Qigong self-healing meditations. The evening meditation is a guided relaxation or heart meditation. You can read a daily schedule on each retreat page.

Do I have to attend all the classes and sessions?

No, attend as many or as few of the sessions as you like. The retreat is your time to enjoy at your own level of participation. However most people attend most of the available sessions as they are very energising and nurturing. There are also plenty of quiet times during the day to rest or book an extra massage or treatment.

Is there free time during the retreat?

Yes, each afternoon there is a long rest period during which you might like to read a book by the pool, swim, have a massage or simply relax. Your attendance to the retreat activities is flexible so you can rest or have an extra session at other times throughout the day.

What about special dietary requirements?

You will be asked on the booking form to state your dietary requirements. We offer vegetarian or vegan meals using organic or spray free produce. We cater for those requiring a gluten free or lactose free diet.

Do you use spray-free produce?

Our meals use garden fresh spray-free produce, mainly sourced from local farms. Meals are nutritious, abundant and healthy.

Is smoking allowed?

Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the retreat.

Is there an ATM machine nearby?

Yes, there are many ATM’s in downtown Byron Bay, just 5 mins drive from the retreat.

How much do retreats cost and what is included?

Costs are on each retreat page, along with the inclusions and exclusions. All retreat prices include lovely accommodation, 3 delicious meals per day, a variety of indoor and outdoor Qigong classes comprised of moving exercises or sitting meditations, daily mindfulness meditation practices and one complimentary massage session. Extra massages and treatments can be booked onsite for an extra fee.

Do you need prior experience in any particular modality for your retreats?

No previous experience of Qigong is necessary to attend. You will be guided into the exercises in a sensitive and comprehensive way. As with all body-mind arts, your understanding and experience is developed with sustained practice. By the end of the retreat you will have gained a good working knowledge of the primary exercises to enable your ongoing practice at home.

Do you offer Qigong videos for ongoing practice at home?

Yes, Shirsha Marie has an excellent range of Qigong videos you can purchase here which include the principle exercises taught at the retreat.

What do you send prior to the retreat?

We send documents of Retreat Information, the booking process and a Registration Form upon payment of your deposit. These notes include suggestions of what to bring, travelling information, links to airport shuttles etc.

How do I secure a place at the retreat?

A $600 AUD deposit is payable by our booking platform Humanitix upon application and will be fully refunded immediately if the retreat is full

When will I find out if I have been accepted into the retreat?

Upon booking you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive this within 24 hours, please email: shirsha@heartmindcentre.com.au

Do you arrange airport transfers?

Please arrange your own airport transfers.

What is the typical age profile of participants?

Ages range between 25 and 65, and are about 80% women.

What do I need to bring to a retreat?

We recommend you bring a mixture of lightweight and warm, comfortable exercise clothing. Layers are best. Also bring soft-soled indoor shoes for training if bare feet present any discomfort, slip-on shoes for leisure, and runners or walking shoes. Bring swimwear, a sunhat, beach towel, sunglasses, sunscreen, toiletries, shampoo and conditioner, a first aid kit, insect repellent, a torch, a journal and/or notebook, water bottle, light raincoat, umbrella and daypack. All linen, bath towels and body soap are provided.

Is it possible to book additional massages and treatments?

Yes, upon arrival and during first couple of days of the retreat. All additional massages and treatments are to be paid for in advance at the retreat.

Do I need to follow any ethical guidelines?

Some simple guidelines ensure a harmonious environment. Participants are expected to be vegetarian and cigarette, alcohol and drug-free at the retreat.

I would like to offer a special gift to somebody. Do you offer gift vouchers?

Yes we do. Please contact us for more details.

Classes

Do I need any prior experience in Tai Chi, Qigong or martial arts to attend a class?

No previous experience in these arts is required to attend. Classes are taught to address all levels of experience. New students are guided through the exercises in a careful, comprehensive way, while the more experienced students receive more advanced guidance at their level.

When will I start to feel more energised?

Tai Chi, Qigong and Warrior Woman give powerful healing for the body-mind system. Although they are working right from the first class, it can take a few weeks to really feel the effects. From then on, with regular sustained practise, these systems steadily accelerate into a dynamic internal energy workout. Over time you can expect your practise to undergo profound transformations. As with all true arts, patience and commitment are required to gain the most benefit from Tai Chi, Qigong and Warrior Woman.

How long will it take before I can practice on my own at home?

As with all body-mind arts, your understanding and experience is developed with sustained practice. With time you will gain a good working knowledge of the primary exercises to enable your ongoing practice at home. These arts never stop deepening and you gain continual inspiration by coming to classes over a long period of time.

To assist with your home practice there are a series of Qigong videos available to buy on the website here or directly from Shirsha at a class or workshop.

Can practicing Tai Chi, Qigong or Warrior Spirit replace my usual medical treatments?

While training in Tai Chi, Qigong or Warrior Spirit will enhance your general health and well-being, the techniques taught in these arts do not provide replacement for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of pathological conditions. If you have an acute or chronic illness or disease, please seek medical attention from a qualified doctor.

Some Tai Chi, Qigong and Warrior Spirit exercises may not be suitable for everyone. If you are unsure about any of the exercises in these Programmes, or if you have any injuries or medical conditions that you think may affect your ability to participate, please consult your medical practitioner first.

What if I have previous injuries or illness?

The exercises are always performed within a comfortable range of movement. However, please advise of any injuries, illness or physical limitations you have which you think may affect your ability to participate fully. You will need to fill your health details in on our registration form here or at your first class.

Classes are tailored to take account of injuries to the best of our ability. All of the techniques are relaxing and energising however some exercises may not be suitable for you. If in doubt, you must consult with your medical practitioner to unsure if an exercise is suitable for your condition. During the classes you are asked to practice at your own pace, rhythm and level of comfort to best suit your needs.

Should I come to the class if I’m not feeling well?

It is best not to attend a class when you are unwell, for your best care and recovery. If you are unsure of your condition or have specific health-related questions, please seek advice from your medical practitioner or other health care provider. If you have a flu, please do not attend classes until you have recovered, to ensure it does not spread to other participants. Your understanding is appreciated.

What is the difference between Tai Chi and Qigong?

Both these arts share many similar principles and forms along with offering the same health benefits for body, mind and energy. Generally speaking though, Tai Chi is a soft-style martial art with very precise forms, while Qigong has more free-form movements and breathwork for wellness. In Qigong practice, most of the exercises are performed in a basic standing posture, and repeated many times over. So they are easier to learn and co-ordinate with deep breathing and open awareness. Tai Chi involves a particular series of many stepping moves which are generally varied and complex and require a more focused awareness. Tai Chi can therefore take longer to master.

What is the Warrior Spirit class?

This class has been designed by Shirsha Marie as an outcome of over 35 years of experience in personal development modalities along with teaching a broad range of martial arts techniques and meditation. It combines Tai Chi, Qigong, martial arts and Body Psychotherapy moves, which forms a dynamic system of body-mind-energy development. All techniques are taught safely, with careful attention to detail and in harmony with the body’s natural movement. This therapeutic class is fun and empowering.

When are Tai Chi and Qigong classes taught?

The class schedule is shown on the Classes page. Tai Chi and Qigong overlap in their foundational principles and training methods, so in some of the classes both these arts are available. Class opens with Qigong for 1.5 hours, followed by the option to continue into Tai Chi training afterward.

All students arrive at the beginning of the class for Qigong. The Qigong students leave after 1.5 hours and Tai Chi students stay on for another 45 mins to learn the traditional Yang Form. In Tai Chi training, the Qigong section functions as an excellent warmup of postural alignment, relaxation methods, circular movement and deep breathing. However, the Qigong section is a complete and powerful training on its own and provides adequate energy-work for most people.

Can I join into the classes mid-term or do I have to wait until the beginning of the next term?

You are welcome to join into a term at any time. Please come along when the motivation arises as this is often the best time to make new life-style choices and embark on a fresh training venture.

Can I attend classes on a casual basis?

Due to the comprehensive nature of information delivered and the need for a dedicated approach to learning, all classes with Shirsha Marie are available by a Term enrolment only. Regular attendance provides a steady physical and mental conditioning and ensures progress in these profound body-mind systems.

Can I move around among the weekly classes to suit my schedule?

Yes, you are welcome to move between the classes to attend at a time which best suit your schedule.

What should I wear to a class or workshop?

Wear loose, comfortable exercise clothing – stretchy is best. The halls in which weekly classes are taught are not specifically shoe-free, so you are welcome to wear soft-soled footwear that gives you support, or otherwise enjoy bare feet, socks or slippers. Occasionally we train outdoors so bring your most comfortable walking or running shoes.

Payments & Cancellations

How can I pay for the retreat?

To secure your place, a $600 deposit is required through Humanitix. Once this fee is received we will contact you to discuss the retreat, your preferred room, and answer any further questions you may have.

If your preferred room is no longer available due to the retreat being already well-booked, and another room does not suit, should you choose to not proceed with the booking then this deposit is fully refundable (minus the Humanitex booking fee of $24).

When is full payment due?

The balance of your full retreat fee is required 30 days prior to arrival. Guests agree to pay the balance no later than this date. We will send you a notification in advance of this date, for you to transfer this payment directly into our account.

What kind of credit cards are accepted?

Visa and Mastercard.

Cancellations?

Your deposit and/or balance of payment is non-refundable but, if 30 days’ notice is given prior to arrival date, it is transferable to another Medicine of Mindfulness Retreat for use within 12 months. Reservations cancelled within 30 days of arrival will incur a 50% cancellation fee. The remaining 50% will be given as a credit to use at another Medicine of Mindfulness Retreat within 12 months.

How to get there

For Byron Bay Retreats

If travelling by plane there are shuttle bus services direct to Sangsurya Retreat Centre, from Ballina Domestic Airport (25 min), Coolangatta International Airport (45 min) and Brisbane International Airport (2 hours). More ‘getting here’ details are in the Letter of Retreat Information emailed to you upon retreat registration, or contact us for more information.

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Qigong in Mullumbimby
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03 May
03/05/2024    
7:30 am - 8:30 am
Learn gentle, healing Tai Chi-Qigong exercises which quieten the mind, calm the nervous system, boost the immune system and safe-guard your health.
Qigong in Mullumbimby
Do-In Self-Massage and The Eight Treasures of Health
Warrior Spirit
Body-Mind Fitness
Qigong in Bangalow
Master Huang’s Loosenings and The White Crane Set
Qigong in Brunswick Heads
Joint Rotation Stretches and the Shibashi Set
10 May
10/05/2024    
7:30 am - 8:30 am
Learn gentle, healing Tai Chi-Qigong exercises which quieten the mind, calm the nervous system, boost the immune system and safe-guard your health.
Qigong in Mullumbimby
Do-In Self-Massage and The Eight Treasures of Health
Warrior Spirit
Body-Mind Fitness
Qigong in Bangalow
Master Huang’s Loosenings and The White Crane Set
Qigong in Brunswick Heads
Joint Rotation Stretches and the Shibashi Set
17 May
17/05/2024    
7:30 am - 8:30 am
Learn gentle, healing Tai Chi-Qigong exercises which quieten the mind, calm the nervous system, boost the immune system and safe-guard your health.
Qigong in Mullumbimby
Do-In Self-Massage and The Eight Treasures of Health
Warrior Spirit
22/05/2024    
8:30 am - 10:00 am
$200.00
Body-Mind Fitness
Qigong in Bangalow
Master Huang’s Loosenings and The White Crane Set
Qigong in Brunswick Heads
Joint Rotation Stretches and the Shibashi Set
24 May
24/05/2024    
7:30 am - 8:30 am
$175.00
Learn gentle, healing Tai Chi-Qigong exercises which quieten the mind, calm the nervous system, boost the immune system and safe-guard your health.
Qigong in Mullumbimby
Do-In Self-Massage and The Eight Treasures of Health
Warrior Spirit
29/05/2024    
8:30 am - 10:00 am
$200.00
Body-Mind Fitness
Qigong in Bangalow
Master Huang’s Loosenings and The White Crane Set
Qigong in Brunswick Heads
Joint Rotation Stretches and the Shibashi Set
31 May
31/05/2024    
7:30 am - 8:30 am
$175.00
Learn gentle, healing Tai Chi-Qigong exercises which quieten the mind, calm the nervous system, boost the immune system and safe-guard your health.
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