A Place of Grace
I have been doing Qigong and Tai Chi for five years at the Wu Healing Center in West Hartford. At first, I was mystified by the meditative quality of Qigong. There were no yoga mats, props or exercise balls. No exhortations to breathe deeply, no big mirrors or balancing acts to follow...and as a result, no anxiety about not measuring up. Initially, it was worrying that there was nothing to worry about!
As you practice, you come to appreciate that this is the essence of Qigong. It is a process of letting go. Only as you cede control, can the energy within you flow unobstructed. Which is why Dr. Wu encourages his students to switch off and follow along. In time, the exercises themselves become more familiar as we follow a sequence to clear all the energy channels of the body while stretching in slow, fluid movements. These serve simultaneously to calm the mind (grounding) while strengthening the ligaments and improving circulation, strength and balance.
As all my old aches and pains dissolved, the truly remarkable changes came from within. My mind ceased to chatter as much and I became much less reactive to people and situations around me. As a result, I was able to work harder during the day with less stress, recognizing and replacing unnecessary busyness with stillness and calm. These classes have been transformative in this respect. I have learned much from Dr. Wu over the years, more by observation in how he is able to deal with situations practically and efficiently, but with tranquility and generosity of spirit, all of which he reminds us to cultivate while meditating.
Along with Qigong, I also started learning Tai Chi. This is a structured sequence of movements which takes longer to learn, but is deeply satisfying the more you practice it. If you are lucky enough to appreciate it and tenacious enough to stay with it over time, you will embark on an inward journey which will be much more enriching for mind, body and spirit than any exercise program would offer.
Along with a wide array of instructors and classes to choose from, the Wu Healing Center promotes a sense of community. You will sample teas, learn about herbs and acupressure points, massage and various self healing modalities. I was cured of a 20 year thyroid condition with herbs prescribed by Dr. Wu. Overall, I can say that I am very lucky to have been introduced to Qigong and Tai Chi at the Wu Healing Center and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in transforming their lives or at the very least, improving their overall energy, outlook, health and well being.