Qigong, and the Art of Slowing Down

Qigong is an ancient Eastern practice similar to Yoga. And, it can be a good complement to an exercise training routine.

From the NYTimes:

“The realm of working out has shifted from people just wanting to build bulk and lean, toned muscles to them understanding that the inner health of the body is just as important as the outer health,” said Bernard Shannon, a medical qigong therapist who works one on one with clients and sits on the board of the National Qigong Association, a trade group.

Fitness and well being can only be achieved when a person takes as good a care of their mind as they do of their body.

Qigong (pronounched CHEE-kong) is a term that includes a whole range of practice, from simple “healing” (questionable) techniques to Tai-Chi (fantastic). It is less commercialised, so far, than Yoga, and doesn’t include the excessive back extensions and other moves that I find to be unacceptable in Yoga practice (for safety reasons, and long term lower back health).

What I would NOT want anyone to do is to think that Qigong, Tai-Chi, or Yoga (not even Power Yoga) are a substitute for the Gym. They aren’t. They are totally different. Both important, but different. You wouldn’t think you could turn in a paper about Shakespeare to your Math Instructor, would you? It wouldn’t work. You’d fail out of school.

Remember that life is about balance. So, do some kind of Mindfulness practice, whether it’s Yoga, Tai-Chi, some other kind of Qigong, or simply Meditation or learning to breath properly. And make sure you’re getting to the Gym. Balance the two and you will be rewarded. Focus on only one, and you will chase your tail.


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