Tai Chi classes helps bust stress in Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge Tai Chi instructor Jonathan Foulger has paired up with Nic Chapman of, the Avalon Institute, to provide free lessons to residents in a bid to bust lockdown stress.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 4:45 pm
Hebden Bridge Tai Chi instructor Jonathan Foulger has paired up with Nic Chapman of, the Avalon Institute, to provide free lessons to residents in a bid to bust lockdown stress. Photo by Bruce Fitzgerald.

Hebden Bridge Tai Chi instructor Jonathan Foulger has paired up with Nic Chapman of, the Avalon Institute, to provide free lessons to residents in a bid to bust lockdown stress.

During lockdown, Jonathan has led Tai Chi and Qigong classes in Calder Holmes Park. The pair hope that the classes will help promote mental wellbeing among locals and allow them to have a safe form of social interaction.

Plasterer Jonathan knows first hand just how beneficial the classes can be, as the activity has helped him conquer his problems with anxiety.

“Just over five years ago I suffered a mental breakdown caused by stress brought on by a number of different things. I was constantly having panic attacks, shaking all the time, not sleeping for days on end and constant suicidal thoughts.

“I took up Tai Chi and Qigong shortly after my breakdown in 2015 and studied at The Manchester Tai Chi Centre under Grand Master, Liming Yue and his disciples Aamir Rafi and Jamal Alek.

“Within a week of training, I felt better. After a month my anxiety had gone. I was sleeping properly, my energy levels had increased, my mind was totally calm and I was in control of my thoughts and feelings. After two years of constant study of the art form I decided to become an instructor.”

Nic has been helping Jonathan run the classes and is curating a programme of well-being activities throught the Avalon Institute.

Nic said: “In such stressful and challenging times, taking good care of our mental health is very important. We feel connected with others through shared activities like Tai Chi and that can really help shake off the tension and anxiety from spending long periods alone.”

Classes take place at Calder Holmes Park. Tai Chi starts at 9.30am and Qigong at 10.30am.