Zhi Dao

Personal and Professional Development

I work with a number of organisations around Scotland, using exercises and ideas from Taiji and the Yijing to teach and develop a range of important skills:

  • learning to understand and manage stress
  • promoting the development of a strong, still personal centre
  • learning to be relaxed and sensitive, even when under pressure
  • developing associative/correlative thinking techniques
  • providing a physical context for reflecting on issues of leadership
  • exploring some of the key ideas from the world's oldest continuous human culture

Taiji with some carersThese skills are developed in addition to the well-known physical health benefits. Over the past few years, my experience in running courses has enabled me to develop a flexible training syllabus which can be tailored to your individual needs. The basic session is an introductory workshop lasting 1 to 2 hours. This typically involves a mix of physical work and some theory, but the balance of these two elements can be adjusted for your particular requirements. I can also provide short courses consisting of between four and ten sessions, run weekly or monthly providing a more in-depth experience for the participants. Finally, I can run intensive one or two day workshops, if that fits better with your own training agenda.

The aim of all these activities is to provide the participants with concrete practices that they can integrate into their daily routines. The result should be a healthier and more cretaive individual!  

As an instructor member of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain, with extensive experience in adult education, you can be sure that my teaching skills are second to none. Further, I have published numerous articles in popular and academic journals, and I am an internationally known researcher in the contemporary application of Chinese philosophy.

Some Ongoing and Previous Clients

Taiji workshops for Scottish Association for Mental Health. I run a weekly workshop for the clients of the SAMH drop-in centre The Hive. This gives the individuals an opportunity to develop an ongoing physical practice that can, in turn, provide a sound foundation for a calm and relaxed mental attitude.

Taiji classes for various Peveral retirement homes. I run a number of weekly classes in retirement homes in the Edinburgh area, working with clients with a wide range of mobility. The classes focus health and relaxation and include basic Taiji movements along with simple Qigong exercises.

Taiji workshops for Care for Carers. This organisation provides residential respite for carers, giving them a chance to take some time for themselves at weekend retreats at the Lowport Centre, in Linlithgow, just outside Edinburgh. I have been providing Taiji workshops for these retreats for a number of years, teaching breathing exercises and basic Taiji movement to help with stress management and general health improvement.

Taiji courses for the Eric Liddell Ca(I)re Programme. This project provides learning opportunities and support to people in the Edinburgh area who are carers. I typically provide short Taiji courses working on improving physical health and reducing stress through the use of Taiji exercises.

Taiji courses for the Outlook Project. This project provides support and education opportunities to people in and around Edinburgh who use the local mental health services. I am involved with the provision of short Taiji courses focused on improving physical and mental health through the use of Taiji exercises.

Taiji classes for the Royal Bank of Scotland. I ran a course of traditional classes for staff and associate members of the RBS leisure scheme, providing an opportunity to explore the full range of the syllabus and investigate first hand how yin/yang theory relates to physical movement.

Taiji and Yin/Yang workshops for Trust Housing Association. I have provided a number of workshops as part of the Association's annual staff development day. The workshop gives the staff an opportunity to explore some of the basic movements of Taiji, have fun with the sensitivity training partner work, and understand how these activities relate to yin/yang theory.

A series of Taiji workshops for Tayside Health Authority. These were provided as part of their “Kaleidoscope of Learning” programme for staff. This programme ran for a number of months visiting different locations around Scotland, giving all the staff from the authority an opportunity to participate. The workshop was designed and run in conjunction with Originate, a management mentoring company, and introduced the participants to effective physical techniques for stress management and explored how Taiji can help with conflict resolution.

Taiji classes for the staff of Whyte and MacKay. I ran an ongoing class for the staff of the distillers Whyte and MacKay for a number of years. This class focused on the health and relaxation benefits of the art and, because of the enduring nature of the class, it was possible for the participants to explore a significant portion of the traditional syllabus, including hand form, partner work and weapons. Indeed, the class only concluded when the company sold the site and the staff dispersed to other locations and jobs.