Week One 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
- Spend as much time as you want to on each of the playing with waves exercises. You may want to spend your whole session on just one of the exercises, or you might want to spend time alternating between them
- End your sessions with some simple qigong self massage to help return your energy to your centre
In these ‘Playing With Waves’ exercises the focus is on feeling a wave of energy moving through the body.
Whenever we move part of our body, the rest of our body is affected, having to counterbalance and build or release tension in order to maintain equilibrium. When we are ‘centred’ in our body and our movement, we maintain even tension on all sides of our body, not allowing one part to become tighter or stiffer than another. When we do this, our movements and the changes in tension in our connective tissue squeeze on the fluid within our bodies and cause force or energy to move through the fluids much like in a hydraulic system. This movement of fluid force also stimulates the nerves, cellular processes and so on and causes movement of other types of energy along with it.
So when we are centred in this way each movement will literally create a wave of energy through our body which we can sense as we quiet our mind and focus our perception on it. The exercises this week are a good way to begin to sense this type of movement of energy as they are large movements that it is easy to feel the wave like motion of the energy within. The more centred, relaxed and balanced you are in the movement, the easier it will be feel the wave of energy.
You may find that it is easier to feel the wave in some parts of your body than others, or that in some parts of the movement the wave feels a bit jerky or uneven. Where ever you are excessively stiff or tense, this will interfere with the movement of the wave. In particular people often have stiffness in their backs, hips, shoulders and ankles. As you practice, aim to make the wave smoother and more even and to be able to feel it through every part of your body from the soles of your feet to the palms of your hands. As you do this, little by little you will be able to balance the force of the movement through body and the tension in the different parts of your body more evenly. Your focus should be on the feeling of energy, but it may help to remind yourself to keep your shoulders and back relaxed, keep the point of your elbow facing down and let your knees bend naturally and easily. This will make all of your movements more efficient and effective and put less strain on your body and over time will become a beneficial habit that will help to keep your energy flowing smoothly.