ETF Week Eleven: Everyday Movements

Week Eleven Sessions Outline:

  • Take a few moments to stand in a relaxed position, quiet your mind, relax your body, and slow and deepen your breath before you start into the qigong exercises
  • This week we will apply the awareness of energy in movement developed in previous weeks to a variety of day to day activities.  See the notes below for examples.  As in previous weeks you may want to spend some time on exercises from earlier in the course to warm up and get your energy flow and awareness active before working on this week’s focus
  • End your sessions with some simple qigong self massage to help return your energy to your centre

Exercises:

Notes:

You can maintain energy awareness through any movement as long as you are relaxed, have good posture and alignment and so on.  The challenge this week is to do this for movements that you would use in mundane daily activities.  Choose a selection of these to try.  Examples could be: washing dishes, vacuuming, hanging up washing, typing, driving etc.  You can practice these movements in a couple of ways.  You can mime doing the movement, or you can get whatever you need (dishes, vacuum etc) to actually do the movement as part of your qigong practice session.

Experiment with the movements and see if you can maintain energy awareness throughout them.  It may surprise you how much you stiffen up and consequently reduce the energy flow as you do certain movements.  With practice though, you will be able to relax and use your body in a more effective way which allows your energy to flow more freely.

There are a few things biomechanically that are likely to help this.  Things like relaxing and lowering your shoulders, pointing your elbows towards the ground, keeping your knees off-lock or slightly bent and so on.  The main thing is to experiment though and find ways that you are comfortable that keep the energy flowing.  There is more than one way to do an activity and keep the energy flowing, and if you do manage to keep the energy flowing you will know that you are using your body in an efficient way that minimizes wear and tear and provides for internal self maintenance.  Plus, I think you’ll find when you get the hang of it, focusing on the flow of energy makes activities more enjoyable too.