A day to breathe in Qigong, breathe out peace
April 25, 2012 · Updated 11:52 AM
A universal breath will go out around the earth when World Tai Chi and Qigong Day begins Saturday, April 28.
Practitioners on Whidbey Island will follow the lead of millions of people from around the planet in hundreds of cities and 65 nations on six continents, who will move with the breath for the calm of inner peace. Creating a wave of consciousness, awareness and well-being on the last Saturday of April, also called World Healing Day, celebrates a 5,000 year old practice that originated in China, and now is an integral part of healthcare for more than 200 million Chinese and millions of others worldwide.
Practitioners of both Tai Chi and Qigong offer gatherings of healing and transformative arts, prayer and meditation to cultivate harmony and balance not only within the self, but in the world around them.
In Langley, Shirley Jantz, an instructor and 20-year energy practitioner, will lead the session at Seawall Park. Silence is from
9:45 to 10 a.m.; Qigong around the world is from 10 to 10:30 a.m.; and instruction is from 10:30 to 11 a.m.
In Coupeville, instructor and 30-year practitioner Lynne Donnelly will lead movements from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Coupeville Farmers Market.
As dawn breaks on Saturday, parks will fill with practitioners of all ages moving into the mindful poses of Qigong and Tai Chi.
Qigong (chi kung) is the cultivation of one’s vital life force energy (chi). As a practice, it combines movement, self-massage, meditation and breathing. Tai Chi is a form of Qigong, and is essentially meditation in motion that follows an integrated sequence of movements, and brings greater awareness to one’s relationship to the world. It can be practiced with or without a partner, and may have an element of gentle martial arts.
Reported benefits of both practices include improved posture, balance and flexibility, muscle strength and definition, energy, stamina and agility and a relaxed mind, which in turn is said to promote a profound sense of well-being.
Since the American Heart Association reported on Tai Chi’s effect of lowering blood pressure in older adults a decade ago, supporting science has been emanating from the Mayo Clinic, National Institutes of Health and American Cancer Society. Extensive medical studies conducted in China and the United States, among other countries, underscore Qigong’s ability to ease chronic problems such as hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, allergies and asthma, and to improve cardiovascular health and circulation. Mostly, Qigong and Tai Chi are a lifestyle of integrating mind, body and spirit for internal and external harmony for a healthier life.
Additionally, yoga instructors, Reiki practitioners, First Nation elders and circles of meditation and prayer will be gathering for 24 hours around the world for both personal and world peace.