My immune system is more robust. The usual seasonal colds and flu's no longer affect me, an important consideration in these Covid times.



 Sitting or reclining while awake is associated with lower muscle strength, risk of falls and physical function, sometimes irrespective of the amount of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity you do. People who sit for prolonged periods are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, higher waist circumference and obesity.

(Professor Dawn Skelton)

 Research shows that people’s ability to stand on one leg is an indicator of health and that getting better at standing on one leg can add to fitness and potentially lifespan.

(Professor Dawn Skelton)


The "feedback" I get from my body is more accurate, I discovered when I first started, how unreliable it was. I am more aware of how I use my body on a daily basis. The lessons from tai chi are becoming more integrated into my everyday life. I no longer bend awkwardly, putting strain on my lower back to pick things up from the floor or to empty the dishwasher I squat. I've discovered that my body actively enjoys squatting. I no longer pour water from the kettle with an unnatural, constricting shoulder lift, I roll the whole arm from shoulder blade to wrist to pour water into the teapot. I have rediscovered the pleasure young children get from just moving. The enjoyment of walking, especially in natural surroundings, is enhanced by a quiet sense of pleasure that comes from being aware of how my whole body is moving. When I first started at the school I didn't know I had a sacroiliac joint. Nor was I aware I had a psoas muscle, let alone where it was or how to relax and lengthen it.


  Four years ago I had this belief I was relaxed. I worked in an occupation that was permanently high up in the Top Ten most stressful jobs. Colleagues would ask "how do you stay so calm?".

I'd talk to them about the strategies I employed from C.B.T. (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and N.L.P. (Neurolinguistic Programming) amongst other therapies and calmly give out advice.

Looking back now, I can smile at my naivety and my ability for self deception. As soon after I started studying with Newcastle Tai Chi School I quickly became aware of how tense I really was and how little I knew about the true nature of relaxation.



The first thing you will explore is alignment. How far apart your feet are placed... What your skeleton is doing... How you stand... Whether or not you are taxing the joints...

It is important to discover how to work in a manner that is healthy and comfortable. That way, it will directly affect your everyday life, and improve your health more effectively.


 I think Sifu Waller knows more about functional biomechanics than all the orthopaedic surgeons I have met put together. 

(Dr David Cousins)



Sifu Waller has been training since 1975, so is incredibly experienced. His classes tend to attract doctors and medical workers, as well as interest from hospitals. Why? Because we get results.

We aim to improve circulation, balance, coordination, ambidextrous body use, skeletal alignment and tension in the body, along with reducing anxiety by remaining rooted in the here and now.

This said, the classes aren't going to be medical or in any way 'heavy'. The exercises are moderateaccessible and can be easily performed by most adults.


Qi (magical energy)...

A lot of modern tai chi classes talk about qi... They give the impression that a magical energy is going to transform your health.

Our classes will never mention qiWe are not going to be talking about qi, auras or anything mystical. We are grounded in medically-sound, functional practice - in the physical world, not in the fantastical.



Qigong involves very simple exercises designed to introduce the rounded, natural shapes employed in tai chi. Although qigong is quite straightforward, it does require good body awareness and patience if you are to become adept with the movements.

qigong exercises are static, and these are terrific for strength-building.



 Say YES to new experiences. Be willing to feel lost, awkward and confused.

It is good to be uncertain.


The journey to the self

Cultures with a rich spiritual tradition recognised that life is more than material wealth, self-importance, status, prestige.

Working, politics, family travails, gossip, the news, current affairs, sport, gadgets... all serve to distract you from the truth.

Upon retirement, people relished the opportunity to start getting to know themselves.


"I'm busier now than when I worked"

Many retired people say this. Who is it pitched at? Younger people? Other retirees? It sounds somewhat implausible doesn't it? Consider what is being said. Retiring is to cease work.

By contrast, a younger person must work to financially support a mortgage/rent, pay for children's education/upbringing, a car etc. They have no choice but to work.

The retiree usually does have a choice. And they have chosen to fill they days with activities. Pretending to be at the mercy of fate is simply a transparent ploy intended to convey significance.


Exercising when older

One avenue that many retirees pursue is exercise. This can be great if done is moderation. You may feel like you are 40 but your body is not invulnerable to injury. Just be careful.

A marathon may sound great in conversation but lying on the tarmac having a heart attack is nobody's idea of fun...

 How we move conveys energy and youth – not how buff we are.

(Anne Elliott)