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Monday, December 13, 2010

Qigong, A First Time Experience

This past weekend, I spent a good hour and a half participating in Qigong session. As to what I was actually partaking in, I am not 100% sure. I was, of course, informed shortly before the session began what we would be doing, but I admit I was too focused on stretching and warming up- not sure how physically demanding this course would be. I write this because I've done several Hatha yoga sessions before, and I thought it could be of some value to compare this new martial arts class to my experiences in the Hindu realm of physical meditation.
Immediately, I detected that breaking a sweat was inevitable; Qigong was physically demanding. Where yoga has one moving to get into positions that one eventually holds for a period of time, Qigong was a continuation of fluid movements. These movements were broken into the Eight Treasures, all of which had very interesting names which we were to meditate on (if we could simultaneously) while trying to follow the instructor. My favorite Treasure pertained to the Tiger energy. Again, compared to yoga, I found that some of the same balancing and flexibility techniques were shared, but Qggong was very demanding in holding one half (in the Tiger "set" it was the legs stuck in a pose) while the upper body went through a circuit of movements in sets of either three or nine. I think that Hatha yoga allowed for me personally to meditate instantaneously once I was able to get into a pose, but Qigong was consistently demanding for my mind to be focused on trying to get into a rhythm. I feel that my recent inactive lifestyle was really jump started by the combination of all Eight Treasures.

Sorry for the vagueness, it was hard to retain all the details of the names of the Treasures I was doing, and similarly, I didn't have much of grasp on the history of Qigong. However, I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in yoga already or one who would like to start some form of martial arts. This exercise, though, was not seemingly as "violent" taekwondo or any other martial arts. I'm still curious to learn about its history and why it's placed under the category of martial arts. It did, however, have a strong physical affect on my body. I was thoroughly exhausted when I finished. The extensive stretching in each Treasure was very unique and apparently healthy. "Realigning the channels" was the goal of Qigong; a shared Hindu/Buddhist, Eastern Asian practice.

Fascinating.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jack.....I love your ruminations and your description and experieince of Paul's Eight treasures class. Just wanted to correct your spelling of Qinggong....correct spelling is Qigong.

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