At Ease - Qigong Class 2
March 5th found us (Bill and Gina) facing 8 wonderful people in our class... bringing with them their experiences and challenges with the material from last week.
We touched on some of the core concepts of 'grounding' and 'rooting'.. both from a physical 'planting the feet on the ground' kind of way, as well as a metaphor for intention. To know what you're trying to accomplish before you set out brings about a sense of purpose and alignment, whether doing an exercise or writing a book.
From the qigong (and other martial arts-related activities) perspective, we learned that 'rooting' means feeling the connection to the ground through the 'bubbling well' ... a key acupuncture point on the bottom of our feet. When we are balanced perfectly over this point, we are strong, stable and able to move into any position with ease and grace.
We also challenged the traditional notion of 'good posture' - you know, stand up straight, shoulders back, etc., by actually trying that ... feeling its level of comfort (or absence thereof) and asking, how long could I stand like this before fidgeting or feeling discomfort?
We asked the class to find a place of rooting as well as relaxation .. making adjustments in the knees, hips, low back and shoulders, if necessary ... in order to find a place where they could not only stand for a longer period of time, but if met with someone pushing on them, they could remain stable.
Well, too often, our attempts at reclaiming good posture involve overlaying yet another restrictive pattern over what's already there. Beginning with developing a sense of ease from the inside out.. where we feel our way to good posture, rather than thinking it ... brings more of an awareness to where we're out of alignment.
And bringing an awareness to our own inner sense of balance and centeredness not only serves us while standing too long in the check-out line, but can cultivate a posture of relaxation in the midst of other situations - for example, at work, in tense engagements with others ... in any interaction that causes us to tense up, restrict our breathing and feel overwhelmed.
We start to become creatures of clear intention rather than unconscious reaction.