Lessons from Shanghai

 

 

Yin and Yang Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Yin and Yang
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Chinese Universal Symbol of Contrast and Interplay

male/female,  empty/full,  light/dark,  soft/hard/  hot/cold

 

Chinese medicine has been around for 3 or 4 thousand years. Acupuncture helps digestion and arthritis, to name only two benefits.Tai Chi is worth the lengthy learning curve and  it takes  many forms. Tai Chi is a martial art, but using it martially requires an opponent and further study.

Qi Gong is worth a try. Shaking, a simple exercise, has profound benefits. Just stand with your eyes closed and start shaking from the outside in. Shake your skin. Next, your muscles and tendons, then picture your blood coursing through your arteries and veins. Don’t forget  your internal organs. Then your bones. Begin with your head and go down your spine, shaking each vertebra. Slap your sides and legs as you go. You’ll feel good when you’re done.

Qi Gong forms are not as complex as Tai Chi, but they also require study. We end our classes with the animals—the bear, tiger, crane, and monkey. Each animal relates to a different season and emphasizes a different part of the body.

These slow exercises from China teach concentration and balance—they are meditation in motion. You won’t wreck your back, your knee, or your rotator cuff. They clear your mind. Still, they are exercises. If you can find a group you might try them You’ll feel stronger and calmer.

 

 

 

 

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