The GLIDE Health Services Wellness Center addresses the unique stresses of those who are homeless or marginally housed and makes a variety of alternative care accessible to all. This week, we get to know Kevin Dwyer, GLIDE’s Wellness Center’s Tai Chi instructor.
What do you do at GLIDE?
I am a beginning instructor in the Taiji bodywork and energy exercises called Tai Chi (silk-reeling). I teach two classes a week in the Glide Health Services (GHS) Wellness Center on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00am to 11:00am. Tai Chi is comprised of discrete gentle exercises, and it’s easy to learn, please feel free to drop in anytime.
When did you first bring Tai Chi to GLIDE?
I first came to GHS teaching Tai Chi in October 2011. I have been coming down twice a week since then and am thoroughly enjoying myself. We started on the roof garden, and for me this was a great way to get introduced to the GLIDE community, and introduce Tai Chi to GLIDE. Once the weather changed, we moved into the new Wellness Center, which is a beautiful place to practice as well.
How did you hear about GLIDE?
My teacher, Malcolm Dean, founder of the San Francisco Hunyuan Taiji Academy was contacted by the Wellness Center Coordinator about including some Tai Chi practices in the new Wellness Center. As we focus on energy and health at our Academy, Dean Sifu felt this would be a good fit. I had recently suffered from chronic back pain related to surgery so I came along to share my story, and stayed to teach.
Can you share with us your personal passion and commitment to community service?
My personal practice learning Hunyuan Taiji has resulted in incredible changes to not only my physical body, but also my energy and even spiritual bodies, and I just have to pass along what I have learned. Coming to GLIDE and working with the great staff, interns and students, is helping me develop my passion. I have been named the program coordinator for our Academy’s outreach program, and GLIDE’s Wellness Center will be a big part of this program.
What inspires you to donate and volunteer at GLIDE and other organizations?
When I was working, I donated money to various programs, and now that I am retired, I am donating my time. I find volunteering my time at GLIDE is much more rewarding than impersonal donations. We have several students who have been coming regularly to class, and to notice the improvement and to hear their stories about how Tai Chi has helped their lives is really great.
Can you share with us a volunteer highlight you have experienced at GLIDE?
Student stories aside, I think the thing that most impresses me is how friendly and caring everyone is at GLIDE.
What piece of advice would you share with folks about making time for civic and social engagement in their lives?
It makes you happy inside.