Recently in class, I asked my students to stand, breathe and notice if they felt tension anywhere. Some students responded that they were relaxed and calm, although I could clearly see the tension in their necks and shoulder. I went up to each of them individually and gently placed my hands on the top of their shoulders. The muscle tension was palpable. While my hands rested on their shoulders they gradually became aware of the tension they were holding in their upper backs and necks. When I asked why they had not mentioned the tension before, they answered that the tension was always there and it felt normal. They did not register it in a cognitive or kinesthetic way as tension was their normal daily experience. I had them inhale and breathe into my hands that were on top of their shoulders and then exhale slowly. The tension began to transform and dissipate with the first breath.
How is it that taking a breath can transform the tension we feel in our bodies? The first step in any sort of change is awareness. Qigong brings us to a state of somatic awareness by coordinating Breath, Movement and Mindfulness. With Mindfulness comes Awareness and with Awareness comes Transformation.
Mindfulness accounts for many of the health benefits of Qigong, everything from alleviating depression, lowering blood pressure, strengthening the muscles, calming the mind, lubricating the joints, increasing flexibility, improving sleep and digestion and much more. It sounds like a magic panacea. You may ask, if that is true, why doesn’t everyone practice Qigong? Good question!! The magic in Qigong lies in the daily practice
Qigong can be used as an effective tool on many levels, from being purely a health exercise to a path of Spiritual Enlightenment. The coordination and integration of our mind with our breath and body has profound effects. The integration of a daily practice into our busy lives takes commitment. The first step to experiencing the benefits of Qigong is to come to a class.