Qigong (chi kung) and Taijiquan (t'ai chi ch'uan) sessions with Andi Chapple

Hello! My name is Andi Chapple and I teach taiji and qigong; previously it's been in south-east Cumbria, at the moment I'm on Skye. I've been learning for nearly 20 years and teaching for nearly 15. Please follow this link to a page with my credentials (and links to videos and a note on spelling Chinese words).

I have been offering outdoor qigong sessions - with some taiji as people get used to the basics - but there haven't been takers, so I am waiting until I can offer indoor sessions (to be honest, people tend to prefer a bit of privacy, at least at first).

I'm also available for one-to-one teaching for people who have some experience, prefer the format or have a specific thing they want to learn.

What it's all about

Qi gong just means 'energy work' in Chinese, it's a wide range of exercises with the overall aim of promoting relaxation, strength and balance. Taiji is originally a martial art but most people practise it as a deep and gentle workout for body and mind. We look at some qi gong first to give a grounding for the taiji ‘form’ or sequence of moves.

Qigong and taiji work very well for older people and for people recovering from injury or illness. There is also plenty in them for fitter people, athletes and those looking to wind down from a busy day. The exercises can mostly be adapted for people with movement difficulties. I hope to create a safe space for exploration which will support people through the occasional uncertainties that learning something new can bring. You don't need special clothing, just something comfortable. The same goes for footwear (we generally practice standing up so wear shoes you like), although I recommend flat-soled shoes or pumps. Because the hall is closed, if you might need to sit down please bring your own chair.

This is a vast subject encompassing bodily toning, stretching and relaxation; good posture and efficient movement, leading to improved balance; deep, relaxed breathing; integration of mind and body, mental relaxation and an accepting, focussed state of mind; meditation; the Chinese conception of energy, well-being and the cosmos; elegant sequences of movements; and partner work leading to full-on martial art. Loosely, qigong can be seen as a set of practices that are done for their own sake and to prepare the body and mind for the movements of taiji.

There is a lot of detail in the movements and postures of qigong and taiji, and the purpose of it is to change your mind's model of your body and show where it is inaccurate and then help reprogramme your body to move in a relaxed, efficient and more enjoyable way. The relaxation then help you address physical, mental and emotional habits that are in your way. This takes a while, so my emphasis when people start is on the minimum necessary to get a feel for it and get some benefit out of a class. I teach the detail, but when it can do most good rather than all at once. My approach is to practise lots and not to talk very much if I can help it.