Relax – Try Chi Gung (Qigong)
The new normal – we are all pretty much in some sort of lock down due to COVID-19. Some are quarantined, some in with mandatory shelter-in-place orders, some trapped in a foreign country unable to get back home, and many, many people are now working from home and practicing social distancing.
This is a very stressful time for us all.
In the meantime, it is VERY important that we maintain our physical, emotional and spiritual health. A strong constitution helps us combat illness. A strong mind helps us keep a positive outlook.
Several decades ago, as part of my journey in the marital arts, I was introduced to the practice of Tai Chi and Chi Gung. As it worked out there was a class at noon a few times a week in the fitness center at my place of work. I found it to be not only a compliment to my Tae Kwon Do practice (which I taught nightly at the time), but also found it to be a great way to reduce and relieve stress in the middle of the work day. This let me return to me cube refreshed and ready to work the afternoon.
So with that in mind, I though it might be helpful for many of you to add this to your routine to insure you get a little exercise and relaxation every day.
What is Chi Gung?
For those that do not know, Chi Gung (or Qigong) is an ancient Chinese practice designed to calm and focus the mind, strengthen the body, and increase your overall energy level (Chi). It is practiced by thousands every day in China and all over the world for its health benefits. Often referred to as moving meditation, Chi Gung breathing exercises have been shown to have innumerable health benefits as the gentle motions aid in the flow of Chi energy throughout your system.
My Chi Gung Video
In the 20-minute video below, I will guide you through several easy to learn routines that anyone can learn. The movements are similar to what many have seen in Tai Chi, but unlike Tai Chi, the movements are for improving your health and have no martial arts or self-defense intentions.
In the video (recorded in 2012 in San Antonio, Texas at the JW Marriott) you will see me give detailed instructions and explanations of several Chi Gung “still stance” breathing meditations. I lead the group in doing Upward-Downward, Inward-Outward, Raised Hands Stance, Tai Chi Ball, Four Forms, and the Warrior Energy Form. Each of these moving meditative sets can be done individually or in the series as demonstrated, depending on your available time and fitness level. Do what you can to mirror my movements, but don’t push it too much.
It may take a few days to get comfortable with all the movements. Take your time and remember to relax. Be warned, you may find your quads a little sore for the first few days if you bend your knees as much as I do! 🙂
So take a break, go outside, maybe your backyard, a park, or even the beach, and try some Chi Gung. Teach it to your kids and do this as a family!
I hope you find this practice helpful for getting through these challenging times.
Stay healthy my friends.
The Data Warrior and Chief Technical Evangelist at Snowflake
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