A new Qi Gong course: starts Saturday Oct 12th in Bethnal Green

Saturdays 10-11.30am
Starting Oct 12th 2019.

Qi Gong is capable of powerful physical and emotional transformation. This particular form, known as Jin Jing Gong, focuses on strengthening the tendons as the key to invigorating the whole body/mind system. It's fun, dynamic and simple to get started.

Classes on the following dates: 12/10, 19/10, 2/11, 9/11, 23/11, 30/11. (No class 26/10 or 16/11)

Six weeks £66 or £15 per session drop in.

Venue: The Hall, St. Margaret's House 21 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PL 

Joanna Niccalā

The course is led by Joanna Niccalā, who studied and practiced the form in China. Her teachers are Prof Wang  - one of the few remaining masters of authentic Daoist practices in the tradition of the Yijin Jing, Tendon and Sinew Changing Classic, and his direct Western disciple of many years Prof Fruehauf.  The full name is Jin Jing Gong Shi Si Shi.

The ReNew Food Plan

On our retreat in May we'll be following the ReNew Food Plan.


First up, we hope participants will agree the food is delicious and, at least in the morning and at lunch, you can eat as much as you like!

So what’s it all about?

The Renew Food Plan from the Institute for Functional Medicine is a therapeutic, short-term approach often used as a first step in:

Ridding the body of the most common foods that cause inflammation;
Identifying food allergies, sensitivities, intolerances, and triggers;
Eliminating foods with potentially addictive and harmful components;
Providing nutritional support for the body’s detoxification systems.

From IFM ReNew Food Plan, comprehensive guide 2016

A reset diet gives the gut a chance to calm down, heal and renew itself. We’ll be suggesting participants (and the retreat team) cut down or stop consuming sugar, caffeine and alcohol in the few days leading up to the retreat so that we all get clear of grumpy moods and headaches before the retreat begins!

Answering “yes” to one or more of the questions below indicates a range of possible concerns, such as addiction to sugar or processed foods, exposure to a high level of potential food triggers or allergens, and the likelihood of a high total body burden of toxins.

Do you routinely consume and crave fast food, packaged foods, and processed foods with sugar or flour?
Do you consume fish or shellfish regularly? If so, what kind and where does it come from? 
Do you regularly eat fruits and vegetables that are nonorganic?
Do you eat fewer than five servings of fresh fruits or vegetables per day?
Do you consume lots of animal products every day (e.g., meat, milk, cheese, and eggs)?

That’s pretty much all of us, right?

The ReNew Food Plan focuses on removing processed foods with sugar, grains, and dairy— the main sources of most food allergies and intolerances (also referred to as food sensitivities)—as well as artificial sweeteners and processed chemicals. As a result of eliminating these foods and chemicals from the diet, the body will be better able to repair tissues and eliminate toxins.

As well as the food, there will be meditation, Qi Gong and modular learning. It’s a Buddhist retreat, with periods of silence and time for walks and relaxation in the gardens or countryside around Rivendell.

We really hope you can join us. Full retreat information can be found here. For bookings or queries, please get in touch.

Reclaim Your Health Retreat 12-17 May

Despite a deluge of articles on healthy living most of us never quite get round to it. One week on retreat is worth a thousand magazine features.

The retreat focuses on healthful practices like meditation, Qi Gong and the ReNew food plan for optimum gut health.


We're bringing together Buddhist practice with health practices ancient and modern, to create a balanced, workable and long-term vision of how to live well and live long. There's no one size fits all. You'll be given detailed resources, information and inspiration to make changes to kick start your unique route to health.

We'll also explore the role of Buddhist practice in the prevention and release from chronic and acute conditions.

Specific learning will include:

  • Reflective Awareness and its Application to Health
  • Toxicity and Detoxification
  • Nutritional Guidelines & Food Preparation
  • The Mind - Gut - Planet Connection
  • Active Life versus Chronic Stress
  • Sleep and Restoration

It’s a Buddhist retreat, with some silence and space to enjoy the countryside and beautiful gardens of Rivendell Retreat Centre in Sussex.

This retreat will not provide diagnosis, cure or medical treatment for any disease. Participants need to be well enough to engage fully with the retreat.

May 12-17 (5 nights) £395/365 at Rivendell Retreat Centre in Sussex.

NB - this retreat runs Sunday 5pm to Friday 11am. Up to 20 participants.

Full retreat information download here.