During one of my qigong teacher trainings, the head instructor asked us to start writing our Qigong Story. That is, why did we start practicing qigong, and where has that practice taken us? Here's mine:
I always wanted to be able to sit and meditate, but I struggled with it. A lot. Honestly, it made me miserable. The few times I tried a "how to meditate" class, I spent the entire time wondering how long I'd been sitting there with my eyes closed, and how much longer the agony would last. To describe my feelings about sitting meditation, I usually say that I'd rather stick pencils in my eyes than meditate.
And, as a former dancer and gymnast, you'd think that yoga would be a good option. But honestly, even though I could do most of the stretchy, bendy poses with little trouble, it never grabbed me.
One of my doctors suggested that I try qigong to help deal with stress. (Side note: How cool is it that a doctor would recommend qigong?!) I had no idea what it was but looked into it. It took a while, but eventually I found a school near my house. Very quickly I was hooked, and I signed up for a more in-depth program. Ultimately I started training to teach some of what I had learned.
For me, qigong is a marriage of sitting meditation and yoga. There's enough movement to give me something to focus on (in meditation, focusing on my breath was never enough), but it's less work than yoga, so I am not distracted from the relaxation. The gentle, flowing movements are a moving meditation.
My favorite thing about qigong is how I feel afterwards. The "during" part is good, but the relaxed-but-alert feeling after I've completed a session is awesome!
What is your qigong story? Let me know in the comments. Or, if you've never tried qigong, following along with this video.