There were so many interesting nuggets in the Qigong/Meditation workshop last weekend with Tracy Elner and Dr Jacques Anthony Soyer. We practiced meditation, breath work and finally Tracy guided us through a Qigong practice, discovering the magic of its tingling, pulsating, warming, energy-moving techniques. They’ll do the workshop again and I urge you to go.
Up to now I hadn’t thought of the history of yoga in China or the history of martial arts in India. The fingerprints of yoga, meditation, Buddhism, breath work, internal body cleansing and aiming at enlightenment are all over the region. The many Indian martial arts are hardly surprising when you think of the warrior caste of the Mahabharata which is highlighted in the Bhagavad Gita. Also before enlightenment and becoming a Buddha, Prince Siddhartha was trained, as you would expect in a royal court, in the prized arts of archery, swordsmanship and wrestling.
Tracy’s taught us an old martial practice which developed at the same time as the Indian and Taoist systems of yoga. The Vedas in India had martial art called Vijra Mukti which means thunderbolt fist. This system embraced all aspects of yoga: meditation, pranayama and posture practice. Through the spread of Buddhism in the 5th Century BC, this system turned up in China. Later, the legendary Shaolin Monastery was set up by an Indian Buddhist monk who brought the Indian system of yogic asana and fighting to the Buddhists monks in China who weren’t doing any exercise. That’s no good! There’s no energy in that! The Chinese realised you can absorb energy from all living things around you and end up with more energy that you started with. The goal is to live longer in order to achieve enlightenment. It buys you time! Through a blend of practices, Qigong appeared.
I watched this 30 minute Qigong for Beginners You tube (have a go) and thought about monks practicing this. I have known Buddhist monks all my life. I think they should! Finally, I thought this was nice. The original meaning of Tai Chi is ‘Enhance what you have’.
On Tuesday I had a little go at teaching Qigong in class. Everyone felt the energy/force/presence in their hands. It’s a delight to feel it. There’s no class next Wednesday (30th) as it’s my Mum’s birthday. I’ve added a 6.00 class on Thursday to try to make up for it. You can see class availability on my website (which I update often).
I’ll be assisting in Valentina’s last Aerial Yoga class in her present studio, Saturday 26th, at 10.30. Come along. Book here.
Yoga in the news
Prince Charles helps bring yoga to mining town, The Times tells us. He opened a health and wellbeing centre at Dumfries House, Ayrshire which was inspired by a wellbeing programme which involved local GPs prescribing ‘natural remedies and traditional techniques’ such as mindfulness, yoga and Reiki.
The Oxford Mail tells us of free charity yoga in Oxford this Saturday from 10.30am – 9.00pm, finishing with a party.