During the midst of the pandemic I purchased a DVD on qigong for cancer. I expected it to be easy since the DVD stated it was for beginners and I had already had more than 30 years of qigong and tai chi practice. It has taken me two full years to finally be able to grasp the new movements well enough to include it into my self-care routine.
I realized that most likely many of my students also experience a sense of being overwhelmed when learning new movements and a new way of breathing. For me the DVD was like staring at a 1,000 piece puzzle and trying to put the pieces together in the midst of my very hectic life. How did I overcome my urge to give up on the DVD?
First, I felt this curiosity to explore other qigong movements. How did the new movements differ from the movements I already knew? What were the similarities? What would be the benefits from each specific movement? Being a curious person I wanted to know. It was definitely time-consuming and mind boggling, but I made a personal commitment to keep at it. Before I bought the DVD I had no idea how long it would take and how much note taking I would have to do, along with repeating the movements over and over again. A student said to me, "We live in a time of instant gratification with technology so handy. Tai chi is just the opposite." I realized that she was right. Tai chi and qigong is a process. Learning these new movements was a two year process.
Secondly, I focused on just a couple of movements at a time. Trying to learn all 15 movements was very confusing. Daily repetition helped to build body memory for those few movements. I started to relax into the movements because my mind didn't have to work so hard to remember when to flip my palms, inhale and exhale, etc.. I could finally enjoy the movements.
Whatever self-care approach peeks your curiosity, I hope that you will be gentle on yourself because you are approaching new grounds. Keep things simple and persevere until you feel its benefits in your life. It's well worth the commitment.
I am filled with wonder, gratitude and awe for the journeys we travel and for the teachers we meet along the way.