Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 24- A Qigong First

Today, I took a class in Qigong. That was definitely a first for me.

"What is Qigong," you might ask (and I would not fault you for asking). Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. That's how one website defined it. 

I was in the Mobile library for my "borrow a Kindle book from the library" first a while back and I saw a flyer for a free Qigong class.  Well, methinks, that would be a first.  I had actually heard about Qigong in some reading I had done a while back.  This is what my year of firsts is about.  Instead of looking at something and thinking it would be interesting, I am about actually doing things I would not normally do.

So, I drove to Mobile for my Qigong (pronounced chee kung or chee gun depending on which website you look at). I was a tad bit nervous about this being some kind of stretching exercise like yoga that I just would not be able to do. I was also a bit concerned that it would be a bunch of qigong junkies and I would be the only novice.

I arrived about 10 minutes early and was the first person to arrive besides the teacher. She appeared to be warming up and kindly introduced herself as Mrs. Lee. She was very nice and reassuring that this indeed was a class for beginners. Soon, about 8-10 other people arrived and we started. Mrs. Lee is prompt- as soon as there were about 3-4 of us, we started warming up though it was only 9:57.

I quickly surmised I was the only dude there. I figured I'd be OK as long as no discussions broke out about how men were pigs or estrogen. "Do the exercises and keep your male mouth shut" I say to myself. Mrs. Lee had us started so there was no time for discussions.

The class went well. It was not too hard. We warmed up by doing deep breathing and tapping our arms and legs. This is much easier than my basketball coach was on us when he warmed us up. Then, the class started and we mostly did some slow arm movements while breathing deep. She told us a lot when to breathe in and when to breathe out. It was very relaxing. Then we walked in a circle very slowly focusing on our balance. I was way better at this than the 2 ladies in front of me. There was one lady that was obviously more experienced than the rest of us but she was behind me so I was glad I couldn't see her. I might not have felt so good about myself. We were walking around a circle of chairs and if you got off balance a bit, you were to steady yourself by touching the chair. I hardly ever touched my chair (the lady in front touched her chair several times). Not that I'm competitive or anything.

After the class, Mrs. Lee was very kind to hang around and chat with those who were interested. I talked with her for a few minutes. She expalined that Qigong was good for lowering blood pressure and de-stressing. Those are good things. I'm all for that. Then she said, "As we get older, we tend to lose our balance and the walking is helpful in that." I wanted to say, "As we get older?" Who said anything about getting older? Why are you directing the getting older comments at me? I'm real sure I was fairly young in this particular setting. I decided to keep those comments to myself. I'm not real sure if Qigong is related to Karate or Kung Fu or anything. It seemed best to smile and say, "That's something."

She was nice enough to have handouts for us that describe the exercises we did so we can do these at home. She said, "Now, do these every day." And that's where they get you. Everyday? For an hour? Of course, I knew this. If I want Qigong to help with blood pressure and stress, it has to become a part of my daily life.

Me and Mrs. Lee (not to be confused with Bobby McGee)

Our relationship with the Lord is that way. It's a daily thing. Just like I can't do Qigong once and have my blood pressure take a drastic dip and live with much lower stress levels, I can't pray one day a week or worship one time a week and expect to have a great relationship with the Lord. I am memorizing 2 Timothy 3:16 this week and it's going well so far. I know if I miss a day or two, it will affect my memorization and more importantly, rob me of meditating on God's word. It's key to me to know those daily habits that help me grow in my love relationship with Jesus and keep them daily.

Breathing deep for the abundant life


3 things I thank God for today
1. Mrs. Lee's kindness and encouragement toward those who did not know nearly as much as she did
2. After hunting yesterday, Joel saying the best part was spending time with me
3. No female discussions broke out at the Qigong class

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