I’d seen pictures of large groups of old, Chinese people, dressed in dull, padded jackets, set in some public park, doing odd movements that looked more like waving in the air than exercise.
And, of course, I’d seen Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid demonstrating “wipe on; wipe off”. I’d even read about the benefits of this strange-looking activity. Although I didn’t have much reaction, I generally thought that sort of thing just wasn’t for me:
- It didn’t look exciting.
- I didn’t expect it to be challenging.
- And most of all, I didn’t want to associate myself with slow-moving old people.
And yet, I was curious. So, I signed up for Josh Medlin’s Qi Gong series at Lotus Wellness Center Yoga Studio. And now, I’ve got a story to tell.
What is Qigong?
Qi Gong (pronounced chee-gong) is “a mind-body-spirit practice that improves one’s mental and physical health by integrating posture, movement, breathing technique, self-massage, sound, and focused intent” (National Qigong Association).
Peace, Contentment, Balance
I watched the teacher, listened to his instructions, and mimicked his movements. At some point, I realized that all thoughts of dark-colored quilted jackets and old people had slipped away and were replaced with feelings, not thoughts. I felt content with myself. My breath seemed to move outside of me, as well as inside my body. I recognized the essence of me, my soul, if you will, and settled into that space of satisfaction. My movements felt more like floating; they were effortless. I finally understood the concept of a moving meditation.
How it Feels to Practice Qigong
- Have you ever felt the warm kiss of the sun on your cheeks?
- or inhaled a fragrant bouquet of spring lilies?
- Have you ever seen a sunset over a tranquil lake?
- Or tasted fresh honey on the tip of your tongue?
- Have you ever heard the silence of fresh snow on a cold, dark night?
If you have ever experienced any sensation that brings a moment of stillness to your mind, you have felt the practice of Qigong.
You see, in the busyness of our hectic lives, we seldom recognize the subtleties of life’s most precious moments. One of the reasons why mindfulness is becoming a popular trend is because it allows us to connect with these little things. We don’t need to go on vacation or leave the details of our lives to experience that deep breath and sigh of contentment that happens spontaneously when the heart opens, looks out, and touches something beautiful. While we tend to slow down enough to feel this when we separate ourselves via travel or vacation, all it takes is a subtle shift in your frame of mind. This is the practice of Qigong.
This is what I discovered when I joined Josh Medlin’s Qi Gong series.
Steady breath that aligns with steady movement is truly transformative.
- Qigong isn’t exciting; it’s resonating with existence.
- It isn’t “exercise”; it is a practice in living.
- Qigong isn’t just for old people; it is everyone.
- It is an ancient tradition and yet, it is new with each practice.
- Qigong is timeless; and so are you.
Start your own Qi Gong journey!