[personal profile] qlewkr
I went to a Qigong class today. I can't tell you how overjoyed I am to find another one. I used to be involved with a free qigong  group that met at Harvard University. We would meet every Saturday to sit in chairs and listen to Dr Yan Xin walk us through part of the "9 step child longevity" series. And when I say we listened to him, I mean we listened to his voice on a tape player  (literally, a cassette TAPE player). It was one of the weirdest things I've ever done, but I loved it. I went pretty regularly for about a year. I took my friend Stass there once, but mostly it was this odd thing I did that I couldn't even find the words to describe to other people. If I told you that we sat in chairs, in a particular posture and practiced breathing and visualization techniques, you'd just think, How boring! I used to get so euphoric, though. I'd come out of there drenched in sweat and exhausted and my mind would be blown wide open with bliss and peace, I loved it so much. The only reason I stopped going was that the organizers wanted us to bring in some more people and 1) I've never been able to convince anyone to do anything, much less to come breathe with me in the middle of their Saturday (except Stass, who lived too far away to go regularly) and 2) the whole thing started feeling a bit too cult-y. A year later I recanted my disavowal of cults and went crawling back, but they had left Harvard. I finally found them again at MIT, and I went a few times, but it wasn't the same. For one thing, almost everyone talked in Mandarin except me.

So now I've found a new, English speaking Class at Karma studios in Harvard Square. $15 every time I go (ouch) but the teacher is an adorable Vietnamese man who is wonderfully humble and patient. Class tonight nearly killed me, though. I literally almost fainted about 6 times during the first half of class when we were building up chi. I had to bend over several times to let blood get to my brain because I kept almost passing out and once I even sat down abruptly because I could see the tide of blackness coming up ( always a precursor to fainting with me) . And we were just standing still! (in my certain pose with slightly bent legs).The breathing exercises and the posture immediately got me so hot I was drenched in sweat. I  think the qigong people would say I had trouble because I have major blockages in my arteries or chi or brain. Somewhere, obviously. The teacher thought I might have hypertension, although my blood pressure has always tested as normal in a doctor's office. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's something serious. I feel like I found this class at just the right time.

Weirdly enough, the second half of class didn't bother me at all, and that was the more active half. We learned something called the "8 piece brocade". (Similar to this: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5941928815527121512).  They are used by soldiers to build determination and strength,

Date: 2012-06-03 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heavenscalyx.livejournal.com
I understand from friends who do martial arts that this sort of vasovagal whoopsie is common in martial arts beginners because they tend to lock their legs incorrectly and this does weird stuff to your circulation. I had something like this happen during a Tai Chi class I took.

Date: 2012-06-03 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] qlewkr.livejournal.com
Oh, interesting! Maybe you're right, i had my legs bent, but maybe it was at the exact wrong angle or something. I'll experiment with that later today.


Date: 2012-06-03 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heavenscalyx.livejournal.com
I think it's a matter of how tense your muscles are or something. I know I was trying hard to maintain correct stance while doing push hands and whoooooo the world was getting soooooo distant.

Date: 2012-06-03 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] that.livejournal.com
Sounds awesome. I would love something like that but, like you, I would balk at the recruiting pressure.

Date: 2012-06-03 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yeah, we're good Americans that way. Far too individualistic for our own good.
The first class was better than drugs. This new class is going to be more of a martial art. I guess at my age it might be more important to build willpower than to seek ecstasy. Maybe. :)



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