Griffith demonstrates the Tai Chi 'form'
Keith Roost established his first Tai Chi class for disabled
students four years ago, he faced resistance from some fellow
tutors who felt that people who did not have full use of all
of their limbs would not be capable of learning the discipline.
But Cyril was undeterred: "I see no reason why the activity
can't be adapted to suit people with varying disabilities,"
to health of Tai Chi
Relaxes mind and body to combat the stress and strain
of modern living.
Gently tones and strengthens muscles.
Improves balance and posture.
Can help medical conditions such as digestive, heart and
that there are ways of adapting the movements for people with
physical disabilities and that Tai
Chi can be taught to people with sensory disabilities.
most important thing is to adapt the teaching method. It is
the tutor who has to adapt to the needs of the student,"
says Mr Roost.
Even those unable to move their upper or lower limbs, can still
have a benefit, he said.
"We've found that actually watching someone do the movements
and visualising yourself in that persons place is beneficial."
Benefits include an increase in respiration - people breathe
more deeply and normally - and an increase in the range of movements
that students are capable of.
The students at his Vauxhall Centre class certainly feel that
Tai Chi has been good for their health and wellbeing. Michele
Taylor has been attending classes for around 18 months and says
that, as well as total relaxation and meditation. Tai Chi gives
her a sense of more movement.
who is a wheelchair-user, says that Tai Chi makes it easier
for her to carry out the 40 exercise a day regime taught to
her at a recent pain management clinic.
Taylor says 'practice makes perfect'
really didn't do any exercise at all before I came here,"
feel that because you are in a chair that you can't do anything.
Then you realise that there are forms of exercise that you can
can do...and it does help," she said.
has been attending the class since it was first established
about four years ago: "I used to do karate before my accident.
I should have taken up Tai Chi long ago," he said. Since
taking up Tai Chi he has also started practising yoga.
also plays a supportive role. The students rely on each other
to get the form right as well as having the class tutor as their
Keith Roost runs Tai Chi classes in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
He is affiliated to the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain and
can be contacted on (01842) 764647.
Keith Roost is affiliated to
the Practical Tai Chi Chuan Association. The Vauxhall Centre
Tai Chi class is run by a practitioner from the John Ding International
Academy of Tai Chi Chuan.
If you are interested in taking up Tai
Chi in Norfolk contact Adult Education at Wensum Lodge, Norwich.
Telephone: (01603) 666021.
Alternatively, contact the Norfolk Natural Health Service. Telephone:
Union for Great Britain
John Ding International
Academy of Tai Chi Chuan