Meet our instructors - Philip from Discover Tai Chi

This Summer WheelPower is inviting you to slow down, press the pause button, and find some breathing space by taking part in our new Tai Chi Classes.  

This August Philip Sheridan, founder of Discover Tai Chi will be taking us on a deep dive into the ancient, embodied movements of qigong. Phil brings an unprecedented level of knowledge and experience to these sessions with over 37 years of practice in tai chi, qigong, embodied practice, and other martial arts. 

We caught up with Philip recently to find out a bit more about these sessions and what can be expected ... 

Why is Tai Chi so good for disabled people?

Tai chi ('tie chee') and qigong ('chee gong') are great for disabled people. We can enjoy tai chi and qigong anytime, anywhere, seated or standing, indoors or outdoors. We don't need to wear special clothing or use any special equipment.

You will often come across tai chi and qigong described as a moving meditation.  Tai chi and qigong bring a different cultural sensibility to our conventional vies of physical exercise. When we practice tai chi or qigong we learn to listen to our bodies and minds. We learn to take notice of how we feel and what is going on around us. As an embodied practice, tai chi and qigong allows us a new way of inhabiting our bodies and relating to ourselves as well as others. The prime aim of regular tai chi and qigong practice is to purposefully slow down and actively relax.

Tai chi and qigong offers us a wonderful opportunity to learn a new movement skill that offers people a great deal of satisfaction. For some people it can become a life-long practice simply for the intrinsic pleasure it brings. In other words, tai chi and qigong can become a way of life.

Typically, in China, people describe the act of practicing tai chi or qigong as 'playing' in the same way a musician plays music. This idea of play tells us that tai chi and qigong bring a creative and expressive element to physical exercise. Something we will explore in our classes for WheelPower members.

Studies show that regular tai chi and qigong practice not only improves our physical health and fitness but it also has quite a powerful benefit for our brains too. People who enjoy tai chi and qigong regularly report improved sleep quality and a deep meaningful sense of relaxation which can help people living with mild to moderate mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

For wheelchair users tai chi and qiong can prove especially beneficial for improving the range of motion in the shoulders and neck as well as easing tension. Importantly, studies show that adapted tai chi and qigong is a safe physical activity that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Working in partnership with WheelPower?

We're really looking forward to working in partnership with WheelPower. It's our passion to bring the benefits and enjoyment of this mindful movement practice to as many people as we can. Over the years we have brought tai chi and qigong to a diverse range of people from across the world.  

We hope that our sessions for WheelPower will inspire and encourage disabled people to find activities they enjoy, as we know that it's the physical activities you continue to participate in that gives us the greatest benefits. If regular tai chi and qigong can be one of those enjoyable activities then we've done our job.

Philip delivering an in person Tai Chi Class at the WheelPower Healthy Living Day (May 2022)

What can we expect from the sessions?

We're here to help people explore adapted tai chi and qigong in a safe and inclusive environment with a warm welcome for everyone. We positively encourage questions and comments at the end of each session.

We also encourage people to listen to their bodies on the day and move within a comfortable range of movement. We even encourage people to join the session simply to watch and observe. We don't wish people to feel under pressure to perform. That would go against the ethos of tai chi.

We think of our classes and workshops as communities of practice; everyone has something to bring to the sessions. We practice with a spirit of openness and support for everyone who joins us.

What people say ... 

"I love these classes! Very inclusive and fun and deceptively challenging. All with lots of encouragement and humour and lovely groups of people." 

“ Slow easy movements are great for those like me who have a chronic back condition- my balance and strength in my thighs & knees is improving. Also helps to slow myself down, relax and enjoy."

WheelPower is delighted to be welcoming Philip to our Online Classes and we hope that you enjoy the opportunity to try something new this Summer from the comfort of your own homes. Phil will be sitting in for Nina (Yoga) every Wednesday morning at 11am throughout August. Please see the upcoming dates below (click on a date to book your FREE ticket) 

August 3rd - 11am-12pm

August 10th - 11am-12pm

August 17th - 11am-12pm

August 24th - 11am-12pm

August 31st - 11am-12pm

Find out more about Discover Tai Chi:

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