Qigong?…hint, it’s not a food…the most profound thing I experienced…
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve shared with you some of the cool things I saw and heard at the BulletProof Biohacking Conference this past October. There were may exhibits that you could experience, taste, try out gadgets like the MUSE that showed how your brain was doing during meditation, there was an infrared sauna that you could sit in, and there was fabulous bone broth that you could sample. Yet, with all the bright shiny objects, with all the PhD.’s and M.D.’s, there was one thing that had THE most profound effect on me. Tune in next week for a very special GreenNote Fitness newsletter to find out…no, just kidding, I will share with you now.
The thing that had the most profound effect on me was…me…. If you remember from last week’s newsletter, I mentioned that a key theme throughout the conference was that we generate our own energy. I experienced the literal meaning of that. There was one booth at the conference that was very bare, didn’t have any gadgetry or samples. It simply had a dry erase board that read, “Qigong classes every hour”.
Qigong? I’ve heard of this and always wanted to try it! I patiently waited to speak to the instructor, a man by the name of SaTek Ananda. As an aside, he was so articulate, it made my head swim. I told him he needs to use VoiceMemo to capture all those words of wisdom - he has done that but quickly ran out of data space….
I left to go listen to the key note speaker but came back promptly for the first (and my first) Qigong class. Defining Qigong:
It is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused attention. The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced “chee” and is usually translated to mean life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, pronounced “gun-g”, means accomplishment or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.
Yes, yes, and yes! So back to the class. There were three of us in the class, standing facing our Qigong sage. The first thing he had us do was to briskly rub our hands together. Pausing briefly, we repeated this again noting the warmth and sensation radiating from our hands. Next we closed our eyes and with our energized hands we very, very slowly tried to move our hands together with outstretched arms and with our hands coming close but not touching.
We proceeded in this manner getting ques from SaTek. We focused on breath and on just trying to move our hands very, very slowly. Not trying to force anything as the faster you try to move, the less the sensation is. This was not a thinking exercise but more of feeling, breathing, and experiencing. He told us to move our hands toward our facing like we were washing it but not touching our face.
After 30 minutes of outstretched arms, hands not quite touching, and breathing I WAS AMAZED. I felt refreshed, like I had just slept for eight hours. I couldn’t believe that I had my arms outstretched for an entire 30 minutes without an ounce of tiredness, soreness, or tension. Try it right now. Raise your arms to shoulder height and leave them there for 30 minutes. Could you do that? I couldn’t. But with this technique I was able to do so and felt so relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards it was incredible. Some others in the class had similar experiences while others (a pretty big weightlifter) did not. He said he was distracted (we were in a booth with a ton of people and noises all around us) and couldn’t keep that “energy” between his hands. I remarked how my arms weren’t sore and SaTek explained that it was because there was no tension, no resistance, that I was able to do that.
Why did this “work” for me? For starters I was very open to the idea of trying Qigong so keeping an open mind was key. I didn’t go into it with any expectations, just intently listened to SaTek and was present in the moment. The breath is very important for that. I was able to block out all the noise that was going on around me and focus on what I was experiencing. I felt an energy between my hands that helped me to raise my arms and kept them suspended for that length of time.
What did I learn? As mentioned, one of the concepts that was weaved throughout the conference was that we as individuals have it within us to generate, create, our own energy. With this one Qigong exercise I not only generated my own energy, I experienced it and felt…”life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe"...
To your journey,