Qigong essentially means working with or cultivating breath or life energy, called qi or chi in Oriental medicine and philosophy. Qigong has been known by various names through the centuries, and according to Ken Cohen, author of The Way of Qigong, it was once known as expelling the old energy, drawing in the new.
Qigong practices have come down to us through the centuries as forms of Daoist yoga. Generally, the routines are practiced standing. The relaxed postures and movements facilitate energy flow and a strong connection to the earth, enhancing physical and emotional balance, stability and mental clarity.
We practice qigong to improve our health and wellbeing. It is a whole body exercise that is gentle, yet profound, being rooted in nature and an energetic appreciation of the body. It is appropriate for people of all ages.
In these ongoing classes, relevant aspects of our energetic anatomy and relationships with Oriental medical theory are presented to increase our understanding of how qigong can benefit the body, mind and spirit.
The way to health and wholeness is just that — a way or path, not a specific destination. Radiant health requires attention and cultivation: of our physical body, our energy body and of our mind and spirit. This is why daily practices such as meditation, prayer, yoga, tai ji, or qigong are so beneficial.
Spending time in nature is also of immense benefit to us, as we, too, are part of a greater whole. When weather conditions permit, practicing qigong outdoors is often even more rejuvenating and refreshing.
"It surprises me that this gentle, meditative practice seems to be remodeling my basic structure, in just a few months — and I'm not even very diligent, only occasionally doing qigong outside our weekly sessions. I didn't join the group with anything like physical therapy in mind, only for improved balance and just plain enjoyment. But I find I'm sleeping well through the night for the first time in over ten years: the extreme lower-back and pelvic pain I've had (from an old injury) is all but gone. Love it!" — Melissa D., age 72
"I go to a yoga class too and I like this better." — Connie D.
"At my age I am stiff in the morning and my back is sore. When I get up, the first thing I do is practice qigong and it starts my day off right." — Ben D., age 80