Back in 2004 I wanted to learn Taijiquan. I was intrigued by the image of those calm, old people practicing in parks in China. They looked just so serene and at ease! And I was an overworked business consultant in desperate need for some downtime.
So I searched for Taijiquan in my town and luckily I found a teacher who offered an ongoing class on Sundays. Once a month 3 hours Taijiquan. Perfect!
And in the beginning I thought that the exercises we did in the beginning and at the end of each class where just – well – exercises. Only after some time I figured that those where actually Qi Gong exercises. And I loved them!
I mean, my heart really beats for Taijiquan. I love the intensity and concentration that is necessary to learn a form. The interaction in push hands. The details in all the different moves. And Taijiquan benefits me a lot in everyday life.
However Qi Gong is what I go to when I need to refresh. Whenever I am really exhausted I do Qi Gong. Because doing these simple exercises, I do not need to concentrate so much. Or rather I can concentrate on other things. My breath. My racing mind. My ability to let go.
How Qi Gong changed my life
Qi Gong changed my life because I now have a place I can always go to: my own body! Qi Gong helped me to see my body as my home. My temple. My amusement park. My sanctuary. And the best thing: my body is always with me!
Qi Gong teaches me to go with the flow. To return to nature. I live in a big city (and enjoy it), but returning to nature can also mean returning to my own nature. What is really beneficial for me? What makes me tense? Through practicing Qi Gong I do not only think about it intellectually, but I can actually feel it in my body!
And Qi Gong helped me to reconcile with my body. I always struggled with my body image, and especially with my physical capabilities. Like I was the worst student in Ballet class. And at gym class in school. Literally: my teacher gave me a bad grade, saying that I was “anatomically not suitable for school gym class”! So I always thought that I was not flexible or good at physical moves. Even after 12 years at the Ballet I wasn’t able to lean forward with straight legs and touch my toes!
But then, I learned that one Qi Gong exercise. The Water Wheel. It includes going forward with the upper body, leading the fingers to the ground and then in a wide round move up again. I love to do it and I usually practice it with closed eyes. Can you imagine my astonishment when one day I touched the ground? I couldn’t believe it, but my fingers touched the ground when I leant forward! It may seem minor, but to me, that was really life-changing. Because, once you understand that you can be more flexible in your twenties than as a young kid – that truly stretches some limiting beliefs!
So I know that when you talk with people how Qi Gong changed my life or their life, some have drastical changes due to their practice (Read here or here). But for me, I enjoy mostly those subtle changes. Those changes I barely notice until someone tells me: you are always so relaxed!
Yes, I get more and more relaxed. And I have to admit, that even though I really love Taijiquan, I guess the real reason for my relaxation and my inner peace comes from Qi Gong.
Now I told you how Qi Gong changed my life. I would love to know: has Qi Gong changed your life? Feel free to leave a comment below.