It was a stressful time in my life. I had recently moved to Arcata, California to go to school to become a high school art teacher. It was 1998 and I was taking my pre-requisite courses when my professor recommended I try chi gong.
After getting my BFA in Ohio, my love of clay led me to move to California.
I was trying to figure out how to apply my passion for art to be of service, while paying the bills. Becoming an art teacher seemed like a good fit. But as soon as I got started it became clear that teaching high school was not the path for me. What was I thinking?! As I said, it was a stressful time in my life.
My professor told me about the chi gong classes that her husband taught. I had never heard about chi gong, or anything like it, but sure, why not. Almost immediately I felt at home with this ancient Chinese art. Chi gong has been a passion of mine ever since and it’s what led me to Feng Shui.
What is chi gong?
‘Chi’ is life-force energy and ‘gong’ is practice. Chi gong or qi gong is ‘energy practice’. It’s a practice of cultivating chi for your well-being. It’s a mind, body, spirit practice that is a gentle form of exercise and meditation all rolled into one.
This gentle mind/body/spirit exercise reduces stress and has many health benefits.
There are thousands of different chi gong forms. If you’ve tried one before and didn’t like it, try another. But it’s very likely whichever one you try your body will feel good. And your mind will feel more peaceful.
Since that first class with my professors husband, I’ve had many different teachers and tried many different chi gong forms. In 2005, when I was living in Asheville, North Carolina I studied with Michael Winn. Today, I still practice what I learned from Michael.
If you’re interested in reducing your stress and feeling more comfortable in your body and mind then you may really enjoy chi gong!
For awhile now, I’ve been wanting to write this post to recommend chi gong to you because it’s so beneficial for our health and well-being. You can do these gentle, peaceful movements along with a video, with an in-person class or on your own.
Here are a few options for learning this ancient practice:
- Santa Cruz local, Lee Holden, is a renowned teacher who offers online courses for all levels. He has a few free classes on his website that you can get started with. Lee has many options for ongoing online training and I have clients who are his devoted students. Click here to visit Lee’s website.
- Michael Winn is the teacher I studied with many years ago. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina and is also a very well renowned teacher. Michael has traveled many times to China to train with chi gong masters of all kinds. He has many online video trainings that you can download and he teaches in-person classes in Asheville. Click here to visit Michael’s website.
- There are likely many wonderful local teachers in your area, I know there are many in Santa Cruz. If you start looking I’m sure you’ll find many options. Dance studios, community centers, yoga centers, fitness centers and parks all offer chi gong classes.
Funny enough, the day I was writing this my dad told me that the person who heads his gym invited him to their new chi gong classes! My dad loves coincidences which makes me love this one even more.