A Daily Practice

On this Summer Solstice Eve, our Qigong practice group focused on making a commitment to a daily practice. It’s so difficult to fit one more thing into our busy lives, and new habits are hard to establish. But to get the true benefits of this healing art, it must become a part of your daily life on this beautiful planet. It will catalyze that connection of mind, body, and spirit to the beauty and energy of all life on this earth and beyond. Here’s the simple formula for beginning this daily practice. These instructions assume you have been taking classes but are mainly just practicing during class time.

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  1. Set your intention; make a commitment to integrate a 10 minute practice into your day. Decide on 1 movement (or 2 if you must ­čÖé to focus on for the first 30 days and the best time of day to make this happen. I recommend first thing in the morning, before your mind distracts you with other things (personal experience :).
  2. Connect to the chi field. (Vertical & Horizontal Alignment, Heart focus, Set Intention. (if you’d like a chi field audio by me, click link to email me, under 6 min)
    1. Vertical Alignment: Straighten your spine. Drop your hips and legs into the earth. Feel your feet on the earth and open to the earth’s energy. Then, notice and imagine the space above your head and then expand out to the universe. Allow the energy of the universe to flow through you. Enjoy, relax.
    2. Horizontal Alignment: Notice, imagine the space in front of you, then expand out beyond the mountains, oceans, horizon. Now to the back, left, right. mountains
    3. Heart focus: Bring your focus to your heart, allow your heart to open and to connect to its true, deepest purpose–for healing of self, others, the planet. Connect with others of good heart who are also using their energy to heal self, others, the planet.
    4. . Intention: Take a moment to truly feel and articulate your specific intention for practice. Our collective intention is for health, happiness, and deep fulfillment of life.
  3. Do your chosen practice for 5 minutes, increasing the time as you can. Keep your mind in your body, using the visualizations we are learning in class.
  4. Integrate: After practice, do a few lift chi up pour chi down movements, then slowly bring your hands to your navel, your dantien, grounding, integrating, enjoying the energy you have been cultivating. Then feel your feet on the earth, grounding and centering on the earth. And feel the spaciousness around you. Slowly move your body and gently open your eyes. Bow in gratitude to the chi field, masters/teachers, practitioners, and to your own inner teacher. Or just say thank you, especially to that inner teacher that is encouraging you to begin this daily practice!deep-breath

No Shortcuts

You just have to love paradoxes, which seem to be prevalent in trying to understand the chi field, God, the universe, energy, love. There are no shortcuts in qigong. And here are four of them.

  1. Inner Smile
  2. Haola Chant
  3. Wall Squats
  4. Any qigong practice you will do consistently because you love it.

heartThese are shortcuts because you can practice them just about anywhere, with as little or as much time as you can muster.  The key is to start and to make them a part of each day. What I find after consistent practice is that my body and my consciousness will remind me to practice throughout the day. When I have scarce time in the morning, my inner qigong coach will wake me up just a little earlier to make sure I practice.

Inner Smile

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It sounds so simple, but it’s a practice taught by many Qigong Grandmasters and is from a Daoist tradition. You can do this in a few minutes or take your time. My favorite way to do the inner smile is to think of someone or something that makes me smile–like a beautiful waterfall, a boogy boarding moment of catching the perfect wave, or most often, my two gorgeous sons. I smile on the outside! I then imagine the sun coming up over the White Mountains, and coming slowly, slowly towards me. That beautiful, life giving light then comes into my brain through the place between my eyebrows known as the third eye. The light, the smiles, fill my brain, then flow down into my heart, filling my heart with light, smiles and love and then into my precious organ systems, into my cells, all over my body. My body is filled with light and smiles and love. I am light, I am smiles, I am love. This practice fills me with gratitude for having this precious time on earth.

Haola!

I have a couple blog posts here on Haola, so if interested, check those out. I use haola like a so be it, it is what it is, ah, there it is, etc. Its essence is “all is well and getting better”. All is well on a universal plane, in the absolute and getting better on an earthly plane, on a personal plane, on a relative plane. The universe evolves, the earth evolves, we evolve when we practice wisdom and healing and love.

Wall Squatsperfect squat

This is an exercise you should really learn in a class or on a retreat as you want to be very careful of your knees, back, etc. There are specific details for descending as well as ascending. It’s a very powerful practice that builds endurance in your hips, the muscles surrounding your knees, and works your core as well because you use a pelvic tilt, basically, to stand up from the squat. If you do google this and give it a try, remember to start slowly, with just a micro-squat, if you will.

Your Favorite Practice

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Esalen Qigong Retreat 2016

If you have a favorite practice, that is your shortcut to building a daily practice because you, your body, mind, heart and cells will want to do this every day. Find one small practice and build from there. Spinal bone marrow? Hip rotations? Chen Chi? Lift Chi Up Pour Chi Down? For more information to connect with online classes and instructors in your area, go to The Chi Center website.