Tai Chi Exercise Classes
See our full timetable of our Tai Chi for health exercise classes.
From our own experience as clinicians and via application of Tai Chi movements to individual clients training programmes we know that modified Tai Chi/Qigong exercises are highly enjoyable and effective.
In our classes we teach exercises which are selected from the traditional Qigong and basic Tai Chi form movements and adapted when needed; the main focus is on exercising large joints throughout their functional range of movement, loosening the waist, and maintaining upright posture throughout selective stepping sequences. All selected stepping sequences are focusing on maintenance and development of good stepping width, length together with correct heel strike and push off throughout the gait cycle. Tai Chi consists of fluid, gentle, graceful, and circular movements that are relaxed and slow in tempo. Breathing is deepened and slowed, aiding visual and mental concentration. Tai Chi is a sophisticated art with many different styles and forms. Despite the many variations of Tai Chi, its effectiveness for improving health and inner energy derives from a set of essential principles.
Tai Chi has been shown in research to strengthen lower limb muscles, improve flexibility, posture and balance which results in prevention of falls. In deconditioned and sedentary population, it improves cardiovascular endurance. Tai Chi aids mental relaxation and increases sense of well-being. It is especially suitable as a therapy for chronic conditions because its movements are slow and gentle, and the level of exertion can be adjusted to suit each person’s physical condition.
For more info on Tai Chi for health please go to:
What Is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi ( less commonly spelled “Taiji”) originated in ancient China and has its roots in Chinese medicine, meditation and martial traditions.
Tai Chi is also known as meditation with movement as it combines relaxed flowing movement with a calm but alert mental state ( Yu 2003).
There are many styles of Tai Chi and even more forms. The oldest one known is Chen. The other well known styles the Yang and Sun style both developed from Chen. Tai Chi loosely translates as shadow boxing and is also known as internal martial art.
Tai Chi has four commonly differentiated pillars.
- Qi Gong
- The Form
- Push hands
Long standing participants of Tai Chi are also known as Tai Chi players as you often see them playing with movement attempting to apply the Tai Chi principles into the new movement they happen to be learning during their practice.
How Can Tai Chi Improve Your Health?
The foundation pillar of Tai Chi is Qi Gong, a vast selection of repetitive moves encouraging health and well being of the body. The practice of Qi Gong moves encourages gentle stretching of joints and muscles in relaxed postures.
The second pillar known as Tai Chi Form is a selection of movements performed in preselected order and its length can be as short as 24 to well over 73 moves. There are differences between styles and forms and every school will have a little variety in their forms. What is most important is that Tai Chi principles are adhered to when practicing even the simplest of moves. Those principles encourage good relaxed balanced posture, integration of the whole body in creation of movement, while maintaining softness, awareness and avoiding tension.
Tai Chi has been used in many health studies and the research is now backing its unquestionable benefits to health.
Why Choose Follow Steps To Teach You Tai Chi?
Simplicity in learning while remaining focused on health.
When you are starting with Tai Chi it can be a little confusing. Tai Chi can be taught in so many ways, there are many different forms and styles.
When you learn with us you will start with an adapted shorter form of Sun style Tai Chi.
This selection of gentle and coordinated movements has been selected to allow even a complete beginner to learn the foundation and principles of Tai Chi. Even if you have not exercised for a long time or if you have some limitation in movement caused by a health condition or old injury in our Tai Chi exercise class we will teach you slowly, adapting any exercise if needed to avoid straining your body.
In our classes you can take a rest at any time and ask questions when you are unsure. Our classes run for one hour, which includes a thorough warm up using selected Qi Gong exercises, a few walking drills and finally the form. We do not teach push hands or martial application of the moves as that is not the aim of our classes. There are many Tai Chi schools who do and we gladly recommend other teachers who will be able to take you to that level if you wish .
⇒ LEGS Tai Chi Exercise class
Tai chi exercise class in partnership with LEGS local exercise groups for stroke and neuro conditions charity www.legs.org.uk
Join us to improve and maintain good posture strength, balance, coordination with mindful movement amongst friends.
WEDNESDAYs afternoon , at 2 pm , session duration 45 minutes
This course of 10 session is starting on the 13th of October 2021.
- Wednesday 13th October
- Wednesday 20th October
- Wednesday 27th October
- Wednesday 3rd November
- Wednesday 10th November
- Wednesday 24th November
- Wednesday 1st December
- Wednesday 8th December
- Wednesday 15th December
- Wednesday 22nd December
Thanks to LEGS we are offering this course for cost of only £60 for 10 sessions plus a 1:1 assessment.
Please book early as to avoid disappointment as there is limited number of spaces for this course. To book please visit the LEGS website for more information (www.legs.org.uk/exerciseclasses) and contact LEGS physiotherapist on 07471 210 359 for your initial contact/brief assessment, which will be carried out on line or over the phone.
Venue: The William Hobbayne Hall, Hanwell, W7 2HB, West London
For more info on venue and directions go to: www.williamhobbaynecharity.co.uk
“I have balance problems and find these classes invaluable; both from a physical and mental health prospective. All the participants are welcoming and friendly and the instructors are great. It’s not strenuous and is done in a gentle way. I love attending this class and really look forward to my one hour every week.”
“The Tai Chi for Health Classes have really made a significant improvement to my overall balance, coordination, general mobility and stamina, among other benefits. Michaela and David, our lovely Instructors, are very understanding of the physical needs of people like me and have patiently, lovingly and supportively taken me through the journey towards achieving better physical health through Tai Chi and it’s their support that has enabled me to get to where I’m at physically. In addition to the physical exertions, the Tai Chi for Health Classes provide an enjoyable experience in a relaxed environment with some fun shared with fellow participants who make it worthwhile. I always look forward to attending the weekly classes.”
‘Usually I would have opted for a ‘high impact’ form of exercise, however since starting Tai Chi I have found this to be so beneficial.
After the class, I feel so relaxed and the slow controlled movements exercise the body and the brain.
It helps posture, balance and fitness in a friendly calm environment.
‘As a Parkinsons sufferer I have found Tai Chi to be beneficial for balance and coordination. My leg and core strength has improved.
It is also very social and enjoyable for all ages and outlooks.’
The merits of Tai chi are difficult to explain as a lay man, but Tai Chi brings the collective beauty of people normally marred with the disease together in an un self-conscious way, and one can feel the benefits almost immediately with the inner peace it endeavours.”