Healing Hamilton

Assisting you on your path to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

Showing posts with label Ken Cohen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ken Cohen. Show all posts

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Qi Gong for Everyone

Q is for Qi Gong

Six things you wanted to know about Qi Gong but didn't know who to ask:
  1. How do I pronounce "Qi Gong"?

    Qi is pronounced "chee"
    Gong is pronounced" gung" (rhythms with lung)

  2. What is Qi Gong?

    A powerful system of healing and energy medicine from China.   It's the art and science of using breathing and gentle movement to cleanse, strengthen and circulate life energy (qi).  Read more from Qi Gong master Ken Cohen here
  3. What are the basic principles of Qi Gong

    Breathing and being relaxed are two of the fundamental basics.  Watch Qi Gong master Ken Cohen demonstrate them here  http://youtu.be/I3GuK1OVbCc

  4. What do you do with Qi Gong?

    Qi Gong is used as a healing modality  Watch a qi gong treatment

    It is applied in sports and martial arts to improve strength and stamina

    It is used as a spiritual discipline

  5. Who can do Qi Gong?

    Everyone!  Qi Gong can be done standing, seated or even laying down.  Its gentle techniques are appropriate for all ages and levels of fitness.  It can even be tailored to suit the ill, injured or palliative student.

  6. How do I find a Qi Gong instructor?

    Your local martial arts club may offer Qi Gong, or at least,  may point you in the direction of a local Qi Gong group.

    Check your local recreation centres.  Even if they don't offer Qi Gong, many rec. centres offer Tai Chi and Tai Chi instructors are often well versed in Qi Gong.

    If these options don't work for you, try the Qi Gong Institutes International Directory of Qi Gong Teachers and Therapists

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tai Chi: Bringing the principles into daily life

Our busy modern lives can make it difficult for us to get out to formal classes or even to find practice time at home.  So why not incorporate some of the Tai Chi principles into your everyday routine?  By thinking about the principles daily, and applying them whenever possible, they will quickly become second nature.  And if the principles are second nature, your Tai Chi will improve at a faster rate.    Ideas on how to do this will be shared over 3 or 4 separate posts so each principle can be fully explored.

Part 1 - RELAX

Relaxation is the key principle to a successful Tai Chi/Qigong practice.  Without it, aligning your body into the required postures is nothing short of impossible.  In his book "The Way of Qigong" Ken Cohen tells us that "relaxation is a matter of effortlessness with intent" and that "trying to relax is counterproductive".  According to Mr. Cohen  "to relax you must be tranquil".   Roger Janke tells us in his book "The healing promise of Qi"   "Relax.  There is nothing to do.  Qi will naturally gather into your system and circulate if you relax."    This however, is deceptively difficult to do! 

In the video below, Ian Sinclair of Taichicentral.com explains why "Relaxation is not for wimps."

Ian tells us that relaxation is so difficult to achieve because  "thought, emotion and posture merge when working with subtle levels of aligning the body".   Tai Chi, by it's very nature, brings this challenge front and centre.  As we practice and improve our postures, thoughts and emotions bubble to the surface.  

How to include relaxation in your daily life:

Pause for a minute and note your state of mind.  Are you frustrated? Bored? Happy?  Now do a mental body scan.  Start at your head and scan right down to your toes, noting any tension you feel in your body.   As you find each area of tension allow it to relax, letting it go fully before scanning for the next area.  You may want to scan from head to toe more than once to be sure you've found all of your tension.  Once you're fully relaxed note your state of mind.  Has it changed in any way? 

If you're not yet convinced that your thoughts and emotions affect your body, try this:   Once you're fully relaxed, think about something that requires action on your part.  Don't move your body in any way - just think about the pending task for a minute or two.  Again, without moving, do a mental body scan noting the areas of tension.  Trust me - they'll be back!  Are they in the same places?  Has the intensity changed?

Obviously you'll be most relaxed if you can do this exercise lying down, but it works just about anywhere.  Try it when your standing in a line or sitting in a waiting room.