The Data Warrior

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Archive for the tag “chi gung”

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

ODTUG KScope12: Day 4 – Another Day in Paradise

Well folks, it is really late/early so, for now I am just putting up some pictures without a lot of detail.

This was the sunrise that greeted me on the way to Morning Chi Gung. Going to be another hot one!


This is the view of the bluff and waterfall that we see every day when we practice Chi Gung on the lawn. Very soothing and relaxing. It definitely enhances the experience and feeling of connectedness to the earth.

First session of the day was Maria Colgan (the optimizer queen) talking about Tuning SQL in a Data Warehouse. A huge amount of information to digest. Mostly over my head but very useful for a data warehouse dba.

She did however forget her glasses this morning and could not really see the people in the back row too well. 🙂

Next up was Mr. Kevin McGinley (BI Track Lead) giving us his thoughts about Exalytics and what is meant by “Speed of Thought”.

This is a picture of his four kids before the session. They did Kevin’s introduction today. Quite cute.

Not sure where they got it from (just say’n). 😉

After Kevin’s entertaining talk, I went to see John Jeffries talk about Oracle Golden Gate. John is one of the world experts on Golden Gate having published the Oracle Golden Gate 11g Implementer’s Guide.

John had a nice diagram (below)  of what you can use Golden Gate for. Very useful.

After lunch I went to see Dr. Holger Friedrich who gave us a comparison between ODI 11g (Oracle Data Integrator) and OWB (Oracle Warehouse Builder). OWB is going away in the not too distant future so it is important for OWB shops to get a handle on it and start to lean about ODI. This presentation was a great start.

Holger is a very interesting and intelligent guy. He is from Switzerland and holds a PhD in Robotics and Machine Learning.

Not sure how he ended up doing Oracle data warehousing.

Tonight was our BIG EVENT: Dinner and Rodeo and Dancing at the Knibbe Ranch. It was hoot!

Here I am with my armadillo. I actually “won” an armadillo race.

We had a great BBQ dinner and a great country band to listen to. Hard find a bad band in this neck of the woods.

After dinner was the main event: rodeo. This is the big show: The board of directors for ODTUG got to ride into the arena on horseback for the opening ceremonies of the rodeo. It did appear that Edward Roske (conference chair) really knew how to ride a horse.

That’s it for now. I have to sleep a little before Morning Chi Gung. Then I have my last presentation tomorrow morning.

Good thing I tested everything and got ready before going to the special event.

Check back in a day or so as I will fill in some details on the technical presentations.

Adios for now.


Work is Killing You and 10 Ways to Stop It From Happening!

This has been a hot button for me for some time – if we don’t find a way to fit exercise, fitness, and some healthy eating into our sedentary lives (like we in IT tend have), we will not live as long as we hope. And life will not be as enjoyable as it could be.

This article really speaks to this all-to-common issue:

Every morning, you awaken to a new day and you launch into your familiar routines as you hustle to meet your daily obligations.

Ideally, your work excites you, energizes you, and brings joy to your life. If your work brings you more stress and fatigue than joy then now is the time to make some changes. You can introduce a renewed vigor into your work and upgrade your attitude.

You know that taking care of yourself should be your number one priority. Yet you often let your health and fitness levels fall by the wayside if you are consistently working 50 or more hours a week.

As a society, at what point did we take the wrong turn by focusing on work place productivity and relentless goal setting at the expense of our happiness and well-being?

Productivity does not have to be measured solely by the number of hours logged at work. Happiness will not be attainable when consistently working 50 hours a week. Furthermore, our choice, as a culture, to sacrifice fitness or physical play for other goals has had an impact on every part of our lives, including our fitness level and our overall happiness at work and outside of work.

The article goes on to detail 10 things you can do – today – to become more fit and healthy (and it is not just joining a health club). Check it out at  Work is Killing You and 10 Ways to Stop It From Happening! | Work Happy Now.

Get up and get moving! (after you read the article that is…)

If you want to get notified when I post articles like this, don’t forget to hit the Follow button at the top of the column to the right.

– Kent

P.S. If you are attending this years KScope conference next month in San Antonio, you can work on your fitness level by joining me each morning for some calming and energizing Chi Gung. We will meet on the lawn each morning at 7 AM.

Alert would-be Oracle Warriors: Chi Gung in San Antonio

As many of you now by now I will be presenting several sessions at the ODTUG annual conference, KScope, this coming June in San Antonio, Texas.

What you may not know is that I will also be conducting 30-minute Chi Gung sessions in the morning before the events of the day start as part of the KScope12 Fun Factor activities.

Why you may ask?

In short, because even geeks need to exercise to live long (and prosper).

Plus this type of moving meditation is just what the doctor ordered to help you de-stress and (mentally) get away from your daily IT routine. (I have written a bit more on this here and here)

So as some motivation for you to join me doing Chi Gung (in the cool part of the day!) check out this video of a guy Exercising Around the World.

If you like that video and a really motivated, check out his web site at NerdFitness.

At KScope11 in Long Beach, we did it everyday and had at least 20 people each morning. It was a lot of fun.

Here are a few of the comments I received about the sessions:

“Kent organized the Chi Gung class at this years ODTUG KScope 2011 event, which was very enjoyable. A very relaxing way to start the day. Kent explained the exercises very clear, which made it easier to follow for first time practitioners.” 

“Kent proivided Chi Gung sessions to supplement an IT conference. It was a great way to set us up for the day and it was great fun. Ken was patient and yet educational, repeating the main concepts each day for new people. I attended for 5 consecutive days and would have loved to have done more” 

No previous martial arts or meditation experience required!

Let’s join the revolution and become fit and healthy Oracle Nerds and Geeks!

Tell me in the comments how you are becoming a fitter, healthier Oracle geek.

Then meet me in San Antonio for some moving meditation, relaxation, and fun.


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