'Qi' means life force energy.
'Gong' means the skill that is cultivated through steady practice.
Qigong, therefore, is the practice of transforming energy to live a life of optimum health, wellness, and happiness.
In January 2016 I took a 100 days of Qigong challenge as suggested by my teacher, Mario Argento. According to Master Chuny Lin, if you practice qigong for 100 days in a row, your body will naturally start to balance at that time each day, even if you have to miss a day. A practice session must be at least 10 minutes long to qualify and it must be done each and every day.
As a bookkeeper, I like numbers and measurable results. So I decided to track and quantify the results of my qigong practice. I wanted to know if it really worked, especially since I was planning to teach. So being the type A person that I am, I developed a spreadsheet to track my qigong practice each day and correlate it to how I felt. I picked five particularly troublesome symptoms that I wanted to alleviate. Each day I ranked them on a scale of 1-5 (one being bad/present and 5 being good/absent). The symptoms I tracked were: ANXIETY, IRRITABILITY, FATIGUE, PAIN AND HEAD-FOG.
Since I believe the millions of people who swear by qigong I wasn't surprised by the results, but I was astounded to see just how dramatic they were. Within a few weeks almost all my symptoms had virtually disappeared! I felt more happy, loving, calm, clear, motivated and generally excited about life. After 15 years of trying various holistic modalities, it seemed I had found my "magic bullet"!
Chuny Lin is right, I was able to miss a day of practice and maintain my balance. But, as I have discovered, I can't miss more than a few days.
So, folks, here's the kicker....
QIGONG TAKES DEDICATION AND DISCIPLINE. ITS CALLED A 'PRACTICE' FOR A REASON.
As I write this, I am about to end a wonderful summer vacation with my family on Vancouver Island. While travelling, I did qigong, but not every day and not at the same time every day, and not always with focused intention. Now, 3 weeks later, I have noticed that my symptoms have snuck back up on me. My head is cloudy, I'm a bit lethargic and some of my familiar aches and pains have returned. I know that all I need to do is get back on track with my qigong practice, but I've been lacking motivation to do so.
And here is where the practice of GRACE comes into play. There is no need to feel bad or berate myself. There is no standard to uphold. This is life and grace allows life to flow just as it is.
I am reminded of a famous Chinese expression - "Where the mind goes, Qi flows".
So with a focus on LOVE, KINDNESS and FORGIVENESS, I find myself inspired and empowered to wholeheartedly practice qigong.