Practicing qigong is so simple and so powerful. You cannot do it wrong. You can only do it good, better, or best. ~Chunyi Lin
Balance. It seems as if I have always been looking for balance. In how I use my body, my emotions and, yes, even my bank account. With the training I've received in the Alexander Technique, my awareness of how I use myself was raised considerably. Learning Qi Gong and Tai Chi, I've had many opportunities to incorporate my AT training and substantially increase my Qi flow.
Recently my life has been out of balance. We decided to have our home painted, and this decision led to many other decisions and a lot of work. Good work, mind you, but work that took weeks of time and effort. Letting go of hundreds of books and recorded music. During this process, I frequently experienced decision fatigue, was often emotionally lost in memories and generally tired. We did maintain our daily practices of journaling, Qi Gong and Meditation. No matter how busy, we both dedicate at least 90 minutes daily to these activities first thing in the morning. Even though recently I have felt out of balance, without our morning practice I would have been lost.
We also decided to teach Five Animal Play Qi Gong this fall at the Takoma Park Recreation Center. We've always loved many parts of this form, but there is one exercise in the Crane form that we've neglected until recently - the Crane Stretching It's Wings Behind. A very difficult, yet simple exercise which addresses balance. As does The Crane Stretching Its Wings which I've practiced for over 10 years. I decided it was time to re-learn this exercise.
We've incorporated Crane Stretching its Wings Behind into our daily warm-ups for the past month. In the past week, I've been addressing the exercise throughout my day. As a break from my guitar practice in particular. Today while enjoying a very fruitful guitar practice, I began The Crane Stretching Its Wings Behind. After pausing to direct my alignment with the AT directions, I began to move. Stretching first with my right leg and both arms extended behind me and then the left. The fourth time through this exercise, my hands came alive with Qi. I noticed my shoulders were relaxed, allowing my arm pits to open easily, which is important for the heart channel which begins here. My balance was graceful and the energy flowed. This is the first time I've experienced the simple power of this exercise, but trust that it will not be my last.
How are you stretching your practice? Finding your balance?
Photo taken from our Sunlight Qi Gong Class this past Spring.