Updated: Jul 20
Allow yourself to explore the ancient practice of Qigong.
If you have a hard time taming your "monkey mind", Qigong could be your new thing. Some people refer to it as moving meditation; doing it combines the whole self in a gently flowing connection of body, mind and spirit. When you learn how to focus your desire, or intent, to meditate, adding good posture and proper breathing, you will find that your mind will naturally settle and you can do amazing things from that centered space. That’s just getting started in the practice; there are so many physical and mental/emotional benefits to be gained from Eastern healing practices like qigong, tai chi, and yoga. Current medical research is beginning to show these. Most qigong movement classes are inexpensive, and you don’t have to buy special clothes or equipment just to get started. Once you get going, even 5-15 minutes a day can produce dramatic stress relief and will absolutely boost your immune system, so why not give it a try?
6 Ways that Learning Qigong Can Seriously Upgrade Your Daily Life- yes even during (maybe especially during quarantine):
What is Qigong?
It’s similar to the practice of Tai Chi- both are ancient Chinese exercises that use gentle, flowing movements and meditations to improve health, performance and well being. It is great for seniors, students, moms, dads, executives, pirates, fiddlers, waitresses, nurses and athletes- really anyone- by helping them be whole and fit, learning to artfully use tools they already have a working knowledge of doing- standing (or sitting), breathing and visualizing so they can be stronger in all ways! Here are some things learning to practice Qigong can help you do:
Get the most out of each breath: Improved respiration leads to better sleep, lowers blood pressure, facilitates more emotional control, less stress and faster healing. It clears the mind and lessens fatigue, helping you to be more present in the moment and ready for what comes your way.
Improve posture and balance: This helps all the organs and structures in the body, meaning that food digests easier, blood circulates and nerves fire more efficiently, muscles cramp less often. It promotes confidence, less awkwardness in moving around. Posture training strengthens the vagus nerve, important in sustaining the “rest and digest” aspect of the parasympathetic nervous system that is so crucial in handling stress well.
Mental preparation maximizes performance: Learning to center yourself and focus your mind enhances your ability to concentrate, which is great for study skills. Being “in the zone” at will, acting from your center core (your Heart/Mind) keeps you from being overwhelmed by life’s uncertainty. It increases self-confidence and trust in the processes of life by increasing your ability to visualize and set goals.
Improve spinal strength, flexibility, joint and bone strength: The spine and bones are the foundation of your body and some experts say that a strong, flexible back may help with problems as varied as reducing cancer risk, arthritis and poor memory.
Better mood control: Qigong is called moving meditation by many- discovering the medicinal benefits of simple movement and breathing helps you to gain more control over emotional turmoil or mental dullness. If you have a hard time settling your mind during meditation, qigong helps with that by giving that scattered mind something to concentrate on while you cultivate a sense of calm.
Easier recovery from illness or injury: Qigong exercises involve gentle, flowing movements from a standing position, with no extreme stretching or complicated movement sequences.The exercises can be adapted to sitting postures, ideal for people with problems standing because of foot, ankle, knee, hip, or back issues and those recovering from surgery or other illness. Qigong meets you where you are physically or mentally and helps you build back there in body, mind and spirit
Okay, so that was way more than six, but you will find if you follow your curiosity and learn to do it, qigong always surpasses your expectations!!
Connect with your community by teaching somebody something you love to do. Allow yourself to trust in the value of the things you share and believe in.
As Booker T. Washington once said, "Living is the art of Loving. Loving is the art of caring. Caring is the art of sharing. Sharing is the art of living. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else." So, my thing is qigong, but maybe you love gardening, or sewing or fixing engines; someone will be thrilled to know some of the things you know.
There are at least two reasons why I love teaching:
1) It helps me deepen my learning and practice. I probably learn more from my students than they do from me in many ways.
2) I love seeing other people be as profoundly affected by these healing practices as I was from the beginning and continue to be every day.
For the past 5 years, I have had the wonderful privilege of being able to share the practices of Qigong movement and Reiki Natural Healing through volunteer classes at Fifty Forward and teaching for Nashville Community Education (NCE). I am so grateful for both organizations and their outreach to serve the best and highest good for the whole community of Nashville, Tennessee. At this time, both organizations have been impacted by the tornado earlier this year and the Covid19 pandemic- 50 Forward is still able to provide some vital services to their senior members and may have some volunteer opportunities available- call the center nearest you to find out how you can help. NCE survived earlier budget cuts and will continue to offer classes on many topics-including qigong. For the time being all classes will be offered via teleconference, until it proves safe for us to meet in person. I am super excited for them, we were a little nervous that Nashville would lose its little hidden gem. If you have a great idea for a class you would like to offer, zip them a proposal to be considered. Website link is below.
"When one teaches, two learn." Robert Heinlein
Here is a small sample of the Hun Yuan Qigong set I teach. Try it out and then join us to learn the rest on Zoom. Although I will not be teaching at NCE this summer, Qigong will be offered there again in the Fall Session. I will start a new class on Wednesdays, beginning on July 29th and will go for at least six weeks: (click here for more).
In this sample, I am covering how to build the posture & breathing; cleaning the energetic system to begin practice and the first two forms we practice weekly-
If Wednesdays are not good for you, I teach an ongoing Hun Yuan class on Friday mornings via Zoom- 10:30am - 11:30 am. ( click here for Friday Hun Yuan)
Also, on Mondays, our group practices Daoist 5 Organ Exercises from 6 pm - 7 pm (click here for Monday, Daoist 5)
Struggling financially at this time? I am accepting donations for classes and services (donate), so don't let a low cash flow stop you from starting a practice that can pay you huge benefits over a lifetime. Email me with questions and for an invitation for our Zoomgong classes!
Hope to see you soon!!
"Healing movements, Healing Hands, Healing Hearts"