Seeking extracurricular activity that won't turn me in to a pretzel, exhaust my energy, or make me wish I didn't have to take so much ibuprofen afterwards! Must calm nerves and promote zen-like tendencies. Have to be able to practice at home daily solo. Benefits must include easy exercise that clears my mind, connects me to spirit, lessens my aches and pains, and leaves my body with a lighter feeling. Needs to deepen my process of enlightenment, too....large request, I know!
You are in luck, seeker!
QiGong might be what you are looking for! Say what? What the heck is QiGong?
What will QiGong do for my BODY?
QiGong is a form of moving meditation that balances the body and opens and unblocks the energy flow of all your meridians (energy centers in the body).
For example, gentle movements with proper breathing promotes increased agility of the wrists, hips, shoulders, ankles and will help your blood circulation and unblock stagnant chi (energy) in these areas. The movement also massages all of your internal organs stimulating healing.
QiGong exercises are directly related to finding balance in the body, so with time and practice, your body will experience more feelings of equilibrium.
If you suffer from any kind of pain, QiGong has been shown to relieve pain in fibromyalgia patients (Dance of the Phoenix, U of MD Pain Clinic clinical study). Breathing into pain helps ease it and Qigong focuses on the breath.
QiGong incorporates breathing techniques. Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. If you are not breathing effectively, you are not properly ridding your body of its toxins and other systems in your body must work overtime which could eventually lead to illness. When you exhale air from your body during the Qigong form you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body's metabolism.
Oxygenation of the brain also reduces excessive anxiety levels. Good breathing techniques will also promote better posture.
By the end of a class your body will feel lighter and better and ready to conquer the world!
What will QiGong do for my MIND?
What fires together, wires together. You can rewire your brain with QiGong exercises. The ability of the brain to forge new neural connections and develop new functions is called “neuroplasticity.”
Remarkably, QiGong can be done standing, seated or in the imagination due to mirror neurons that exist in each of us that fire when we ACT and/or OBSERVE an action, thus rewiring our brains.
Qigong’s mental training has proven in case after case that when we mentally lead energy (our chi/Qi=energy) across the map of the body, the circuitry of the brain is rewired.
Practicing a 20 minute form of QiGong daily will help you to embrace a slower paced life. Little by little, you will find yourself able to be still as you perform the gentle movement prescribed.
The goal of the class is to experience deeper, more relaxed breathing, to awaken the mind and experience pleasant physical sensations throughout the body.
What will QiGong do for my SPIRIT?
QiGong is a spiritual treasure.
The ancient Chinese practice of QiGong dates back 4,000 years and means literally "Life Energy Cultivation". Many different "forms" of it have been introduced to humanity since then.
As meditation, QiGong is a means to still the mind and enter a state of consciousness that brings serenity, clarity, and bliss.
Taoists (practitioners of Chinese religious tradition) feel that it is best for one to begin with the energy of the body, then progress through to the emotions and thoughts to one's spiritual power, before going for the ultimate...enlightenment.
One's ability to connect to something greater than self deepens as one sinks into the graceful meditative movements surrounding the body with love, light and peace while collecting heavenly and earthly energy and allowing it to flow around the body.
Answer to classified ad:
Dear Zen seeker,
Please try a GiGong series closest to you until you find one that is just right that resonates with you and your body. Let me know what happens afterwards!
Yours in movement,
The Life Dance Coach