Improve your mental and physical wellbeing through movement, breath, and intention. Transform with the practice of Qigong!
Why do we suffer so as human beings? For many of us, it’s because we can’t seem to get out of the way – of ourselves! The practice of Qigong is transformative in that it addresses just that: getting out of our own way.
The goal of Qigong isn’t to bring something new into our lives, it’s more about what we take away. It’s a practice that facilitates our getting out of our own way to allow the universal flow of energy to move through us. As a result, we take our place in the order of things to become an agent of goodwill in the natural energy flow.
I know, you’re thinking this is some crazy “woo-woo” stuff. But wait, it really isn’t that out there. The practice of Qigong helps us wake up in our lives. It helps us experience and participate in every living and breathing moment – the here and now. It helps us simply get out of the damn way!
What exactly is Qigong?
Qigong is often identified as a mind-body-spirit practice. It helps to improve physical and mental health through posture, breathing technique, movement, sound, self-massage, and, importantly, focused intent.
There are many styles of Qi Gong. Each style is founded on different theories and practical applications about Qi (“subtle breath” or “vital energy”) and Gong (“skill cultivated through steady practice”). The mission of a Qi Gong practice is to help each of us find the path that supports our personal goals best.
A big part of getting out of the way in Qi Gong is to resolve those energies that might be stuck. This occurs in what is referred to in Qi Gong as the “horizontal axis” and includes anger, frustration, and grief. The emotions of the horizontal soul axis reflect the rising and falling shifts of our mental and emotional experiences. Essentially, it reflects the cycle of life and all of the challenges and troubles of the soul. Qi Gong helps us to engage in the process of reconciling the various imbalances that exist on this axis.
Promoting greater harmony to the flow on the horizontal axis helps us manage life more effectively. It also connects us to the power of the “vertical axis” – proper alignment of attention and intention. This requires an enhanced understanding of the human condition. Rather than trying to escape it, we choose to engage – awake and aware and in the present moment.
The eyes have it in Qigong!
We’ve all heard the saying, “The eyes are the gateway to the soul.” And it’s true. But, in Taoist theory, they take it one step further. The eyes guide the shen, or the spirit. Taoists believe that the Qi (energy) follows the shen (spirit), and that, in turn, the blood and body fluids follow the Qi.
Consider your eyes the “command centre”, where the spirit guides and controls the movement of Qi throughout the body.
The benefits of Qigong
On a purely physical level, the slow, gentle movements of Qigong warm up the muscles and help loosen tight ligaments and tendons. It helps tone connective tissues and vital organs as it promotes better circulation of fluids (lymph, blood, synovial) throughout the body.
There is a multitude of studies to show that Qigong is a great way to help heal those issues related to stress and anxiety. These conditions range from emotional and mental stress and frustration and spiritual crisis to high blood pressure and chronic illness.
Qigong effectively opens, released the vital flow of energy. It helps us feel connected to that life force that underpins the physical world. It deepens our connection to the universal flow of energy.
A variety of practices
In the case of Francine, she studies and practices Yuang Gong Qigong, Radiant Light Qigong, and The Five Elements QiGong. A practice of lovely movements and still meditations, Qigong uses the body, mind, breath, and Qi (energy). The foundations of this particular practice lie deeply in Chinese tradition. But, with an integration of western psychological and scientific findings, Qigong becomes a very comprehensive discipline. It is used to help to enhance mental clarity and improve internal strength and stability.
The practice of QiGong helps us to better understand and identify those patterns of thought that unintentionally support negative emotions and even illness.