A lot of people have asked me if I have studied the Chinese movement and energy system — Qigong.
I was always drawn to its elegant and rich moves and underlying imagery but I had never formally studied the practice. Thankfully, over this past fourth of July weekend I attended Roger Jahnke’s Qigong workshop “Feel the Qi” at the Omega Institute. It was a great experience and I already see the benefits of Qigong practice.
I think Dr. Jahnke is a really excellent teacher because rather than just learning a series of movements, he taught principles of Qigong and its basis in Chinese philosophy and medicine.
He guided us into both intellectually understanding and feeling how forces of both the earth and the cosmos act upon us.
It felt like I was being pulled by different magnetic forces that met and interacted in my body ad energy field. I felt both truly insignificant (as we appear to be on the universal level) and yet so vital and empowered. I felt a sense of having some meaningful role in the larger sense of life through how these forces conduct and circulate through my body. It was kind of humbling and expanding at the same time!
Roger also explained that there are 9 phases of Qi (Healing Promise of Qi) .
By engaging them we have a potential map or recipe for physical health and mental / emotional well-being. Like any good map or recipe, these forms are guidelines. It’s through our actual walking of the path that we find what works for us!
I felt a natural infinity to walking this path. In fact, I feel a deep sense of calm and renewal that has stayed with me from the workshop. The movements themselves were very familiar.
I am gratified that my own study of my body’s innate wisdom serves me in learning more.
Perhaps the most obvious similarity is circular movement. I know for my own self that changing my thinking over the past 20 years about movement as linear to subtly spiraling has made my muscles more fluid, my joints more limber and my movement effortless. I think my lifelong embodiment of movement exploration really helped me experience Qi.
I know I have also felt energy of tides, pulls and circulations in my body and in others for a long time.
Noticing how there are particular passageways for energy to move as a kind of holistic mapped system was a great gift to me
Stay tuned for my next post.
I will write more on my observations of the intersection of my (and many of our) somatic movement work as it melds with Qigong.