Qigong Moves Your Meditation

June 6th, 2011

Meditation has many proven physical and psychological benefits and just one drawback.  The drawback is that sitting still for long periods of time is too hard for most people.

Enter Qigong.  Qigong includes active forms that are moving meditations, as well as sitting, standing and even lying down meditations.  The more active forms help put practitioners in a state of relaxed, clear minded alertness, sometimes referred to as the “Qigong state of mind.”  Once your body and mind are more relaxed, it is much easier to meditate.

To put this to a test, try sitting or standing in meditation for 5 or 10 minutes.  Then practice some active Qigong forms for the same amount of time.  Then try meditating again.  Feel any different?

Would love to hear how this worked for you.  Just add your comment to this blog or send me an email.  I’ll be sure to respond.

For more information about Qigong and a schedule of classes, check out my website: www.MovingHarmony.com.

Cultivating healing chi

May 29th, 2011

One way to think about Qigong is that when we practice we are cultivating a beautiful garden of healing chi.

So every time you do some simple Qigong movements and deep abdominal breathing, you are helping that garden grow.

One big difference between Qigong and regular gardening is in the timing of the “payback.”  With gardening, you often have to wait months to observe–or taste–the fruits of your labor.  With Qigong, the rewards are almost immediate.

After a few classes and regular home practice, you will be well on your way to a healthier body, clearer mind and more radiant spirit.

For More Information about Qigong and a schedule of classes visit my website: www.Moving Harmony.com.

Nature is the best teacher!

May 23rd, 2011

Practicing Qigong at home is good.  Practicing Qigong with a group is very good.  Practicing Qigong with a group outdoors is as good as it gets!

The ancient Chinese who invented Qigong were greatly inspired by nature.  They believed that lakes, trees and other natural features are inexhaustible sources of chi.  By practicing Qigong outdoors, we access some of this chi, which we can use it for self healing and healing others.

Many Qigong forms and visualizations use nature as guide and model.  For example in “Gathering from Heaven and Earth” we visualize gathering yin chi from the earth, and yang chi from the sky, clouds and heavenly bodies.  Likewise, in the 5 animal frolics, we mimic animals to gain some of their grace and power.

Doing Qigong outdoors is guaranteed to deepen your practice, and make you feel more in harmony with the beauty of nature.

It’s the feeling, not the form!

May 16th, 2011

At last count, there are somewhere between 3,000 and 7,000 Qigong forms.  Even for a Qigong Master, that would be a lot to learn.

Fortunately, it is not necessary or even desirable to learn a huge number of forms. The true benefit of Qigong practice is developing a “Qigong State of Mind.”  — a feeling of clear minded relaxation that can be induced by the regular practice of just a handful of exercises.

The key to success is learning forms that you really like and wish to practice every day.  Practicing with a group once or twice weekly helps you learn some new forms to incorporate into your home practice.  Group practice also increases the tremendous health benefits of Qigong, which are magnifed by the energy of a group.

Things go better with Qigong!

May 9th, 2011

Yesterday I celebrated Mother’s Day by playing 3 sets of tennis.  I don’t claim to be to be an excellent tennis player, but love the sport.  I love it even more when I apply Qigong training while on the court.

First I practiced Qigong movements for about 20 minutes before heading over to the tennis center.  This stretched muscles and tendons, stimulated chi flow and reduced my chances of injury. I particularly enjoyed doing “ringing the temple gong,” “drawing the bow,” and “beating the heavenly drum”

When I arrived, I eased into a state of alert relaxation by focusing on breathing.  A few deep, full, slow breaths helped clear the mind and relax the body. Then standing with correct alignment, I sunk my energy to the lower dan tien, just below the naval.

With body relaxed, mind focused, and energy grounded and centered, I played really well.  More importantly, I enjoyed every point, even when I made a bad shot.

Qigong training can definitely help your tennis and golf games, and add enjoyment to anything you do.

Have you had any similar experiences as a result of your Qigong practice?  I would love to hear about them! Please write to me or comment on the blog site.

Daily practice helps us change with the seasons

April 28th, 2011

Spring is finally here and I can feel my body’s energy changing like the weather.

Lately I wake up earlier, sprint through projects I couldn’t face a couple of months ago, and have a more optimistic outlook on life.  In years past I often suffered from “spring fever,” this time of year.  You know, that awful malaise that makes you start thinking: “the weather’s beautiful, so how come I feel like crap?”  Or something like that.

Daily Qigong practice has helped me harmonize my internal energy with the changing energy of the seasons.  So every morning I do at least 20 reps of the Flowing Motion, some spontaneous movement and a few more postures from the Vitality Enhancement Series.

The result?  No more spring fever; no more “April is the cruelest month.”

Studies Show Qigong Really Works

April 17th, 2011

Recent scientific studies show that practicing Qigong and Taiji does more than help you relax.

Baylor Medical School researchers took cells from Qigong practitioners and compared them to cells from a control group.  The result?  The Qigong group’s cells lived up to five times longer!

At the University of Miami School of Medicine children with Attention Deficit Syndrome exhibited reduced anxiety, hyperactivity and improved conduct after just ten biweekly classes.

Studies of older adults performed by the Center for Tai Chi Studies demonstrated Taiji and Qigong practice improved balance, built greater lower body strength, and enhanced immune function.

So if you desire improved health and aim to live a long time, practice Qigong.  It really works.

Harmony and Adversity

March 24th, 2011

I get inspired by watching birds.  They seem so care free, impervious to the worst weather.  Like yesterday morning, when Carolina wrens, sparrows and finches were singing during the snowstorm.

And how did so many birds survive this brutal winter?   Here’s a theory: birds and other animals live in harmony with the natural world, so can adapt to adversity, like extreme weather, food shortages, etc.

We humans can learn a lot from the birds.  We are usually way out of harmony with nature,  and pay the price with health, environmental and social problems.

Cultivating a harmonious relationship with the energy of nature is one of the goals of Qigong.  The gentle movements, deep breathing and meditation in Qigong produce a more balanced and contented state of mind.  So with regular practice, we gain the ability to face down adversity and greet every season with a song.

Qigong Science

March 9th, 2011

Scientific studies have shown that practicing Qigong delivers tremendous health benefits.  The only debate revolves around the “how” and “why.”

To the ancient Taoists and Buddhists who developed these practices, the answer is fairly simple. Qigong movement, meditation and breathing exercises strengthen the chi in our bodies and remove chi blockages that lead to disease.

Western science has no way to measure chi, so explanations for why Qigong is good for you are more complicated.  Some researchers say that Qigong triggers the “relaxation response,” which lowers blood pressure and activates our own inner healers.  Others opine that the gentle exercises in this practice offer the benefits of a strenuous aerobic workout without wear and tear on muscles and joints.  Still others point to enhanced blood and lymph flow.

Maybe they are all right.  But for the sake of simplicity, I’ll vote for strengthening chi flow and removing blockages.

Qigong reduces cravings!

March 3rd, 2011

Cravings — for food, diversions, stuff or whatever — make us feel out of control and never offer lasting happiness.  Still, we all have them, so it’s good to find ways to reduce their effects.

In my experience, Qigong practice helps.  The more I practice, the less I feel swayed by pangs of desire for fabulous vacations, or intense yearnings for the latest electronic gear or new camera lenses.  I am better able to enjoy life just the way it is, without need for someone or something to “complete” me.

Cravings don’t usually disappear, but they become more manageable.  I still want that new expensive lens, but I won’t get it unless buying it really make sense.  In other words, I can control my desire, rather than the other way around.  This is one of the best benefits to be gained from Qigong, or any mind/body practice.