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All classes are currently running. The new beginner's cycle is underway, as of October 2017.

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Swimming Dragon Qigong

When  you look at another practitioner's tai chi, it's tempting, especially in the beginning, to only look at externals. Does the practitioner do the same movements you've been taught? Is she performing the movements in a way that you've been told is good? Is his hand in the right spot? Is his timing exactly like you've been told to it should be? What's that funny stuff he's doing there? Never seen that before...must be wrong!

It's far more profitable to watch a master tai chi or qigong practitioner in order to pick up what you can about style. You're not looking for the moves you know. You're looking for the how.

In this 1997 video, Liping Zhu, acupuncturist and incredible qigong artist at the Qi Dragon Healing Center in San Francisco, performs swimming dragon qigong. When you watch it, look for the power and amazing smoothness of her movements. Watch how each movement comes from the feet and is channeled through her body and out through the hands. There's no extraneous movement, and nothing flowery here. This is direct, focused, and soft movement at its best.

Enjoy.

4 comments:

runestone0 said...

Qigong—Chinese mind/body exercises--helped me immensely in my successful battles with four bouts of supposedly terminal bone lymphoma cancer in the early nineties. I practiced standing post meditation, one of the most powerful forms of qigong--as an adjunct to chemotherapy, which is how it should always be used.
Qigong kept me strong in many ways: it calmed my mind--taking me out of the fight-or-flight syndrome, which pumps adrenal hormones into the system that could interfere with healing. The deep abdominal breathing pumped my lymphatic system—a vital component of the immune system. In addition, qigong energized and strengthened my body at a time when I couldn't do Western exercise such as weight-lifting or jogging--the chemo was too fatiguing. And it empowered my will and reinforced it every day with regular practice. In other words, I contributed to the healing process, instead of just depending solely on the chemo and the doctors. Clear 14 years and still practicing!

Bob Ellal
Author, ‘Confronting Cancer with the Qigong Edge’

Dr. Melissa Smith said...

Welcome, Bob. Standing post meditation is a part of our practice as well. I'm so glad that you were able to use it to heal yourself. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Laurie Peel said...

I've watched her a few times now - very impressive! The connection between her feet and hands is truly amazing. She proves that simple and direct movements can also be beautiful.

Dr. Melissa Smith said...

I know, Laurie! I keep thinking that if I could just copy her, I'd be really getting somewhere!