Happiness and Health – The Energy Connection
with Sheila Leonard, PBVM, Teacher and Practitioner
* T’ai Chi Chih Joy Thru Movement
* Wisdom Healing Qigong
* Chow Medical Qigong
(Printed in Wellness Guide 2018 St. John’s, NL Canada)
Wondering what drew you to the 2018 Wellness Guide? What were you seeking? Simply curious? Seeking new interests? Looking for tools or ideas to enhance your own life and wellbeing, with wellness broader than just not feeling sick? I offer T’ai Chi Chih Joy Thru Movement and Wisdom Healing Qigong classes as ways of “Awakening the Energy Within”. (I also offer Chow Medical Qigong, with those on hold for the time being.) All three of these practices can help with relaxation, more mindful living, new aliveness, relief from chronic pain and other chronic health conditions, strengthened immune system, improved balance, increased mental clarity, greater creativity, deeper inner joy, more self-empowerment and confidence. There are benefits for everyone, with simple tools for better navigating one’s way through the ordinary and the major challenges of daily life, and the bonus of meeting new friends on a similar path.
“Just do it!” is the simple directive from Justin Stone, Originator of T’ai Chi Chih, a practice that essentially includes a set of 19 gentle, easy to do movements and a closing pose, to form a Moving Meditation. The movement itself is the meditation, with posture, relaxation and a feeling of floating as key for opening up the natural energy flow. “The effort of no effort”. The more we open up the energy blockages the more alive we are, body mind heart. Justin often quotes a Chinese proverb, “You cannot appease the appetite by reading the menu. You have to eat the food.”
Wisdom Healing Qigong, taught by Mingtong Gu, speaks of posture as facilitating the flow of energy and relaxation as opening the energy pathways, the spine like an energetic highway. It’s focus is specifically on opening up energy blockages, blockages caused by a wide variety of life experiences, and seen as the cause of most dis-comfort, dis-ease, disease. Posture, movement, visualization, sounds, breath, and intention are all key, with 3 core sets of practices and a wide variety of other specific ones, all forming an integrated healing system. Option for one-on-one and group healing sessions.
Chow Medical Qigong, an integrated healing system developed by Dr. Effie Chow, combines western health practices with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Fitness and promoting health are its primary focus as it seeks to restore the balanced flow of the natural energy within our bodies for greater health body mind spirit through posture, breath, meditation, massage, acu-pressure, positive mental attitudes and good nutrition, plus a prescription for 8 hugs and three belly-aching laughs a day! Also has an option for one-on-one and group healing sessions.
Health and wellness are an everyday choice. It takes consistent daily practice to be sustainable, like brushing the teeth you want to keep! T’ai Chi Chih and both forms of Qigong offer some key practices for cultivating the original blueprint for health and happiness and personal fulfillment already within us as a birthright and which is our life’s task to activate.
The practices are very portable … for virtually anyone, anytime, anywhere, without any need of special clothing, equipment or fitness level. Only a spirit of openness and willingness to make that daily commitment to yourself for Life! Amazing benefits whether done standing, sitting or even vizualizing them while lying down. The practices are learned through repetition in class and reinforced by a daily personal practice. Eventually you can continue the practices on your own or stay connected with others, through local on-going classes and retreats or, with WHQ, through continuous easily accessible on-line offerings.
My personal journey has been an exhilarating one. More happy, joyful, healthy, free, and feeling fulfilled in my life, more unconditionally loving, gentle and accepting towards myself and others and indeed all of life, embracing its continuing mix of challenges and delights with a new kind and depth of energy. I indeed owe deep gratitude to these practices and I am continually amazed. A kind of “home-coming” to my highest, happiest and healthiest self. I invite you to a home-coming of your own, and to ‘awaken your own amazing energy within’.