Qigong is a practice of self-healing and mindfulness. It activates the body’s natural healing response by stimulating the circulation of bodily fluids, and by promoting the flow of the body’s electric and magnetic currents. During Qigong practice we place awareness on our breath, and any bodily sensations and emotions. It’s an opportunity to feel more deeply inside ourselves and become more aware of what we are feeling. Qigong is a meditative practice in that we focus our awareness on our life force. We give our mind something constructive and helpful to focus on. Qigong practice teaches us to embrace the cycles of nature and life rather than resisting them.
The martial arts world classifies Tai Chi as an internal martial art. It’s an ancient system of movement, used both as a self-healing practice and a method of unarmed combat. Tai Chi integrates and relaxes the various physical structures of the human body, and helps relax the mind by encouraging the practitioner to be more present within his or her body. Tai Chi is very effective at healing old, lingering injuries and boosting the practitioner’s overall level of health. Joint strength and joint mobility are emphasized, and dedicated Tai Chi practitioners are well known to become healthier, stronger and more agile as the years pass.
Systema is a Russian system of health, breathing, healing movement and martial arts that originated at least a thousand years ago. Its foremost goal is to create harmony between body, mind, and soul, along with learning to acknowledge and let go of fear. The training methods within Systema range from extremely gentle to very intense. A unique trait of Systema is that students are encouraged to be the best, strongest, and most efficient versions of themselves, rather than imitating the instructor, as everyone’s body and psyche are totally unique. There are no “moves” or choreography to be memorized. Instead, Systema teaches concepts and principles of movement that can be applied to any activity. One core principle is to never resist strength or aggression, but to accept and flow around them. When practiced properly the practitioner becomes healthier and stronger with each passing year.
A modern system of movement developed in the United States, Animal Flow is highly effective for correcting the body’s posture and structure in order to heal injuries and reprogram movement patterns to be more efficient, putting less wear and tear on the body. This system’s movements also build strength, mobility and flexibility. Animal Flow is a great workout for anyone seeking to maintain or increase their level of fitness, and improve coordination and body awareness.