Qigong is an ancient practice of energy exercises used to improve energy flow, which is over 5,000 years old. It is not the same thing as Taiji, which is a Martial Art, and is a more recent development. Qigong is an ancient Chinese health-care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intention.
Although there is some discussion of Chinese medicine and how Qigong works, my classes primarily focus on learning different forms of Qigong to improve energy flow and release blockages- Yin-Yang Medical Qigong, Six Healing Sounds, Fragrance Qigong, 5 Treasures Qigong, etc., as well as walking forms and seated or standing meditations. All movements are slow and gentle and accessible to beginners as well as those who may be familiar with Qigong.
My beginning classes primarily focus on learning three different forms of Qigong – Yin-Yang Medical Qigong, Six Healing Sounds, Fragrance Qigong and doing meditations. I like to start with Yin Yang Medical form because it is a flow form which is more accessible to those familiar with yoga flow movements.
In my intermediate to advanced classes there will be continued discussion of Chinese medicine and how to cultivate your energy, but primarily we focus on both a review of previous forms from Qigong level one: Yin-Yang Medical Qigong, Six Healing Sounds, Fragrance Qigong and learning new forms such as: Four Seasons Qigong, Primordial Qigong, Eight Pieces of Brocade, Bone Marrow Cleansing, Tendon Healing, etc. We also practice various meditations and walking forms such as the Animal Frolics.
QIGONG/TAI CHI COMBO CLASS: Blending the special healing powers of Qigong and Taiji to promote improved wellbeing
In my combo Tai Chi/Qigong sampler classes, I focus on giving a varied sampling of Qigong in both active and passive forms: walking, standing and if appropriate, seated. Then I introduce partner exercises and the beginning movements of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an effective exercise for numerous aspects of health, wonderful for increasing flexibility, muscle strength, lung capacity, and cardiac function. In this class participants can experience the difference between the two types of practices.
Both Tai Chi and Qigong have additional health benefits for relaxation, balance, posture and immunity. The stress-relieving factor alone can better one’s lifestyle and quality of life! In this class, I teach exercises to help detoxify the body, as well as make healing sounds for the different organs.
All these health care practices are easy and fun to do, available to even those in a wheelchair, and has been shown to lower blood pressure, increase blood circulation, improve digestion, increase cardiovascular strength and reduce stress levels. These gentle, slow movements are especially geared for those people with injuries, chronic conditions, and reduced flexibility, to enable them to gain greater mobility.
Wendy Smith is a professor, lecturer and wellness instructor specializing in stress management and mind body techniques. She had been an instructor of Qigong and Taiji for many years, teaching to a variety of audiences, ranging from 8 to 93 years of age. She is certified in Tai Chi for Arthritis through Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi Productions and certified in Qigong by Master Yang Yang through the Center for Taiji Studies. A long-time student of meditation, she practices with the Blooming Lilac Sangha, following the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Wendy likes to use humor and variety to engage students. Then once they are engaged, she challenges them gently to go beyond their expectations.