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At Cotswold Tai Chi, Valerie Ward helps us to maintain and improve our general health and well being in both body and mind. The ancient Chinese systems of Qi Gong (pronounced – chi gung) and Chen Style Tai Chi achieve this, not through pounding and straining, but through the cultivation of relaxation and gently focused attention.

The classes cater to a wide range of physical abilities and are suitable for beginners as well as more experienced practitioners. Everyone works at their own level but beginners can expect to progress quickly as they benefit from having more experienced people in the group.

Most sessions include some time devoted to a tai chi ‘Form’, a series of movements, which take several minutes to complete. This can seem rather complicated and be a little daunting for new students. But after just a few weeks of following and copying, the Form becomes more familiar. Individual movements are practiced and refined each week so the whole Form gradually comes together. Learning the sequences should be a fun and interesting challenge but it is not the most important aspect of the practice. Tai chi is about mindfully learning how to move, to integrate the whole body as one unit. This produces the improvements to balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. Promoting harmony for body, mind and spirit.

Cotswold Tai Chi is affiliated to the Three Counties Chen Taijiquan Association headed by Master Chen Yingjun.


Here is a ‘taster’ of the Silk Reeling technique and The 19 Form from Chen Yingjun’s father, Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang. Happy practice.