A WOMAN who used tai chi to help relieve pain caused by sciatica, qualified as an instructor so she can help others.

Anna Kiriakoulakis, from Grappenhall, is expanding her popular classes across Warrington to mark two years since they started.

Anna said: "Many people are only starting to realise the potential health benefits gained with a regular tai chi practise and the wonders it can do in terms of recovery and rehabilitation."

She began practising the gentle exercise ten years ago while suffering from stress.

Anna, a former languages teacher, said: "I thought 'wow' this is really helping me, the exercises and breathing techniques resolved my sciatica after I started doing it for rehabilitation purposes.

"I feel like I'm 20 years younger!

"The exercise can transform weak muscles and structure."

She has been a qualified instructor for four years and people of all ages attend her classes.

Anna added: "The oldest is 87 and the youngest is in their 30s, which is a fantastic blend of people.

"They all enjoy the meditation at the end of the classes."

Class members have praised the exercise for improving their blood pressure, increasing their muscle use and even help recovery after breaking bones.

There is evidence that suggests tai chi can improve mobility in the ankles, hips and knees in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

The classes are suitable for people of all levels and many people do the exercises sitting down.

Anna is offering free taster sessions starting Tuesday, April 30.

Anna runs classes one-hour in Stockton Heath, Grappenhall, Whittle Hall, Padgate and Howley.

For more details on her classes and free taster sessions email annataichi@yahoo.com.