Request a copy of the UK Singing Dragon Complete Catalogue

Cover of the Singing Dragon UK Complete CatalogueMake sure not to miss Singing Dragon’s latest UK Complete Catalogue. If you have not yet received a copy, please sign up for our mailing list and we’ll send a free one out to you ASAP.

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Take advantage of this opportunity to find new, forthcoming and classic books on Chinese Medicine, Holistic Health, Taiji, Qigong, Herbal Medicine, Yoga, Spirituality and more. Also, sample health-promoting recipes with The Functional Nutrition Cookbook, and Make Yourself Better with Philip Weeks’ books. Delve into the history of Ayurvedic Medicine and the Mudras of India, and discover the Five Levels of Taijiquan, Daoist Nei Gong and Chinese Medical Qigong.

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Managing stress and achieving balance through seated Tai Chi and Qigong exercises – An Interview with Cynthia Quarta

Cynthia W. Quarta has taught martial arts for over twenty five years and was the Activities Director at an assisted living facility. She continues to teach seated Tai Chi classes in a number of locations to a range of ages and levels of physical fitness. She lives in Great Falls, Montana, USA.

In this interview, Cynthia talks about how she came to develop the exercises in her forthcoming book, Seated Tai Chi and Qigong: Guided Therapeutic Exercises to Manage Stress and Balance Mind, Body and Spirit.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to practice martial arts in the first place?

I saw my first martial arts demonstration (jujitsu) when I was nine years old. I wasn’t able to take lessons, however, until many years later when one of my advanced ballet students asked to be excused from classes so she could take her black belt test. That was the first I had heard about her involvement in the martial arts. I offered to barter dance lessons in exchange for instruction in her style of Korean karate (Kwon Bup) to which she agreed. Shortly after that she began teaching several other classes in which I also participated. I finally received my black belt and, after my sensei moved out of town, opened my own dojo. Throughout the succeeding years, I had the opportunity to study Eagle Dragon Chinese Kenpo Kung Fu as well as a smattering of WuShu and Tae Kwon Do.

What motivated you to write this book, and what is it about generally?

While I was working as the Activities Director at a local retirement community, I used my dance and martial arts background to design an exercise program for the residents. When the community changed from one for able-bodied retirees to an assisted living facility for those with limited physical mobility, I had to change my approach. With the help of a core group of resident fitness enthusiasts, I developed a program of seated exercises based on the Yang style of T’ai Chi Chuan and the energizing exercises of Qigong.

This book presents a series of seated exercises to benefit people of all ages and levels of fitness. It is written for therapists and caregivers who want to provide an alternative, effective and creative approach to healing. The book includes instructions specifically for these health care professionals to assist them in their work with their patients/clients.

Why do the Tai Chi and Qigong exercises you’ve adapted in the book lend themselves so well to being practiced in a chair?

Both Tai Chi and Qigong are gentle exercise systems that provide healing and increase overall wellness. Regardless of a person’s situation – whether they are recovering from surgery, recently injured, elderly, or dealing with a chronic disability – these exercises are safe and yet amazingly effective. The emphasis in these exercises is on proper breathing and the involvement of the mind in the process of reducing stress, increasing energy and improving oxygen levels. For that reason the practitioner need not be in top physical condition or, for that matter, even able to stand in order to reap the benefits from the use of these exercises.

What positive effects can professionals hope to see in their clients and patients as a result of using the exercises?

The professional who uses this system with his/her patients will see immediate results in stress reduction, increased oxygen levels, improved appetite, more restful sleep, and a decrease in pain and stiffness. Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and a number of other medical facilities with research divisions have published studies on the benefits of regular Tai Chi and Qigong practice. I encourage any health care professional considering whether or not to try this program to research these studies (most of them are conveniently available online).

Are there any common obstacles that professionals face when trying to guide their clients/patients through the exercise? How can this book help?

The primary challenge is the lack of knowledge and familiarity. Most of us in Western countries haven’t been exposed to Eastern medicine to any great extent. Overcoming the resistance to a new, holistic approach to improved health is usually the biggest obstacle at the beginning. As time goes on, though, and as patients begin to experience the benefits, their attitudes will change. This book contains a basic but inclusive explanation of Chinese medical theories to help professionals explain to their patients why these types of exercises can improve anyone’s level of health.

Why is it important to include a chapter on self-care for the professional?

If there is anyone who needs help in managing stress and achieving balance in their busy lives it is those who labor daily with patients who are ill or disabled! Therapists must be both relaxed and balanced in all areas of their lives if they are to help others achieve their wellness goals.

How does the book reflect your general philosophy about health?

I believe that an exercise program that works in combination with a healthy lifestyle and a well-balanced body, mind and spirit is the secret to a long and vigorous life. The exercises described in my book are gentle and safe and because they are designed to be practiced while seated, they provide a program that can be used daily even by those with physical limitations or of advanced age. In other words, this exercise system can be used throughout one’s life from youth through middle age and on into the later years, while at peak physical condition or at a stage of life when diminished mobility and strength present a daily challenge.

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.

Anywhere in Any Chair – Yoga for All – An Interview with Edeltraud Rohnfeld

Edeltraud Rohnfeld qualified as a yoga teacher at the Berlin Yoga Institute Asha Rekai in 1991. She taught private yoga classes in Berlin for 15 years and trained yoga teachers and healthcare professionals. She later specialised in chair yoga, learning from its founder Erika Hammerstroem. She moved to Ireland in 2008 where she runs seminars on chair and classic yoga.

Here, Edeltraud talks about the many benefits and joys of practicing yoga, and how the exercises in her new book,
Chair Yoga: Seated Exercises for Health and Wellbeing, can help individuals with physical disabilities take control of their bodies and their lives.

What drew you to yoga, and how did you develop an interest in the seated form?

When I was 22 my sister showed me my first yoga exercises. I had just returned from a six-month trip to Israel feeling a little confused and without a clear perspective. I had reached a point where I was wondering what I should do with my life. Discovering yoga helped me not only physically, but emotionally too. Every time I did yoga something beautiful happened in me. It was different than doing sport. Not only my body benefited, but my mind and my soul as well. I began to feel more stable and gained more clarity in this very uncertain period of my life. I became more focused and was able to be more aware of all the possibilities life had to offer me. I practised yoga for years and undertook numerous courses. As I became more knowledgeable, I began to practice yoga with small groups of friends and it gave me such a pleasure that I then decided to become a Yoga Instructor.

Two years after completing my education in 1993, I met Erika Hammerstroem – the founder of Chair Yoga. She was an experienced Yoga Instructor who felt a strong need to aid group members who sometimes found it impossible to continue classes due to physical, aging-related limitations. Not wishing them to be excluded from participating in their much loved yoga classes, she began to adapt and devise exercises based on the classic form of yoga but using a chair instead of a mat. The interest in the classes was so great that she then went on to educate the Instructors so they could go on to teach classes. I was one of her students and I began to take my own chair classes in addition to mat yoga.

I began to develop more exercises as my experience grew. I wanted to share as much knowledge as I could and, realising the interest was so great, I decided to write a book about it. Erika Hammerstroem loved the idea. Sadly, she passed away in 2004 at the tender age of 82, just a few months before my book was published in german. I dedicated my book to her and to the angel to whom we prayed together.

I have been teaching both Classic and Chair Yoga for the last 17 years, and I get great pleasure from teaching anyone who loves yoga. My hope for the future is that Chair Yoga will be practised more widely throughout the world, allowing yoga to become more accessible to people who previously thought they could not do it, and to offer my seminars to Yoga Instructors all over the world.

What are the key benefits of practising Chair Yoga?

The key benefits of Chair Yoga are very similar to those of Classic Yoga. The only difference is that the risk of injury is significantly reduced on the chair. The whole body is moved and becomes more supple. Movements incorporate the spine, and all muscles and inner organs get gently stretched and strengthened (including the heart). The exercises support circulation, enabling better oxygenation to all the cells of the body, to the digestive system and to the immune system. It helps to reduce and cope with stress, anxiety and insomnia and increases self-esteem. By practising Chair Yoga frequently, one can feel more balanced in life and it can enable you to have more joy in life whilst becoming more flexible.

How does the book reflect your general philosophy about health and wellbeing?

In my opinion health and wellbeing is about finding a balance between one’s physical and psychological needs. By undertaking yoga frequently, one can improve and maintain good flexibility and strengthen muscles. Combining this with a good balanced diet, sufficient rest and regularly practising relaxation techniques, one can achieve good physical wellbeing.

The body and mind are strongly linked; if the body feels healthier, the mind will feel clearer and calmer and perhaps more receptive and better able to deal with the challenges in life. People need to have more self-awareness of their individual needs. Yoga empowers people to be more able to focus on their individual needs and not to give in to negative influences.

There is a strong connection between people feeling emotionally stressed and experiencing physical symptoms. Rather than trying to suppress worries and fears, yoga helps people confront their anxieties instead of ignoring them. This in turn can help us become emotionally strong and empowered. It has certainly helped me to find my way through difficult periods in my life, and to have faith and be more accepting of the things that I cannot control.

With my book I want to encourage everybody who is interested in practicing yoga to take their life in their own hands and make the best out of it. Despite any physical or psychological limitations, you can still practice Chair Yoga and significantly improve your health and wellbeing.

Why was it important to include a section about diet?

Whilst practising yoga greatly improves one’s health and wellbeing, in order to achieve the maximum benefits one needs to eat healthy too. A student who smokes, drinks alcohol and eats “junk food” will not gain as much from yoga as an individual who does not.

Throughout my years teaching yoga I’ve met many people who are not well-informed about how to make healthier dietary choices – for example choosing to eat “whole” foods as opposed to refined foods. Additionally I’ve had many students who were unaware of the importance of drinking water frequently while practising yoga. Yoga helps the body excrete accumulated toxins. With enough water the body is able to flush out these toxins; failure to drink enough water can result in headaches and joint and generalised pain throughout the body.

It was critical for me to inform my readers of the role diet and nutrition play in complementing yoga and in improving one’s health.

However, as I discuss in my book, it is not necessary for the individual to be vegetarian or a non-smoker in order to practice yoga. Awareness and understanding may enable students to begin to gradually change and alter their eating, drinking or smoking habits. It is important for people to achieve this in their own individual way. Many of us acquire bad habits over a period of years and therefore changes must be made slowly and at a realistic pace. Yoga is not about pressure or force and every person must respond to their own goals at their own pace.

How should this book be used?

First and foremost, I would recommend that the reader examine the Introduction and exercises. Try a few exercises which may be of particular interest or proceed to “Chapter 13: Exercise Guidelines” and start with a 15-minute program.

Depending on how you find the program, extend it to a 30-minute program in the next session. Try not to over-do the sessions. Instead, give yourself small realistic goals such as 2-3 times a week for 15 minutes, and aim to continue this at regular intervals. As you feel more and more able, increase first the length of each session and then the frequency.

Remember never to force yourself to do yoga, but practise it with joy!

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.

Bending without Breaking – Author Isobel Knight talks about dancing and living with Hypermobility Syndrome

Isobel Knight is a dancer who has Hypermobility Syndrome (HMS). She completed her MSc in Dance Science at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2009, and now works as a Manager in the clinic there, also giving lectures on HMS from time to time.

Here she answers some questions about her new book,
A Guide to Living with Hypermobility Syndrome: Bending without Breaking.

How has Hypermobility Syndrome shaped your life as a dancer?

I did ballet from the age of five and loved it straight away. I saw my first Nutcracker at age seven in London for my birthday treat, and remember watching the dancers on pointe and thinking I would really like to do that. I got the book, Life at the Royal Ballet School by Camilla Jessel as a Christmas present in the same year, and was fascinated by the training the ballet dancers had to go through, and their very obvious dedication. That book is still one of my favourites. I would still love more than anything to go and spend a few days at White Lodge watching the dancers learn.

My dancing career has been very ‘stop-start’. I danced from age five to nine and only got to Grade 1 level and then stopped owing to a change of schools. I then started dancing again at the age of 13 and all my former classmates were in either Grade 5 or 6. I had a lot of catching up to do, but really relished the challenge. I remember when I had not long been back that one of the girls in my class said to me, “you’ve got lovely turn-out, you are so lucky.” And I was. And I am, largely due to my having Hypermobility Syndrome (HMS) which means I have a larger than normal range of movement and, in dance, allows me to achieve positions that most other ‘normal’ people find too stressful on their bodies. In many ways I have a good body for classical ballet (except I am not a size 8, and tiny and petite). I have very good rotation at the hip because of my hypermobility. I have good strong feet (not always in keeping with some hypermobile people) and a pleasing arch of the foot, a flexible back and good extensions. I was also aware early on that my legs were what my teacher called “swayback”, which was another aspect of hypermobility, and my legs were and still are an interesting shape because of knee joint hypermobility and this is desirable in ballet for additional leg extensions.

However, despite my hypermobility being an advantage to me in some ways, interestingly, my coordination isn’t very good and, while I did well in classical ballet, I failed miserably at sports. Impaired coordination is another common symptom of hypermobility. This means that sometimes it takes me longer than others to learn new movement patterns. And because of the larger range of motion, there is always so much extra to manage and control for the hypermobile dancer.

When I re-started ballet at 13 I had a lot of catching up to do. I would often attend the classes of the younger children and stand at the back so I could learn all the steps I had missed since giving up at age nine. When puberty hit, many of my classmates gave up ballet as their bodies tightened up and they were struggling with their own lack of turnout and the demands of the higher grades of the syllabus. I, on the other hand, was coping very well with the changes in my body – aside from growing pains and a very regular calf pain and cramp, which was so severe I often couldn’t walk normally first thing in the morning! These were probably the first signs of HMS, but I had also broken my leg when I was seven and have never walked properly since that time, walking far more like a ballet dancer than a ‘normal’ person.

Just after I finally took Grade 6 and Pre-Intermediate exam, just weeks prior to my 18th birthday, I started to get lower back pain. At first my teacher and I thought that I had overdone things, but after it had persisted for a few weeks – mainly being painful in positions such as arabesque – I was sent to my GP and I had my first sessions of physiotherapy which did briefly improve the pain. Unfortunately it never went away entirely and I battled on with this until I was 23, having had more time out of ballet owing to university. I then took my Intermediate (Vocational Grade Examination) and had a year of doing Advanced Level 1 ballet before the pain took its toll. I reluctantly decided that I had better stop as I thought the dancing must be exacerbating my back pain.

Tell us about your diagnosis – did it help you

Following an eight year break from ballet, I took it up again after attending a pain management course where I learned that “pain didn’t always equal damage.” By then my back pain had been diagnosed as related to a disc prolapsed at L4/5 and disc degeneration. The reason for the pain would have been caused by hypermobility at this section of my spine and a complete lack of muscular strength to control it. The disc diagnosis is very much secondary, I believe. The pain management course incorporated exercises and stretches to recondition our de-conditioned bodies and psychological strategies including pacing activity and goal-setting. Upon discussion with the doctors and physiotherapists at my pain management course, there was universal agreement that I could return to doing classical ballet; that it would not be detrimental to my back pain providing that I paced my return to class very carefully.

I started to do syllabus classes with a local dance school in my area in South London. This was in late 2006. I was very frustrated initially because my brain remembered how to do the steps, but my physical body found it very difficult. I stopped again in 2007, dancing from the privacy of my flat, and then started to do classes at Danceworks in Central London, which are open classes of many levels. I started doing a class where I knew the teacher, but kept on injuring my calves. From late 2007, I went on a diet and started to lose much of the weight I had gained owing to my complete inactivity. As I started to feel better in myself, I started to do more and more classes, even though I wasn’t really ready for this, and in February 2008 partially tore my right calf muscle. However, this for me was not the end of ballet, but just the beginning of a very long journey to recovery, as it turns out, at the mercy of HMS, which was diagnosed in 2009.

We were doing some testing for dancers at Trinity Laban and this was the first time that I seemed to fit into the category of potentially having Hypermobility Syndrome. Very shortly after that my physiotherapist (Katherine Watkins) suggested that it was very likely, but of course the ultimate diagnosis comes from a Consultant Rheumatologist.

When I received my diagnosis I was initially quite upset because I really didn’t want this ‘thing’, and just thought I was very flexible. But the more I started to find out about the condition, the more it was obvious as to why I had so many problems all my life – e.g. walking late, being clumsy and having poor coordination, regularly injuring myself and then ending up in constant pain. I then pieced other related syndrome features such as having fatigue, asthma, IBS, and it all begun to make sense.

What is your day-to-day life like with HMS?

I have to think through the results of my actions and normal movement that other people would take for granted can have huge repercussions for me. For example, just doing too many reps of an exercise can cause overuse injuries and induce serious fatigue very quickly. Lifting my nephew too many times fatigues my arms and shoulders to the extent I can hardly hold a newspaper the next day.

The fatigue combined with the pain have also meant that I am often just too tired and have no energy to manage socialising and going out at the end of the working day, resulting in my cancelling social events often. It is very difficult – and I have let many friends down – but luckily most are tolerant and are usually understanding.

How did the book come about – what motivated you to put pen to paper?

I think I was fed up with having to explain to people constantly why I was always getting injured and was so often in pain. I felt that there was an essential need to tell my story and explain, through the eyes of a person with HMS, just how insidious and multi-systemic this condition is.

I also felt there was a need to justify my symptoms and show that that neither myself nor other HMS patients are hypochondriacs – that the pain, fatigue, and constant injury are real aspects of the condition. So I wanted to write the book to support other HMS patients, but more than anything else to try also to educate medical professionals and explain to family and friends just how difficult this condition can be to manage. I also identified a gap with respect to patient-led literature on the subject; other sufferers told me they really wanted to try and write about their experiences but often got too fatigued in the process, something I can very much identify with!

What is your outlook for the future as a dancer with HMS?

I think that subconsciously I knew that I would never have a career as a dancer (with or without the HMS). I never really enjoyed performing as a dancer, (although as a musician, I do!) and just knew I didn’t have the right physique for classical ballet. I think I knew that I would love a career that involved working with dancers, so I have managed that successfully in working therapeutically with dancers, as well as my work at Trinity Laban as the Clinic Admin Manager.

I have always loved the discipline and structure of classical ballet classes. My body knows how to do most of the movements, and it has always felt “right” for my body. Since I have now been through an extensive physiotherapy rehabilitation programme which is likely to have to continue in a maintenance capacity forever, I think that my chances of safely continuing classical ballet classes for a much longer period are more likely. Indeed, I hope I will still be doing ballet when I am an old lady! If I keep matching my strength to my flexibility, and listen to my body when it is too fatigued to dance safely, there is no reason why this shouldn’t be the case. Exercise is a crucial aspect to the management of HMS, and what better exercise than classical ballet, where being hypermobile is a natural and aesthetical asset. Finally, having the eye of a good ballet teacher is absolutely essential, and the support and guidance of a expert HMS physiotherapist. Without these two I would have more difficulty in continuing to pirouette in safety!

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.

Teaching Tai Chi and Qigong in Schools – An Interview with Singing Dragon author Betty Sutherland

Betty Sutherland is the founder and director of UK Tai Chi and ‘Chi for Children’, a leading provider of Tai Chi based initiatives in schools across the UK. She has studied Tai Chi Chuan since 1994 and is a senior instructor at the Five Winds School of Tai Chi Chuan. She is also a member and listed as an ‘A’ grade instructor with the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain and a member of the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts.

Here, she answers some questions about her new book and DVD, Chi for Children: A Practical Guide to Teaching Tai Chi and Qigong in Schools and the Community.

How did you get in to Tai Chi Chuan, and what do you love about it?

I was originally directed to Tai Chi to help me during a very stressful time in my life. I was actually being ‘bullied’ in work by a boss and this was taking a serious toll on my health and mental wellbeing. A neighbour saw me with a dreadful migraine (I was having regular debilitating migraines) and she said “Take up Tai Chi – you need grounding”. She said this regularly for 2 years until I did indeed ‘take up Tai Chi’. It helped me work out my situation and deal with the daily mental punishment in the work situation, and other people began to notice that I was dealing with things a lot better. I will always thank my neighbour for her insight. (Incidentally years later the ‘boss’ took up Tai Chi!)

To this day Tai Chi is still my solitude and when things go wrong, my head says “Do Tai Chi” and I am compelled to go and do some form – it’s weird but it works.

What was the impetus for establishing UK Tai Chi? How have you found running Tai Chi and Qigong classes in schools?

I was asked to go into a school for their International Day and do a little bit on China. When the teachers saw how calm the students became while doing Tai Chi, they asked me to do more and show them how to help their students by teaching them Tai Chi. Hence the programme of Educational Tai Chi and Qigong called ‘Chi for Children’ was born, and train-the-trainer (the foundation for this resource) established in schools. In 2002 my programme was supported by school sports management and rolled out across Yorkshire (and now beyond).

Most teachers have embraced Tai Chi and the Chinese approach to life, so much so, that I now have several teachers in my traditional Wudang Tai Chi Chuan evening classes. On the whole the educational ‘establishment’ see the benefits to students, especially for the calmness that Tai Chi brings to the classroom. They also recognise the benefits of teaching students how to ‘manage the mind’ and improve their ability to focus and in the long term improve discipline. Mostly students (mainly 6-11 years old) love it and as they calm their energies and come alive to the movements they report mainly good feelings about themselves, of feeling calm but happy and often pleasantly surprised that they can feel Chi (energy) in their bodies. Often teachers attending these sessions will comment on how calm the class becomes during and after Tai Chi.

I have lots of letters and drawings from kids who have enjoyed the Tai Chi sessions, but the one I remember most was a little girl who had obvious learning difficulties. At the end of the session she came up to me and said “Miss, I didn’t think I would be able to do this, but I can”, with a big beaming smile on her face. This to me was the best reward that I could have asked for.

I also have a teenager who was withdrawn and a loner because of family difficulties. This student has since competed in Tai Chi at local and national level. However to me the best thing that has happened to him is that he has stepped forward to mentor and nurture some of the younger pupils and was recently pictured with his arms round them laughing and smiling. Like myself these students have embraced Tai Chi and are reaping the benefits.

How did the book and DVD come about, and what is the idea behind it?

In the early days teachers who wanted to sustain Tai Chi in schools asked me for a teaching resource; they stressed that it would be easier for them if it was in a visual format. I sat down and worked out how I was delivering the sessions and wrote it all down. This was the foundation of the DVD and book. It is for anyone who wants to learn the basics to teach to the younger age group.

How does Tai Chi support children’s physical, mental, emotional and academic development?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the emotions and physical health work hand-in-hand, one balancing the other. When we follow these principles and teach them to the younger generation they benefit from an early age. Recognising that stress, fear and adrenalin inhibits learning, we teach students how to manage the mind, reduce negative emotions and improve and enhance a positive attitude. This in turn can benefit their emotional and academic development, and also helps going forward in life (interviews, driving exams etc.).

On a physical level, I have found that children are not as fit as they could be for their age. Tai Chi is not ‘an easy option’ – it just looks easy. Tai Chi is a ‘weight bearing’ exercise and holding postures develops muscles and bone density. In Tai Chi we ensure that don’t over-stretch or ‘hyper extend’ in the way that some other exercise systems can. A session last between 45 – 60 minutes and the students are standing for that period of time. Most comment that ‘it’s hard work’.

What advice would you give to someone looking to introduce Tai Chi into school and community settings?

I would recommend that teachers attend a Tai Chi class, however my resource Chi for Children will lead the teacher through the basic forms and postures that they need to help them get started. Each and every action is shown in the easy to follow DVD and explained in the book – a teacher could start to teach some of the simpler posture from day one. I know this because I have taught several hundred teachers/activity and community leaders backed by my resource.

Tai Chi is an excellent way to start the day and calm the classroom environment. I would recommend that teachers take learning slowly and as I say in the book – “Encourage your students to help you as you are also ‘new to the subject’. Empowering others always gets lots of enthusiasm.”

Praise for ‘Chi for Children’ from the Barlby Sports Partnership:

“The ‘Chi for Children’ program, delivered by UK Tai Chi has made a huge impact within the Barlby School Sport Partnership.

After a comprehensive review of the partnerships activities, it became apparent that, young people wanted more from their current physical education program. There was also a real need to target those children that took little or no interest in the traditional team activities that were currently being offered.

Alongside this the School Sport Partnership wanted to run an initiative that not only captured the imagination of all the young people involved but offered primary teaching staff the opportunity to gain a qualification in delivery archived through a excellent personalised mentoring scheme offered by UK Tai Chi.

The impact to date has been huge, 20 primary schools (45% of all schools) have been involved with the Chi for Children initiative, with over 20 teachers attending the train the trainer module 1. Over 200 pupils now regularly participate in Tai Chi either in the classroom as a focus session or as a stand alone PE lesson. One school was even used as a show piece example in the Partnership Dance Platform event.

As well as the health and physical benefits to all the young people what has been most encouraging is the impact the initiative has had within the whole school. Schools have been using Tai Chi as a means of stress relief for pupils (and staff) prior to exams, as a means of calming children down after lunchtimes, as a way of focusing children in the mornings to start the day.”

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.

Singing Dragon Wins Gold at the 2011 Living Now Book Awards

We are pleased to announce that four Singing Dragon books have won prizes at the 2011 Living Now Book Awards, including two first place Gold prizes!

Singing Dragon received the Gold prize in the Enlightenment/Spirituality category for The 12 Chinese Animals: Create Harmony in your Daily Life through Ancient Chinese Wisdom by Master Zhongxian Wu.

Singing Dragon also received the Gold prize in the Yoga/Pilates/Bodywork category for Yoga Therapy for Every Special Child by Nancy Williams.

And in the Exercise/Fitness category, Singing Dragon scooped two prizes: the Silver for Vital Healing: Energy, Mind and Spirit in Traditional Medicines of India, Tibet & the Middle East – Middle Asia, by Dr Marc S. Micozzi, and the Bronze for Managing Stress with Qigong by Gordon Faulkner.

The Living Now Book Awards celebrate the innovation and creativity of new books that enhance the quality of our lives, from cooking and fitness to relationships and mature living. Visit for more info.

Congratulations to the authors, contributors, editors and everyone who worked on the winning books! Click below to learn more about each one.

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.