Blog : Gateway Taiji, Qigong & Yoga celebrates Grand Opening Saturday
Forty years after first falling in love with martial arts as a college undergrad, Bill Buckley is ready to turn his dreams of launching his own studio into reality.
This Saturday, Buckley, together with his wife Rebecca, will oversee the Grand Opening of Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga. The October 6 Open House – held at Gateway’s newly renovated 875 Islington Street home in Portsmouth from 1-4 PM – will feature light refreshments, door prizes, chair massage and brow threading.
It will also provide guests an opportunity to get acquainted with several of the other businesses located at 875 Islington Street, including: Patrix Salon, Face Body Spirit, Jenny Harrison Aesthetics and Personal Touch Electrolysis.
On Sunday afternoon from 1-5pm, as part of the Grand Opening weekend, there will be demo classes in Taiji, Qigong and Pushing Hands. Ocean Spirit Yoga will offer three demo classes: beginning, all levels and gentle yoga. The regular class schedule will begin on Monday.
According to Buckley, Taiji – as with all martial arts – is intended to help its practitioners achieve a balance between the mental, the spiritual and the physical. However, unlike Karate, which typically places primary emphasis on the physical, Taiji is grounded first and foremost in the spiritual development of the student.
“Taiji is a powerful martial art with many levels and applications,” explains Buckley. “It’s probably best known to westerners as a gentle, flowing dance-like form practiced daily by millions of people around the world.”
Meanwhile, Qigong – often referred to as “Chinese energy work,” and based in large part on the practice of acupuncture – allows the individual to explore through physical movements their own internal energy flow.
“The idea is to help the individual build up their own body’s energy so that they can effectively heal themselves,” notes Buckley. “It’s not like a lot of western exercises, which focus more on the larger muscle groups. Instead, Qigong targets the tendons, ligaments, joints and other connections that help facilitate that energy flow.”
In addition to his studio’s Taiji and Qigong classes, Buckley has partnered with Ocean Spirit Yoga in an effort to bring the ever growing and diversifying ancient practice into the Gateway fold.
Indeed, Buckley’s partnership with Ocean Spirit is indicative of the Gateway owner’s intention to help foster a collaborate and cooperative environment amongst like-minded businesses – particularly those who also call the 19th century mill building home.
“Between Face Body Spirit, Patrix Salon, Jenny Harrison Aesthetics, Dr. Jennifer Stebbing, Personal Touch Electrolysis and Adrienne’s, we feel like we found a great community of health-oriented businesses to be a part of,” Buckley says. “And we couldn’t be happier that they’ll be helping us welcome the greater community at our Grand Opening.”
Buckley is also looking to render the space as energy efficient as possible, with natural light, a brand new foam and rubber roof, state of the art insulation, and LED lighting being some of the buildings key features. And that’s in addition the full-on solar array – expected to generate over 50% of the building’s electricity needs – which will be installed before long.
According to Buckly, “Our intention is to foster a welcoming and fun atmosphere where people of all ages and fitness levels can explore, get fit and connect with other like-minded seekers – a center for people who want to develop their body-mind connection while improving their balance, circulation and strength.”
“With Taiji, Qigong and Yoga, there are many paths to go down, each involving its own practices and spiritual journeys, all gateways to the soul,” says Buckley. “There’s really a kaleidoscope of applications to be pursued, which is something that’s always kept me interested and fascinated. The deeper you go, the deeper it gets. And I hope to cultivate that same sense of discovery within my students.”