On May 18th, 2020, We hosted our very first online workshop for the Reseau Santé de la Nouvelle Écosse, the premiere resource for Francophone health services in Nova Scotia. Over a dozen attendees, connected together via Zoom, were introduced to the philosophy and practice of Qigong.
Qigong, often translated as “energy work”, is the practice of cultivating the diverse relationships that exist within ourselves, and between ourselves and our environment.
Qigong developed from another practice called DaoYin, which translates as “guiding and pulling”. DaoYin is a form of Chinese medical physiotherapy.
Internally, there are three broad systems whose relationships we can cultivate:
- The relationship between our physical and functional systems (such as our organs and our posture)
- The relationship between our physical and mental systems (such as our physical abilities and our mood)
- The relationship between our functional and mental systems (such as our breathing and our emotions)
Qigong takes the principles of DaoYin, which aim to correct imbalances in the body, and adds the concept of optimization. Qigong seeks to optimize the body, the mind, and the relationship between the two.
Qigong also aims to harmonize the relationships between the self and the environment.
After briefly explaining the theory of Qigong and doing a simple warm-up, participants were introduced to a simple Qigong routine called the Ba Duan Jin, or Eight Pieces of Brocade.
Ba Duan Jin is an introductory Qigong routine. Consisting of 8 movements and postures which are coordinated with breath-work and visualization techniques, it is designed to improve coordination, circulation, posture and relaxation. The whole routine takes about 10 minutes to do.
The workshop was about 60 minutes long. The participants enjoyed learning about Qigong and many expressed an interest in attending future classes. Plans are in the works to hold regular Qigong classes in the future, first via Zoom and then in the park once the Covid pandemic eases off.