Andrew Binnie was born in Liverpool in 1961, when the Beatles were getting ready to turn Liverpool into the centre of the world, as far as pop music goes, although home for him is Abergavenny in South Wales.
Since August 2013 however, he and his wife Anne and daughter Natasha, currently finishing her studies at Caxton College, have had a second home; Valencia.
After a career dedicated to exports, with products as diverse as whisky and construction materials, and studies of French and Spanish, including a stint at Salamanca in the early 90s, Andrew is now pursuing his great passion, Tai Chi.
He remembers being mesmerized back in the 1980s when seeing a Chinese man practising the art in Edinburgh, and then running into an instructor, Manolo, on arriving in Salamanca looking for a place to stay. Since then Tai Chi has become central to his life, and now, in Valencia he is looking to pass on his knowledge.
Andrew’s business interests remain back in the UK; a property rental interest in Wales, and occasional work as a workshop leader for British SMEs under the auspices of UK Trade and Investment, a British government body dedicated to helping UK exporters.
Closer to his new home, he is working with another British friend Eric, restoring two rural properties in the backwoods of deepest Teruel, in the villages of Pitarque and Torre de las Arcas.
Choosing Valencia as their Spanish base was easy for Andrew and Anne, they wanted the coast, a Spanish speaking area and a city with a manageable size. Valencia fit the bill, and they were immediately taken by the feeling of safety on the streets, the relaxed pace of life and the general good vibrations.
With his business commitments under control, Andrew is now increasingly more focused on passing on his experience of Tai Chi as a lifestyle aid and is available for one to one teaching or working with very small groups.
He himself exercises daily in a small leafy square just round the corner from his flat near the Plaza de la Virgen
Over to Andrew: “I teach the RDTC Short Form as transmitted to me personally over the past 12 years by the school’s founder, Richard Farmer (www.rdtc.co.uk). I am a Level 1 accredited teacher and a member of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain (TCUGB).
This is a beautiful, soft, vital sequence that will nourish your body, mind and spirit for the rest of time. Embodied mindfulness, stillness in motion – the benefits of which will permeate your daily life and deepen with practice. Poise, flexibility, aliveness, resilience, peace…..provided you put in the work!
Your body will become softer, your joints looser, your mind will quieten and your vitality will surge. The Ancient Tai Chi masters talked of gaining the strength of a lumberjack, the flexibility of a child and the wisdom of a sage!
Ideally, lessons should be weekly. My initial goal is to enable you quickly to Relax, Soften and Feel, such that you will touch something tangible to work with, early in your practice. You will soon rediscover your natural qualities of grace, flow, presence and balance and enjoy integrating these into your daily living.
Andrew can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org