Updated: Nov 21, 2019
When I embarked on my travels to America to focus on my mind, body, soul and art, I didn't really know what to expect. I came here knowing I would prioritise creating, absorbing and learning, which is why I feel it's important to talk about the latest practice that has taken over my Saturday mornings in the most beautiful way.
QiGong (Chee-Guhng) is an ancient Chinese exercise and healing technique that uses movement and focused intent. QiGong is a moving meditation, transferring and engrossing Yin & Yang energies to help you connect internally whilst allowing you to slow down and breathe.
During my classes we become elements of water, air and animal form. If you're not really into spiritual connection or meditation in general then I totally get that it sounds completely ridiculous. Why would moving like water or a tiger translate into healing, energy & inspiration for my art?
I think it's important to state here that I am no QiGong expert with only a few lessons under my belt, but I am an expert in knowing my mind, body and my art form. With that I recognise that there has been a solid link between QiGong and my art. I feel more connected to myself, more confident in my decision making, and more explorative in my range of motion and colour. How? Well, for one example, during my most recent session when I encompassed Tiger form, inhaling the Yin energy during the first motion and exhaling the Yang in the second motion. I started visioning what type of Tiger I was when my claws were making marks on the tree in the forest that stood in front of me. I imagined the colours on the tree, the textures of the bark, the tones of my motion, the palettes of my surroundings. It was new. It was like a mood board I didn't realise needed to be seen. It was a piece of art that I was meditating in. It was creation.
As well as coming out of my session with the urge to flow home and draw, I came out feeling calmer, more restored and less angry at the world and my emotional trauma. It's like a moving therapy session but you are the therapist and patient. The way QiGong makes you feel is quite hard to explain...I guess 'you have to try it' to understand.
In case the vision of me pretending to be a Tiger in a forest isn't enough to interest you in this gorgeous and radiating practice, here is some more info on QiGong and how it can benefit you (whether an Artist or not):
What are some of the benefits of QiGong?
- Lowers stress levels
- Promotes heart health
- Reduces pain
- Balances emotions
- Induces creativity
- Relieves creative block
What is Yin & Yang?
Yin - Yin is internal, feminine, creative, nurturing, connecting things together. Yang - Yang is external, masculine, structured, and divides things into their component parts.
Why you should try it
- What could go wrong. This is such a restorative, calm, and safe practice that there really isn't much that could go wrong (although in case this bites me in the arse, I can't 100% guarantee that!)
- This life is short. Which is why we should try new things that could benefit us in so many ways.
- Healing any day. If there is any natural and mediative way in which you can help yourself heal, it seems kinda counterproductive in your journey to not accept and try it when it's in front of you.
- More inspiration. Sometimes we get so stuck in our routine and it can be hard to find inspiration. QiGong absolutely radiates inspiration, therefore helping with new projects, creative block and a general lust for life!
- Connect. QiGong is a beautiful way to become more connected with yourself and your surroundings.
-Free. You can practice QiGong at home!! All you need to know is the moves and then you can bust them anywhere and everywhere..the swaying bamboo is actually known for being used to help with anxiety in crowded spaces like airports/ shopping centres/big events etc.
When to incorporate QiGong into your Art
- Before you create
- During creative block
- Post creative session