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Hazel Wood

master instructor

Certified since June 2004

Hazel Wood

instructor map marker California

Connect with Hazel

The story behind Hazel

Special Note:  I plan on holding workshops in 2023.   Please contact me directly at to if you don’t see a convenient one listed.  I am also available for private sessions in Marin for individuals and for groups  in other Bay Area counties.    Please contact me directly at to see what is available.

Hazel Wood discovered ChiRunning in 2002. She was lucky. Very lucky. At the time, Danny Dreyer, the founder of ChiRunning, happened to live in San Rafael, California, only 5 miles from Hazel so she was able to take a series private lessons with Danny on both the track and on the trails of Marin county. Although she had already been running for over 25 years and thought she knew how to run, she immediately discovered that what she didn’t know was how to run efficiently. Like so many runners she was wasting energy and tight as a knot. She tells her students “the key thing I had to learn was to ‘effort’ less and relax more. Part of that meant learning a new set of running skills. Once my body made the adjustments, I stopped overusing my legs, recovered quickly and didn’t get injured.”

Hazel credits ChiRunning with rekindling her love affair with running.  Revitalized, she jumped on the opportunity to attend the first Certified Instructor Training Program in 2003 and went on to deepen her knowledge and experience assisting Danny with classes and working with participants in Danny’s marathon training program in San Francisco.
She is a Master Instructor and is proud to have been teaching for 15 years through her company Stride By Stride.

In addition to teaching both ChiRunning and Chi Walking group workshops and giving private instruction to individuals, Hazel has consistently been invited to teach groups such as Running and Triathlon Clubs, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT), Team Survivor, Team Challenge, as well as in corporate venues such as Kaiser Permanente, the California Department of Pubic Health, Autodesk, Athleta, and more.

In her own program, Hazel is equally at home on roads and on trails and has raced in all distances from 5K to 50 miles. A consistent finisher in the top 5 of her age group, Hazel also has a number of 1st and 2nd place age group awards and has won three coveted black shirts by finishing in the top 35 of the famed Dipsea Race.

Hazel’s mission is to help runners of all abilities enjoy lifelong running (her oldest client is 83 and still running strong) with ease, energy and without pain. Her focus is to combine her knowledge and experience with her positive and patient attitude to create a comfortable environment whether you are a beginner or seasoned athlete.

Hazel’s company, Stride By Stride, gives clients the ability to choose from several programs, including group workshops, private instruction, as well as review and trail sessions, online coaching and video analysis. Visit her website at for details.

Contact Hazel with questions or to bring ChiRunning or Chi Walking to your group or community. She is available throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area and can travel to other locations.

Hazel’s Instructor of the Month Profile

Thanks for the great workshop. I have been an endurance athlete for 38 years – running swimming biking, and never has any one day resulted in so much improvement. And running feels so much more natural and fun. I can’t wait to practice and bring the new me to races. Rob M.

I’ve tried running off and on throughout my life and I could never seem to find that “zone” that serious runners refer to. After taking the ChiRunning classes, I quickly realized my inability to find that “zone” was primarily due to the “way” I was running. By the end of the classes, I was running up and down hills with more ease than I ever imagined, and I was on a “high”. Patti L

Having returned to running this year, I experienced some left hip bursitis for the first time in my life. I took a Chi running workshop with Hazel Wood and following it I have had ZERO problems or pain in my hip! I discovered that I was imparting torque to my left hip when my arms were crossing the mid line. Focusing on pulling my arms straight back has made all the difference. Using the metronome helped immensely too. Karen Reynolds, Balance Restored Acupuncture, Mill Valley.

I did a sprint plus triathlon yesterday and I have to tell you … I used the basic principles you taught us and it helped me so much. I worked so hard on the bike I didn’t know what I’d have left for the run, however I kept thinking in my mind to let gravity do the work, took shorter strides, and alternated between the different focuses. I honestly felt like the run was effortless. I was able to blast past two women in my age group in the last 3/4 of a mile and they couldn’t touch me. What a great feeling that was!. Thank you! Melissa Lewis, Triathlon Coach.


I’ve been running since I was 12, first competitively and then for many years as a daily staple of my life. Nothing has given me so much joy and peace of mind. Imagine my distress when, at the age of 58, I suffered a compression fracture of my medial femoral condyle. I couldn’t run without pain. I couldn’t sleep without pain. I was totally depressed. I went to doc after doc, around the country, searching for a fix. I was told that the fracture was caused by bone smashing into bone in the absence of cartilage, the cartilage gone on both sides due to years of pronation in cushioned shoes. Some wanted to cut my bones to balance things out. Others suggested stem cell transplants. All said I would never run again. Then, learning about Chi running, I met Hazel. She coached me over a period of months, helping me to retrain my gait, to place less weight on the medial aspect of my knees and more on the lateral (where cartilage could still be found!), and to focus on a natural axis that I’d never before imagined. The result: over time, I could once again run without pain! Since then, 5 years ago, I’ve continued to put in 5-7 miles on a daily basis, I’ve run seven marathons, and I through-hiked the 2660-mile Pacific Crest Trail – all without pain! Not less importantly, running injuries (e.g., muscle tears and the rest) that I used to sustain frequently are a thing of the past. I am a believer! Hazel is a remarkable teacher of a safe, effective, inexpensive, and medicine-free way to have fun running for as long as possible. Meet her and learn!

Joseph (Mike) McCune, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine

<i>I’ve tried running off and on throughout my life and I could never seem to find that “zone” that serious runners refer to. After taking the ChiRunning classes, I quickly realized my inability to find that “zone” was primarily due to the “way” I was running. By the end of the classes, I was running up and down hills with more ease than I ever imagined, and I was on a “high”.</i>

Patti Lynde

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