It has been nearly three weeks since the end of my mind/body class, so I thought I would touch base with those of you who have shown interest and let you know what I’ve been up to since then.
One of the things that the facilitators recommended was that we should each develop a habit of regular meditation or relaxation coupled with some sort of movement routine. Therefore, I designed my own daily practice which includes not only physical and mental components, but a creative one as well. I do my practice in the morning since I am much more disciplined at this time and tend to become less so as the day progresses. This morning routine works well with The Artist’s Way and The Creative Call programs which both require journal writing first thing upon waking up.
After writing for about 20 minutes, I then roll out my mat and do about 15 or 20 minutes of yoga. After this, I select one of the several guided meditations that I’ve downloaded from iTunes and veg-out for another 15 minutes or so. By this time, I am both mentally and physically alert and finish up my routine by getting cleaned up and dressed for work . I read a bit or watch the news as I eat breakfast before heading out for the day. All this takes about two and a half hours. Yes, this means I do have to get up early. This routine stretches to three hours on the weekends when I add a 30 minute cardio-walk around the neighborhood after the meditation.
Yes, it is hard work, but I’m worth it.
The mind/body facilitators also recommended that we explore some mindful movement practices such as yoga, tai chi, drumming, or qigong. When I received an e-mail a couple of weeks ago from a local university of traditional Chinese medicine advertising a qigong class, I decided to go in that direction. I had my first class today.
Qigong (also spelled “chi kung”) is a series of slow, graceful exercises designed to cultivate and circulate vital energy in and through the body with the goal of optimizing one’s health. The picture above is from the promotional e-mail I received about the class and shows the studio where I am studying. Today we learned some movements with very cool names like “Gathering the Stars” and “Turning the Big Dipper.”
My aim is to interchange yoga and qigong in my daily practice, and I will report more on this as I progress in the class.