Grounding, Breathing and Energy Clearing for Calmness and Contentment
Qigong and Thai Chi provides a physical wellness system to follow that has many benefits. Qigong (also known as Chi Kung) is often associated with Tai Chi, but is more diverse. Qigong is believed to have originated in China up to 8,000 years ago and encompasses not only movement and breathing exercises, but also diet, medicinal and energy practices. The whole practice has an emphasis upon awareness, mindfulness and meditation; hence it can also be used as a spiritual practice and life philosophy for your personal spiritual advancement. The word can be broken down into two meanings: Qi or Chi for life force or energy (and this is known as prana in India), and Gong or Kung for practice. Interestingly, we have no equivalent word for chi, or qi, in English.
In Asian countries the breathing and movement exercises are often done outdoors on the grass, in a park, alone or in group movement. One of the benefits of the practice is the quieting of the mind whilst simultaneously focusing the mind. As the practitioner practices qigong, through his or her flowing body movements, specific ways of breathing are also employed. It is done barefoot and on the earth, which also makes it very grounding and supportive of deepening your connection with the earth. The purpose of Qigong is to open the energy channels of the body, which are also known as energy meridians (in the Indian system the equivalent term is the chakras, or energy centers). The energy meridians are also the focal points for the practice of acupuncture and reflexology. However, the main practice in qigong is particularly centered around the chest or belly areas of the body. The full opening of these energy channels allows more energy to move through you. This energy, is the energy that moves through the earth and the universe everywhere. As you open, universal energy flows more freely through your body. This has an energizing, strengthening and restorative impact on the body and mind. The practice of allowing Qi through you more deeply nourishes your entire system.
The practice of Qigong is very wholistic – focusing simultaneously upon the mind, body and spirit. It brings practical, everyday elements of living to the foreground. For example, in the domain of food and nutrition, there are various suggestions of foods to be consumed for a health-inducing purpose. For example, in summer, you may eat more cooling foods to reduce the extra heat in the body and environment. This is quiet intuitive for humans anyway, but the principles can make you become more aware of your body and seasons, working with it rather than against the flow. If there is too much energy in one part of the body you might focus on foods that reduce the flow of energy to this part of the body, or raise energy in various other parts of your bodily systems and organs.
At Natural Attitudes Health Retreat, you experience the benefits of qigong and grounding during any of the residential retreats. It’s a great way to start your day on the right foot, in a simple, concise and “easy to take home and continue” manner. You will feel your body awaken naturally, as you evoke a greater calm and a clearer and sharper mind focus. As you experience your Intuitive Movement morning session 1-on-1 with your practitioner, you’ll not only experience the immediate benefits of a great start to your day, brimming with insights and new awarenesses, but you’ll also feel confident in integrating these insights into your life moving forward too. The ripple effects of this practice are quite long-lasting.