How circumstances shaped two new styles of Qigong
These days, one of the buzzwords we love to toss around in conversation is ”Qigong.” So much so that we all tend to get confused about what Qigong really is.
Qigong is the synthesis of Meditation, Movement and Breathing. It is a Body & Mind exercise based on harmonious balance within the flow of nature. It is the cultivation of Life Force or Qi, through work or effort.
Qi (chi) – refers to energy, breath, life force, life source,
Gong – refers to work or effort, the rule or law
Qigong has been practiced in China for 4,000 years. It is recognized as one of the Five Pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is the foundation of therapeutic exercise for physical, mental, spiritual health and wellness. Qigong is a complete system of coordinated body postures and movements based on the principles of harmony, balance and the free flow of energy through the body.
Practicing Qigong opens blockages within the body and helps us to conserve and cultivate energy.
Throughout the many years I practiced and taught a number of different Qigong styles, I learned a whole lot.Did I forget to mention that there are over 5,000 different types of Qigong?
In 2001, a curious situation surfaced when I became Health Consultant at the renown, ChivaSom International Destination Spa Resort in Thailand.
The challenge at hand sounded like this: “Please, teach Qigong classes to guests who are coming for a short, impactful stay.”
It suddenly daunted on me; How was I to deliver the essence, the principles of Qigong to people of many backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences? As if this wasn’t enough, they were only staying for a night or two and most of them had never been exposed to or even heard of Qigong!
Moreover, how could I deliver something that would be received and make sense to them? It needed to be an experience they could not only take home with them to Singapore, London, Sidney or elsewhere around the globe but also one that would allow them to search out someone who teaches Qigong in their local area.
The response came from a lifelong experience of practicing Qigong.
“What if I taught guests a sequence centered around five practices that could easily be memorized?”
This I was convinced would give them anuniqye experience, open their minds and invite them to explore further Qigong offerings, wherever they lived.
The five exercises were specifically designed to work with the organs, to open up the spine, release blockages in shoulders wrists, elbows, knees and hips, to encourage a deeper breathing, while calming the mind ….with a gentle smile.
Resting Dragon Awakens Mind Qigong was born!
Upon my return to the U.S.I had the privilege of teaching “Resting Dragon Qigong” at the Hippocrates Health Institute, in West Palm Beach, Florida for five consecutive years, five days a week. Guests at this facility were typically on a three week program, so this alone was a game-changer, allowing for a deepening of the experience.
A few years later, the Two Bunch Palms resort in California, where guests came for very short stays, refreshingly challenged the mind once again !
I envisioned a basic Qigong, designed, for total beginners, a Qigong that would embrace people with physical imitations or with compromised health.
“Swimming Dragon in the Clouds.” became this beginner’s stage Qigong. It is a simple yet powerful Qigong.
Swimming Dragon attends to the Qigong principles but more succinctly. It deals with the basics, with the notions of structure and rooting, with balance and alignment, with fluidness in movement and with proper breathing.
It helps with the integration of body and mind in a soft gradual way.
I invite you to explore the Qigong that fits your lifestyle and your preference and challenge you to begin practicing!
You will not regret it!