Today, I'm sharing and deepening into a conversation about the empowering benefits and many gifts of a qigong practice. My personal practice is at the very core, at the heart, of my physical and spiritual expression. I could not show up in the world the way I do without it. For me, Qigong is medicine for my body, mind and soul. Qigong is both deeply grounding and stabilizing while expanding and energizing. The movement in the stillness and the stillness in the movement becomes an embodied and ecstatic practice filled with joy and practicality. Qigong is known to calm anxiety, help you sleep better, cope with stress, boost your immune system, and heal heart ache.
I want to give context to the overarching art of Qigong, how I merge with the practice, and what my unique contributions are to the art and to you.
What is Qi: There are lots of ways to describe Qi. Qi is known as life force energy. It is often compared to electricity or water because it moves and flows in currents throughout the body. All energy is Qi. There are several types of Qi, such as Heaven Qi, Human Qi, Earth Qi, Heat, and Light.
When you feel Qi, it might feel sensations like warmth, tingling, heaviness, lightness, coolness, like a flowing sensation from one place in the body to another. It might feel like radiance. It might be subtle or dense.
Where and how do we get Qi? Qi Some of the places and ways we receive Qi comes from the food we eat, water, nature, from the sun, stars, cosmic energy, storms, plants, herbs, drugs, hormones, electromagnetic fields like cell phone and power lines, other people.
What is Qigong? Qigong is loosely translated as energy work. It is sometimes called internal martial arts.
What is the purpose of Qigong? We want to increase and improve the flow of energy in our body. So we can store it and utilize it. In other words, we cultivate, circulate, and store Qi on purpose with intent.
Why would we do that? What are the benefits of Qigong practice? Some of the most profound and obvious benefits are to your overall health and vitality. Your energy and stamina increase. Your physical ability to endure increases. Qigong supports and massages your vital internal organs so they can optimally function. Qigong practice strengthens your immune system, balances hormones, and helps you cope and manage intense emotions.
The simple, slow, and fluid movements that coordinate with your breath produce a calm and peaceful feeling in your body, leading to profound relaxation, a focused, clear mind, and an elevated spirit. For many Qigong activates and catalyzes their path to self-actualization and enlightenment.
There are thousands and thousands of different styles and expressions of Qigong. Qigong is often divided into four schools:
Medical Qigong- for healing and optimal health.
Scholar Qigong- tends to be slow and soft- for health and a calm and peaceful mind.
Religious Qigong- for spiritual enlightenment and self-actualization.
Martial Qigong- for physical power, strength, and self-defense
As you can see, there are many reasons people come to the practice of Qigong, and it has the ability to grow, adapt, and evolve with you as you move through the different stages of your life.
Stepping more fully into my role as a Qigong teacher, I want to absolutely acknowledge there are ancient traditions and lineages that must be upheld and honored. There are monks on Wudang Mountain, Buddhist, acupuncturist, TCM Doctors, scholars, martial arts masters that teach and uphold these lineages and keep true to the traditions.
I'm not that. I'm a midwife and herbalist in Arkansas, walking the wise woman path. I've had the unique privilege of training and learning from and with monks from Wudang, Buddhist monks, TCM, scholars, and martial arts masters, but I can not uphold their linages as they do. I do not want to dilute their traditions in any way. Yet, I feel so compelled to practice and share Qigong with you. My way of teaching is inspired by them, but it is different. My way of teaching comes from feminine power. It comes from woman's empowerment, ceremony, circle, attending births, sitting in red tents, holding sacred space for transformation, and manifestation. It is a form of embodied -ecstatic- magic really. I teach from and for personal empowerment. The movements are traditional movements. However, how I speak about and present them is from my unique life experience.
For example, The 8 pieces of brocade, I'll teach the movement, but instead of just separating heaven and earth, we adapt that into having healthy boundaries. Or wise owl is for more than opening and closing your lungs. It helps heal and mend a broken heart.
In my sessions, they are not called classes. They are more like circles. We start with a deep bow and emptying our cup, calling in the 7 sacred directions. Coming into vertical alignment and then depending on the season we are in; we practice the movements based on nature. In spring, we tend to our liver, in summer our hearts, in late summer, our spleen, in fall, our lungs, and in winter, our kidneys. We open our spines to open the Qi channels and to store our energy in our dantien womb space our bio-battery and in our bones.
I speak, evoke, and invoke prayers and affirmations that encourage you to go into your past, present, and future to integrate with yourself and remember your wholeness. Life is stirring within you, and it wants to be expressed, held, tended to, activated, and remembered.
So, whether you are an experienced Qigong practitioner or brand new, I'm extending an open invitation to practice Qigong with me on Zoom every Friday! It does not matter if you are flexible or can barely touch your toes, if you are 20 or nearly 100. All the login and registration information is linked here.