So here are a bunch of other thoughts on my qigong and fitness in general. Enjoy!
What a Month! What a Crappy Month!
Without getting into too much detail, my month so far was horrible. Part of it was work-related. Hell, one time I had to stay 90 minutes after my shift because the powers that be decided to give me a buttload of things to do 30 minutes right before quitting time.
My family issues also intensified. While the holidays are over for most Westerners, there was Sankranti for us Indians. There was also a birthday in the family. As holidays are taken way too seriously in my home, there was a lot of stress going on.
I say all this because I am glad of the books I have read from David Carradine, especially the one titled “The Tai Chi Workout”. I am glad because Carradine acknowledges that we can’t do a full Taiji or qigong practice everyday, but 5 minutes is good enough to maintain our “shape”.
I also say this because I am glad of the mini qigong practices I finally formalized. On those days I couldn’t do a full qigong practice, at least I get a decent amount done.
There were two days I couldn’t practice at all. The drama went to an all-time high, I got too depressed, and I was not in the right headspace to do anything. Once I got back to practicing through, everything was fine.
The Qigong Set of Theseus
Speaking of David Carradine’s book, Carradine writes about the importance of stance training in Taiji. In fact, that is the first thing one must do in order to excel in both Taiji and Kung-Fu. Looking at my mini qigong exercises, I am already practicing both the horse riding and cat stances. Why not practice the other stances such as the bow-and-arrow stance or the cross stance? There might even be a time I learn how to do the Taiji walking, which is a skill in itself.
There are also two other books I have been reading whenever I have the time. There is the “Kung-Fu Exercise Book” by Michael Minick, which is really a qigong manual, and Master Wong Kiew Kit’s “The Art of Chi Kung”. Both books provide exercises that I am thinking of incorporating into my qigong sessions. Minick has this exercise of shaking one’s body as a way of relaxing and loosening one’s muscles. Master Wong also provides this exercise similar to that of Yoga Nidra, which is visualizing and relaxing each organ and muscle of the body. These two I might use soon enough.
In case you don’t know what I mean by “Theseus”, watch this video on this Greek paradox called “The Ship of Theseus” which is a fascinating question of being and existence.
And One Nice Thing I Noticed
There is the thrift shop I sometimes stop at on the way to work. They sell old appliances, clothes, and even vinyl records and CDs. They also sell books which is where I usually spend my time whenever I go there.
So the other day I went to that store to look at whatever books I might buy. I would then do the usual thing: look at all the books at my eye level standing up and then crouch down to see the other books at the lower shelves. Then I would stand up to go to another shelf, look at those books, and then crouch down. Up and down up and down as I would usually do.
That day I was looking at those books, I noticed how easy it was for me to crouch and stand up. Before then, I would grumbled to myself as I would crouch down to look at the lower shelves. I would grumble to myself as I stood up to look at another shelf.
This time, I did both actions in a very effortless and easy fashion. It’s a nice sign to demonstrate that my health is improving.
The Worst Piece of Advice I Heard about Qi Training
When I was a lot younger, and in China, I was told that I was too young to learn qigong. Granted those people weren’t masters of any art, be it Kung-Fu or qigong. Granted I was really dabbling in it since I prefer something more physical like Taekwondo or Kung-Fu. So whether or not I was told this piece of advice, I would have quit qigong eventually like I did.
That all said, though, I really feel like I need to address this for anyone is who seriously thinking of practicing.
No, you are not too young to learn qigong. If anything, the younger you start the more benefits you will derive.
Most typical exercises, such as running and weightlifting, have a shelf life. Sure you can do those things at any age, but there is a plateau and that plateau depends on your age. Michael Jordan, one of the most famous basketball players of all time, probably isn’t as good as the ones in the NBA today. I am quite sure there are other strongmen that can beat Arnold Schwarzenegger nowadays in certain competitions. My late Tang Soo Do master even told me that whenever he fights younger guys in a tournament, they surpass in terms of speed and strength. The only thing that he had going for him is his experience.
With Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua, and qigong age is not a factor. You won’t get worse as you age. If anything you will get better.
Speaking of myself, I am old enough to remember that payphones existed and probably the last of my generation to know how to use the card catalog. I also remember when the Nintendo Entertainment System was the most popular gaming system in the world.
Also, I just started seriously practicing qigong. This means, according to my life expectancy, by the time I die I will have upwards of 60 years of qigong practice.
Let’s say you are 20 years old and started qigong practice. If you kept up with it by the time you pass away the age 100, you’ll have at least 80 years of practice. I should be jealous as there is no telling what 80 years of practice can bring you.
So if qigong is something you like and want to incorporate into life, there is no need to wait until you are retired and with grandchildren. Start now if possible or soon if you can.