Move It Or Lose It!
This saying has taken on a lot more meaning for me as I have gotten a “bit” older. I have always been pretty active and practiced yoga for 2O years before few people in the US even knew what it was. Then I found qigong and added that practice for another 10 years. A few years back when my daughter was going through a terrible divorce and custody battle and just when I needed my practices the most, I stopped doing them for two years.
Why you ask? I could not tell you except that my world felt like it was turned upside down and I was unable to make it right.
When the divorce was final, and I crawled out from under my fear, self-pity, stress, and exhaustion I discovered I had gained twenty pounds and could not put my pants on without sitting on the side of the bed. My previously flexible and active body did not want to move…I had stopped moving and I had “LOST IT”!
Sometimes an illness and more often an injury contributes to inactivity and inability to move certain parts of our bodies. But often it is just becoming a “couch potato” and not realizing how inflexible and stiff our joints have become and how weak our muscles are until we are forced to use them for something simple like weeding the garden. It is a rude awakening to find that even after half an hour of pulling those innocent green protrusions out of the ground we are in pain and cannot even get out of bed the next morning. Sound familiar?
That was me…I learned the lesson of “MOVE IT OR LOSE” IT firsthand. Luckily, I had my practices to fall back on and the motivation of an upcoming trip to Costa Rica. I had a few months to get back in shape for hiking, ziplining and snorkeling. This is when I discovered the beauty and practicality of qigong all over again. My body was not ready for downward facing dog, holding warrior for any length of time, or twisting into a pretzel on the floor, heck I could hardly get up and down off the floor. What I could and did do every day was a simple Wuji form of qigong that soothes the soul as well as the body, after a week I added the 8 Brocade Exercise in qigong, at first
very gingerly and then more purposefully. Because I was more aware of my body and my emotions, I became more thoughtful about what I was eating and did lose the extra twenty pounds before my trip.
I share this story because it is the beginning of my love affair with qigong. I still like yoga and was even motivated to go through a year long yoga teacher training, but as you have read in some of my other blogs, my passion is qigong.
Qigong changed my life and continues to do so every day. It not only has given me back my flexibility but keeps me calm and balanced all day. It is easy to learn and do and the benefits are immediate especially for those of you who may be in the “losing it” stage. If you have been inactive for a long time, are in pain just getting in and out of your car,
you know you are not willing to get down on the floor to do yoga, and the thought of an aerobic or Zumba class throws you into fits of laughter…or maybe tears, then Qigong could be the answer to “Finding it” instead of “Losing it”.
The pandemic has exacerbated the “couch potato” syndrome for many and if you find that you would like to begin to move, but are afraid to hurt yourself, qigong can offer the solution. I tell my students you can do any of the exercises sitting or standing. It is as much about moving the energy in the body with your mind as it is moving your muscles. You can start very slowly, just as I needed to, and you will find that in a short period of time you will become more flexible and begin to get your strength back without any trauma to your joints and muscles. You will leave a class feeling more flexible, younger, and vibrant.
Judy Milinowski offers 4 Free weekly Qigong Classes Online every week.