Monday, August 31, 2020

Qigong, Tai Chi and Reiki

 My massage mentor had polio in the 40s, and recommended we take Tai Chi in '83 to support the bodywork! I took a Yang long form from Maria Wen Yen Liu in Salem, and we began each class with a series of Qigong warm up exercises .... I continued taking ballet (from Lynn Marchant, a world class teacher from the Bay area, who had also studied Tai Chi) and the Yang form, till I moved to Breitenbush Hot Springs in '91. 

I began teaching a drop in Qi class for Breitenbush staff and guests 2x a week, as part of our Daily Well Being offerings and took classes and workshops as I could. One from a Qigong teacher that Heiner F. brought from China included eating stars (!) and a Tiger form, plus exchanging Qi with trees ... (94)
I took Reiki before moving to the Bush, and became a Reiki Master that first year, often including Qi movement in our Reiki Classes. I particularly loved practicing my own forms and Qi dances in the Sanctuary, the Forest Shelter, and the beautiful outdoors.

When Ganga Gi offered a silent retreat at our center for two weeks, she invited staff to teach extra classes, as she only gave darshan once or twice each day. I offered my Qigong sessions in the late morning before she spoke, and quickly decided to teach 6 mornings a week! We were taking our time off to paint our Massage building, so I'd teach first, then head over to wash, prep and paint, and sometimes drop in on another staff member's class (usually Yoga or EDGU).

Several Retreat students handed me notes, expressing appreciation, and saying my teachings dovetailed beautifully with her talks! One asked for a private session, so she could bring similar teachings to her community. Another mentioned the connection between Reiki and Tai Chi, and a Buddhist Reiki form, and a teacher in Portland - I took the Buddhist Reiki with my friend Anita and Reiki Student a year later! 

In the mid 90s, I taught the Qi flow form when I was at the coast, along with Reiki. When filling in for Healing Arts, I took my first Breema classes, and found the Self-Breema exercises very similar.

After moving back to the valley, my friend the artist and Harper Jewel Shield invited me to a series of Soaring Crane Qigong classes with Forest Grove teacher JoAnn Albrecht. My friends from the Acupuncture college, OCOM, had studied with her teacher, professor Chen, and I loved the form!

The teaching materials (written, audio and visual) supported the personal instruction, and I found it easy to do on my own, and continue to practice several days a week.
I later took levels 2 and 3 privately with Johanna, and assisted in one set of private classes. 
I was interested in certifying to teach Soaring Crane myself, but the teacher professor Chen approved for certification has moved out of state. Johanna helped edit the Qigong manuals, and is a very precise teacher, every class was a blessing.

Among the forms she has learned, Joanna had an apprenticeship with Wang Zi Sheng Rimpoche, and is certified to teach 5 Element Standing Stake, so I learned  theory and that form, and may teach it. I alternate the 5 Element form with Soaring Crane, and sometimes put on a YouTube session with Marissa from Yochi, if I want a switch! 

Last week I offered a private Qigong session for a friend who studied Reiki with me, as part of her ongoing dances with building Qi. It is fun creating teaching materials of my own, and sharing this powerful yet gentle way to enhance our personal energy.
Qigong, Breema and Tai Chi are all excellent additions to your personal Reiki Practice! Do you have a favourite?