I’m sure you have all heard me talk about how important it is to practice Qigong daily. Most Chinese masters will tell you that you must practice a movement or set every day for 100 days (without skipping a single day) in order to begin to obtain the benefits of the practice. While I certainly believe great things happen when you practice daily, I also understand the challenge of being able to practice daily.
I know everyone’s day is probably jam packed from beginning to end. Having kids and a full-time job pretty much consume people the 24 hours you’re allowed in a day. But there are many opportunities to work Qigong into your day. In fact earlier today a student was telling me that a recent snowboarding trip made him think of Qigong during the trip. He could see the relationship between himself and nature, your movements down the hill are slow and circular, and how on a mountain top you are breathing in fresh, qi infused air. He couldn’t be more right, our practice is all around us.
Qigong can be translated many ways, but the typical translation is “Energy Work” or “Energy Cultivation”. When you become aware of Qi or simply move it around, you are doing Qigong. Every minute of every day is an opportunity to practice. Many movements can be practiced as you walk around. Everytime you move, it’s an opportunity to be co-ordinate your breath with your movement and experience the constant process of “Yin changing to Yang” and “Yang changing to Yin”. Look for your own ways of discovering Qi in your daily life and have fun with it.
The byproduct Qigong practice that can be used in our everyday life is the increased awareness that comes with the practice. Qigong is moving meditation which quiets the mind and turns our focus inward, making us more aware of ourselves, and in turn the world around us. When we practice Qigong, that is it. We are simply practicing…but when we enter back into the real world again, we re-enter it with a clearer mind and the possibility for a new perspective. What are the new things that you noticed today, that you didn’t notice yesterday? This awareness is the result of your practice, and it will honestly come even if you are not able to practice daily.
The truth is that in the beginning it’s difficult to carve out the time to practice daily. If you persist in your practice, even if it’s once a week, you will slowly become more drawn to practicing as you see and experience the increased awareness and the new state of mind the practice brings. Over time you will find yourself automatically creating that time to practice and you will dive deeper into Qigong.