Seven Jewels of Dancing Qigong
Qigong can be practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality. The gentle movements of Dancing Qigong practiced with music can reduce stress and enhance the immune system and have been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, lymphatic and digestive functions. One of the most important long-term effects is that Dancing Qigong reestablishes the body, mind & soul connection. Anyone can enrich their lives by adding Dancing Qigong to their daily routine and it is fun to do!
A powerful ancient healing tradition in China, Dancing Qigong brings the integration of body with a focused mind and movement, purposeful breath awareness, and meditation to optimize what Norman Cousins called the healing system. The healing system is the integrated function of all body-mind systems including the nervous system, the endocrine system, the immune system, circulatory and digestive systems.
Dancing Qigong can give you three treasures or benefits: healing of the body, integrating heart and mind, and longevity and vitality enhancement. The gentle mind-body practice of Dancing Qigong can be done by anyone. A great variety of music can be used depending on the preferences of the teacher and students and the tempo that is optimal for the group.
Qigong is the dance of life; it is the dance with life energy. Qigong is 5000 years old with more than 1000 forms and it continues to evolve. Many people believe Dancing Qigong has origins in the shamanic dances and in healing dances modeled on the movement of certain animals such as cranes, bears and tigers. The shaman danced to affect the weather and therefore the crops and well being of the people and the government. The shamans also danced to improve health, longevity, and vitality.
Qigong is the mother of martial arts and taiji. Dancing Qigong, moving to the rhythm of love and life; moving with whatever the music may be: Broadway, hip hop, disco, meditative or jazz and whether you are on stage or in your community, the combination of mind, movement, and music ignites the body and mind with passion to live with more energy and vitality.
The gentle and joyous movements of Dancing Qigong will start you on your path to better health and vitality. Jack Bray has taken from his life experiences as a professional dancer to create this unique program. As a professional dancer he danced on and off Broadway, performing in such shows as My Fair Lady, and Hello Dolly. He danced on stage, screen, and television, in New York, Hollywood, and Las Vegas. He danced with Carole Channing, Ginger Rogers, Margaret Hamilton, Betty Grable, and with Juliet Prowse in the movie, "Can Can".
Jack has taught Dancing Qigong, eclectic dance exercise, racewalking, and gentle walking classes at many colleges including San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, Marin, Santa Rosa and Napa Junior Colleges, University of Wisconsin-Extension and many other facilities for over 20 years. His masters degree in Applied Gerontology and years of experience teaching make him uniquely qualified to instruct masters of all ages.
He has studied taiji and qigong for over 20 years and integrates them into his class instructions and his own physical exercise program. He is a certified Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi Instructor having completed an intensive course of 200 hours and he is a certified fitness instructor with the Cooper Institute, Dallas, Texas.
The following is a written description of the Seven Jewels of Dancing Qigong movements. It is, of course, always better to learn movement in a class or from the DVD. As you move slowly, think about moving your qi energy through your body and as you reach out with your arms, think about bringing the energy back to you and through you to activate your cellular system. Be sure to breathe in and out gently throughout the exercise.
With your legs bent and with feet shoulder width apart place both hands on your lower dan tian, two fingers below your navel. As you take four steps to your left, move both hands left and then right across your abdomen creating qi energy flow. Reverse the qi sequence four times to the right, moving with the beat of the music.
Move up to your middle dan tian. Repeat the process four times to the left, four times to the right. Breathing into your lower dan tian helps build up the energy.
Repeat the process on the upper dan tian (upper chest) four times to the left and four times to the right. This will balance the mind and body, calming your emotions.
Place both hands on your lower dan tian, stepping out to your left moving your right hand across your abdomen (lower dan tian) with your left hand reaching out gathering qi energy. In sliding right hand across the lower ddan tian then reaching out with your right hand sliding your left hand across your abdomen (lower dan tian) nurturing qi energy. This movement is done four times to the left, then repeat four times to the right. Do this movement again middle dan tian and four times across the upper dan tian, creating qi energy.
Moving your hand up to your middle dan tian stepping out to your left, the left hand reaches out gathering qi as your right hand slides across your chest (middle dan tian). Do this movement four times then repeat four times to the right, creating qi energy in the upper chest area (upper dan tian).
Moving your hands to your upper dan tian (chest) near your Adams apple. Repeat stepping out to your left reaching out with your left hand sliding your right hand across your upper chest cultivating qi energy. Repeat four times to your right side.
Placing both hands on your lower dan tian with your left arm reaching straight up over your head gathering qi, move your right arm up the center of your body to your neck as your left arm comes down over your head following your left hand to your lower dan tian. This movement is done by stepping out four times to your left. Then change arms and repeat four times to the right. This movement gathers qi energy and brings qi energy into your upper body, heart and lungs. Breathing in as you step out, exhale as your legs come together.
Place both hands on your lower dan tian on the right side hip as you step out to the left. Slide your right arm across your body to your left arm pit as your left arm reaches upwards gathering qi energy as your left arm comes down connecting with your right hand. Then slide both hands back to your right hip area. This is done four times to the left.
Placing both hands on your lower dan tian on your left hip side step out to your right. Reach up with your right arm gathering qi energy, sliding your left hand across your upper body to your right arm pit. As your right arm comes down with energy. Both hands connect sliding both hands across the body returning to your left hip.
Placing both hands on your lower dan tian reaching up with your left arm gathering qi energy; slide your right hand to your left hip to energize your ribs and internal organs on the left side. Your hand moves to the left arm pit as you step out to the left four times. This movement is done four times; up and down four times. This movement is repeated four times to the right energizing your ribs, lymph nodes and internal organs on the right side.
Placing both hands on your middle dan tian. Step out to your left reaching out to your left arm and then dropping your arm down making a circle, bringing arm and fingers across your eyes. As this movement begins, your right hand makes a circle on the middle of your stomach. This circle can be large or small. This movement can energize the face, eyes, skin, brain and internal organs. Repeat this movement four times. Then repeat four times to the right. Breathe in and out as you step out and then bring your legs together.
Placing both hands on your middle dan tian, bend your knees as you step out to the left. Reach out with your left arm. Drop it down and make a full circle over your head as you reach out with your left arm, your right arm and hand and make a large circle to your lower dan tian to your upper dan tian. Repeat four times. Change arms and repeat four times to your right.
Copyright: Qi Journal, Spring 2010