St Joseph’s Hospice
From 2010-17 we ran two weekly classes at St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney aimed at patients, carers, staff and the local community in general. The first class was a gentle class for those with ongoing health conditions or recovering from ill health, and included both standing and seated Qi Gong exercises and meditation. The second class guided people through the Wu style Taiji Quan short form.
The classes were very popular and well attended. Over the years we had a great opportunity to work with people experiencing a wide variety of life-limiting and chronic health and wellbeing conditions, The classes also provided staff and volunteers with a means to exercise and relax after work. Many people from the group now attend classes at our Studio and have formed long-lasting friendships.
“I’m learning how to stand, and to walk… I can feel how more secure I am as I move around. I am learning how to let go of tensions, and to hold my body without effort. And to go at a pace that works for me… But the biggest surprise is how calming it is. For a whole hour I concentrate on nothing but moving my body without effort. Rather than worrying about stuff.”
Over the last decade, our instructors taught a variety of weekly classes for the over 50s in Hackney on behalf of local charity Hoxton Health. These included local community centres, nursing homes and medical centres.
The classes offered a mix of learning the early movements of the Wu style Taiji Quan Big Slow Form, walking practices, seated and standing Qi Gong sequences, and meditation, all tailored to meet the many and varied health and social needs of those who came.
The participants said they found the classes helpful in a range of ways, including improving balance and mobility, relieving the chronic pain of conditions like arthritis, recovering strength and energy following cancer treatment, time away from the pressures of being a carer, and overcoming feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Our instructors have also taught Taiji Quan and Qi Gong for a variety of other local community organisations including the John Scott Health Centre, Islington Council, Finsbury Park Mosque (children’s classes), Jubba Youth Community Association (women’s self defence), Andover Estate Community Centre, and Manor Gardens Centre for Health and Wellbeing.