What do you think?
Below are some comments by current students and teachers.
Classes are very friendly and relaxed. I have noticed considerable improvements in my balance and that I feel much more relaxed after the class each week. I also live in hope that it is exercising my memory! M Wallace, Edinburgh
When I get home from work on a Tuesday especially if I'm running late, I often have the thought “I'm too tired to go to Tai Chi tonight.” Usually as it nears the time I would leave, I'm rushing about getting changed and finding my little pumps. I know that when I'm there I will have a good time and come away feeling re-energised. When I joined I was looking for non-impact exercise as a way of getting fitter without damaging my joints. It seemed rather strange at first and I wondered when the exercise would come in. Three years on, I am fitter, more flexible and definitely less stressed (most of the time) and the icing on the cake, I have met lots of lovely people. J Knox, Edinburgh
I think I enjoy Tai Chi because it is completely different from anything else I do. It is very therapeutic and encourages you to slow down in an otherwise busy world. M Mitchell, Edinburgh
I commute to work from Fife - a long journey some mornings in heavy traffic. Tai Chi has helped me to keep my calm in some frustrating situations, especially with some inconsiderate drivers. I practice my breathing movements in the car in heavy traffic or when under stress, and find that it keeps me calm and at peace. I do notice when I've missed class for a few weeks - a little road rage seems to seep out whenever I've not Tai Chi'ed!! Rosanna Maccagnano, Fife
My first introduction to 'Tai Chi' came via a 'Stress Awareness' week organised by my employee. At that time I attended an hour long 'introductory Lee Style Tai Chi class' taught by Denise and when it was over, I realised that I felt far more calm and relaxed than when I had walked in, and this spurred me on to become a student of the 'Supreme Ultimate'. Since then, I have found during my Tai Chi 'journey' that both my personal health and well-being have benefited enormously. I am now more physically fit, more supple, I find that I sleep better and handle stressful situations in a far more calm and reflective manner. However, the' icing on the cake' for me is, that whilst gaining all these benefits, I have also had the privilege to meet some lovely and very knowledgeable Tai Chi (and Feng Shou) Teachers, not to mention a great number of very kind 'like minded' people and its these people that make attending our classes, a source of real enjoyment. Jim Anderson, Edinburgh
Tai Chi keeps us fit and supple, physically and mentally. It's a good discipline and we meet nice like-minded folk. It's an activity husband and wife can do together. Iain Roper-Caldbeck, Edinburgh
Tai chi can be done at any level, and bring great benefits. Once a week at Angela’s is good – it’ll give you a lot. You’ll get improved flexibility, balance, coordination, general body-awareness, fitness, and health. And if that’s just what you do, that’s great, your presence is welcome at Angela’s classes. If you feel like doing more, the rewards more than match the effort you put into it. And the possibility of doing more is available to you; it’s there for the asking. The attitude of a teacher can often be detected from the in-class behaviour of the teacher’s students. With martial arts and similar classes, you sometimes get the less pleasant aspects of a teacher’s character coming through - I saw it often enough in the karate world. With Howard and Angela, I see no nonsense, no vanity, no prima-donna approach – just a genuine wish to help us all. Jim Gillespie, Glasgow
Classes are relaxed and you can progress at your own pace. Everybody is very welcoming and its very relaxing and stress free. Also it has had health benefits for me. At times I suffer from severe stomach pains, but Angela gave me a few techniques and breathing exercises which reduces the stress therefore the pain eases. I do enjoy attending classes, it is an hour out of your week and it is well worth it. Betty Barber, Edinburgh
Tai chi balances the other activities in my life - the continual switching of attention at work and the effort of sports. There's a purity of action with tai chi that I find very restful for the mind. I enjoy its unbroken focus, there's no need to pause and check external conditions or weigh up how far I should push a move. I've always appreciated the feeling of physical flow and regular tai chi makes it easier to drop into that state when doing other activities. It also helps me recover my mental balance if something unexpected happens. In climbing I find it easier to relax muscles before making an effort, increasing reach and fine balance. The shoulder rolling of Stick relates directly to how I should be paddling my kayak. I enjoy the body awareness that is developing from the repeated turns and balancing. I draw on all this when swimming, and yoga has become more graceful. I often do the warm ups at home - they help loosen my neck & shoulder and forearms & wrists. (Student wished to remain anonymous)
I always knew I wanted to do Tai Chi and when I started it felt natural to me. Since then Tai Chi and its principles have completely incorporated into all aspects of my life and I don't know how I did without it. Tai Chi has helped me to feel more content and happy with myself, my surroundings and my life choices. It has helped me remain calm through good and bad periods, either at work or in my personal life. I feel more grounded and able to logically and calmly deal with any situation no matter how unexpected. Through Tai Chi I've continued to learn about and grow into myself and am happy with who I am. On a more physical level, Tai Chi has helped me become more sensitive to what is happening in my body and to listen and take better care of it. I also feel that my body has strengthened and my posture has improved. If I haven't done Tai Chi for a period of time my body feels stiff and awkward and I feel more easily stressed. I would recommend it to anyone, not only as an exercise but a journey of self-discovery. Rea Cris, Edinburgh
I have been studying the T’ai Chi Arts for about six years. Even from my first class I found it relaxing. Sometimes, when I could not be bothered getting up from my chair after a hard day at work to go to class, I just thought that I have to go because I know that I will feel better afterwards. And so I did – not just because EWTA classes are always friendly and welcoming. Somehow T’ai Chi calms my mind and helps me realise that my concerns are not as overwhelming as they may have appeared initially. Sometimes I do not sleep well. On these occasions, I get up in the middle of the night and do an hour of T’ai Chi. When I go back to bed I sleep immediately and the sleep is so peaceful it is worth the disturbed night. I keep going to class because there is so much left to learn. Although I know that I will never find out all there is to know about T’ai Chi, if you love to learn as much as I do then you will enjoy the journey without ever knowing where the end point is. Geraldine Jones, Edinburgh