It’s o’dark hundred and you hear your youngest child coughing. Still half asleep you tend to her. Eventually you hear the alarm clock ring in your bedroom down the hall. Too tired to turn it off, you begin the game of getting your oldest child out of bed and off to school. After a day of waiting at the doctor’s office, running errands, and hoping your supervisor won’t mind your late report, you screech in sideways to your evening Yuan Qigong class. Your teacher begins class by discussing the importance of having a daily home practice. Your stomach sinks, your eyebrow goes up and you wonder how this could ever be possible. Why did you sign up for this class in the first place?
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
How to integrate Qigong into your busy life
It really is possible to enjoy Yuan Qigong alongside a busy family life. It’s beneficial for the whole family too.
When I discovered Yuan Qigong, my children were ages 3 and 5. I was an enthusiastic beginner and got up at 5:30 a.m. every day to practice. It helped me feel more energized, clear, and ready for whatever came next. Having a scheduled time of day helped ensure I did it. I loved that no matter how the day went after that, I had already done something good for me.
Over time, I learned to incorporate small practices throughout the day. When they were young for example, I did a practice while driving (eyes open!) that just involved the mouth. I just let my kids know I wasn’t going to talk for 5 minutes. As they got older, I enjoyed a short Tian Yuan - Gathering Energy moving practice after lunch. My youngest practiced the movements too and we ”flew” together around the house afterward – joyous play that mimicked the graceful birdlike movements from that form. It made my heart sing watching my child’s focus and inner stillness when they began doing some of the movements in the garden by themself. Completely at peace.
Eventually I was able to do a longer still practice after lunch. I smiled the day I heard my oldest answer the door and say, “No, Mom is in practice. I’m not going to go get her.” He’d learned that this was important and that I was generally a happier person with Qigong in my life. I hope too that they’ll remember these things for themselves when they’re older. That it becomes inherent in their life to pay attention to their health, Qi, and inner world because it was modelled for them during their formative years.
Everyday Qigong practices
I continued to find ways to integrate and expand my practices into my daily life. While standing in line I’d do Dantian or Chakra Breathing. I’d feel the Qi centre in my lower abdomen expand and contract with each breath and I’d connect with peace and bliss.
In the practice of Tong Yuan- Opening the Heart (my bedtime favourite!), we focus on five main heart qualities – Trust, Openness, Love, Gratitude, True Respect – one for each finger on one hand. Each time I opened a door with my hand I’d remind myself to go back into my heart – to be present with love and gratitude.
I employed many other reminders to help me throughout a busy family-filled day. Over time, healthy habits formed and I no longer needed my prompts. I was more present with life and more connected to myself at a deeper level. I felt more myself, softer in demeanor yet stronger inside – finding solutions to things which at first seemed impossible. All of this rippled out to the people around me.
How Qigong changed my life
Yuan Qigong and Ren Xue were more than the moving and still practices – for me, they became my life’s foundation. The Qi helped me focus, the honed focus steadied my internal state, my calmer internal state kept me grounded while the circus of life spun around in chaotic ways. Ren Xue supported me to respond with what my children needed instead of reacting from fatigue and negative emotions. Not at first, and not all the time, but increasingly as my inner state extended out of my practice and into my day.
Yuan Qigong for health, well-being and personal growth
All of this from one practice you ask? Well, there are nine methods in Yuan Qigong. They begin with moving forms and transition to still practice, heart development, increased self-awareness, and eventually to a way of being. Watching and feeling myself grow and seeing the effects on my family have made every daily effort worth it. I can’t imagine life any other way.
Want to give it a try? The best way to start is our Beginner Set including Gathering Qi (method 1) and Nourishing Qi (method 2). We look forward to connecting with you.