Why docks are perfect setting to ease stress
Is it the lengthy commute or the work piling up on your desk that's stressing you out?
Well, practising the ancient martial art of Qigong in the calm surroundings of the middle of a dock could be the answer to your problems. Lee Berwick runs classes on board the Docklands Community Boat opposite Excel.
The 50-year-old former international dance DJ, who usually runs classes in Greenwich and Dulwich, said Qigong, which has similarities with Tai Chi, was a great stress reliever and he believed he had found the perfect spot for it.
"Operating mainly in south London if I was normally asked to do a class in the East End I'd be in two minds but I met Simon Myers [founder of the community boat] and was instantly intrigued," said Lee. "Moored here with eight metres of water below us is perfect.
"In Qigong you get energy from the world around you and get rid of stale energy out of you and into the world below.
"The ideal position would be in a forest surrounded by trees but here on a vast body of water is fantastic."
So impressed by the new venue, Lee's regular customers are driving from south of the river for sessions on the boat. Now Lee wants to encourage City workers to give it a go.
"This is an opportunity for people to relax, unwind and recharge after a busy day at work and to learn some techniques to help them gather their energy at any time," he said.
As well as battling stress, Lee said Qigong was also viewed as a form of health care in China. There are even hospitals there that use the martial art to treat cancer.
And it was health issues which got Lee practising Qigong.
"I'd been travelling in the '80s and had picked up a liver condition in the Himalayas. I took to this to get it under control and now I'm so much better. I run, I cycle and I've got masses of energy.
"When I was a DJ I would drink a lot and live the DJ life. Now if I bump into someone from my DJ days they normally fall over and say you look 15 years younger."
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