With Wild Animal Play one gets the opportunity to combine much of the theories from earlier courses and bring them to life. By imitating a live animal, you find out just how integrated all of our new knowledge really is. I find it difficult to learn from an abstract level without something to correlate or link a concept to. With Wild Animal Play I was able to relate an element or characteristic to the exercise by relating it to an animal’s behavior I was already familiar with. Let’s look at an example. One of the organs the Crane relates to is the lungs. You can feel through the exercises which mimics the Cranes movement that we are increasing the size and capacity of the lungs. The same is said with a second organ associated with the Crane and that would be the large intestine. We naturally see and feel how expansive the crane is through the exercises and how it takes pressure off the large intestine allowing it to function better.
The main element for the Crane is Metal. Again, it is hard in an abstract theory to link Metal to Crane other than just memorizing the connection. By practicing the exercises and thinking about what is happening Metal starts to take on a new meaning. We see a protective shell around the Crane in the form of it’s feathers. We see the sharpness of the beak to be like a metal tool. It was much easier for me to put the pieces together. One thing to keep in mind is that WAP is a more advanced class. The strength and agility of the body lent itself to the exercises much easier than if this were one of the first classes taken in the overall series of the Long White Cloud curriculum.
Separate from how I enjoyed the method of learning with this coarse was the ability to free form during the exercises. After learning patterns for each of the five animals one is encouraged to improvise with the culmination of the knowledge. We were told to play with the energy of each animal. It was great fun to just let the exercise run on it’s own with no set pattern. I loved the ability even to make up new patterns on my own trying to use my culminated understanding to it’s fullest.
Once again thank you John Munro for your ability to bring your vast knowledge of Qigong into a fun and beneficial method of learning here at Long White Cloud Qigong.
– Louis Hammer, Mayim Chaim Studio