Developing Your Qigong Practice

Patience in the Beginning

When I was first learning the 18-Form qigong, all my moves were stiff and sticky. Of course, this is how it is whenever we first learn something. I know it can be frustrating for a beginner. My advice? Do your best to let it go. This is a natural part of the learning process. In the beginning, your body and brain are working hard to figure out what the heck they’re supposed to be doing. You’re watching your teacher or other students and trying to play the mirror game of follow the leader. Of course it’s going to be a little wonky at first. Really, don’t feel bad. Did any of us learn to walk over night. One day there you are a little crawling baby and suddenly you’re not a toddler, you are a full-fledged, walking up right Homo sapiens? No way. It took time. So, keep that in mind and cut yourself some slack, okay?

Patience in the Middle

Sometimes, I think it can be a matter of finding the right metaphor to help us find our way. One that I like a lot and mention pretty often to students is to do each posture of the form as if you were moving through water. This may let you relax more and develop the sensitivity to lingering tension in your joints, particularly in your hands and arms. This allows you to notice that when the hands sink down towards the ground, that the heel of the palm and the wrist are the heaviest, allowing the fingertips to float up and be light, buoyed by the air, and sinking more slowly, more delicately than say, the rest of your arm.

Patience in the Rest of Your Journey

Try it and see if that works for you. Let me know how it goes. See how sharp you can make your attention to the whole body as you move and breathe. How light and soft can you be? Then enter your practice time with an easy mind. Of course it helps you to develop when you practice with diligence, attention and focus. But try to let go of grasping for perfection. Remember, that’s why we call all these things, Practice. Enjoy your qigong journey and allow yourself to float like the leaf on the quiet river. One move and a time. One breath at a time.

Nest time, I’ll take a look at some other metaphors which have proved useful to help students catch the idea in a way that makes sense for them.

Take care. Wishing peace and happiness for all beings. And if you found this useful, join other peace minded folks and subscribe.


Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

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