Over the last three decades, mindfulness has gained massive popularity in mainstream culture. Mindfulness practices are found anywhere from board meetings to podcasts to research laboratories.
These snack-sized bites of mindfulness do offer a taste of what it has to offer. But much like taking vitamins without adding exercise and good nutrition, the benefits have limited reach and longevity. As the demand for mindfulness has increased, its ancient practices have also been diluted into trendy quick-fixes instead of a sustained practice of gradual change. Commodified and commercialized, the mindfulness movement can feel one-dimensional, oversold, and, ironically, noisy.
A return to time-honored techniques
Unlike “fast food” mindfulness fads, Qigong offers a time-tested and integrative framework to effectively cultivate mindfulness over a lifetime. Qigong also addresses the interdependent relationship of body, breath, and mind through a comprehensive approach to mindfulness: The Three Intentful Corrections. The thoroughness of these three foundational principles allow you to make long-term changes and unlock your highest potential for mindfulness.
How Qigong maximizes your capacity for mindfulness
It improves your postural awareness and habits
Good posture does more than make you look taller and feel more alert and confident. Moving through your day with mindful awareness of your posture allows you to most effectively resist the force of gravity, placing the least amount of stress on your body’s structure and physiology.
Mindlessly or habitually holding yourself in poor posture can place negative stress on your muscles and joints, cause poor circulation, deplete your Qi, bring down your mood, and decrease your self-esteem. Given the profound benefit (or detriment) posture, it is essential to include posture on your mindfulness path.
The First Correctional Intention of Qigong includes a strong focus on postural awareness and control. The traditional Qigong system, as taught by White Tiger, trains you to mindfully practice and integrate correct posture for the optimum flow of Qi, efficient expenditure of energy, increased self-awareness, and greater resilience against injury, illness, and disease.
It elevates your physical health and self-awareness
Ancient wisdom and modern science equally demonstrate that your mind influences your body and that your body influences your mind. To be effective and complete, your path to mindfulness must include routine movement performed correctly for your individual needs.
Regular movement is vital for the optimum function of your mind and body. Insufficient physical activity, and physical activity performed incorrectly, increases your risk for a host of preventable health issues, including musculoskeletal disease. Musculoskeletal disease can be both short-term or chronic and can negatively impact your mobility and dexterity, cause pain and inflammation, and diminish your balance, coordination, and functional ability.
Fitness fads come and go–as do the purported benefits they claim to bring. Developed over centuries, the First Intentional Correction of Qigong offers a complete system of movements and postures that help activate and restore your body’s physiological and proprioceptive potential. When practised regularly and correctly, Qigong can improve your self-awareness, mood, strength, mobility, physical conditioning, bone health, cardiovascular conditioning, balance, proprioception, and quality of living.
It improves your most vital function
Breathing is the single most important action you do every day. The air you breathe supplies you with the vital oxygen your body needs to survive, thrive, and function optimally. While most of our body’s vital functions are autonomic (involuntary), the act of breathing is both autonomic and somatic (voluntary). Stress, poor posture, and unconscious breathing deny us the experience of breathing fully and correctly.
Learning to consciously and skillfully direct your breath elevates your overall health and allows you to influence your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). Your ANS governs your heart rate, breath, and digestive processes. It also manages your stress response (fight or flight) and relaxation response (rest and digest). The next time you’re feeling stressed or relaxed, notice how you’re breathing!
Qigong has long recognized the vital importance of proper breathing. Breath training is the Second Intentional Correction of Qigong, which offers 64 breathing techniques to effectively guide your Qi energy, oxygenate your entire body, and bring your body, mind, and spirit into greater balance and harmony. Beginning with 8 Foundational Breathing Techniques, White Tiger Qigong slowly and skillfully teaches you how to harness the power of your breath.
It empowers you to regulate your mind and live in the present moment
Experiencing the peace of the present moment is a simple concept that’s become increasingly difficult to achieve. The demands of our lives and modern lifestyles disconnect us from our natural biological rhythms. High levels of stress deplete our physical health and fuel anxiety and depression. Technology lets us “live” in multiple worlds 24/7.
The Third Intentional Correction of Qigong addresses the mind through movement, breathing, and meditation. Qigong whole-body practices can help you reconnect with your natural rhythms, decrease stress, and reduce rumination. With regular practice and proper guidance, Qigong can also help you hone your power of self-observation and conscious action (known as cognitive flexibility).
Through our mindfulness blog, diverse online courses, and transformative in-person training, White Tiger Qigong is honored to provide you with the time-honored tools you need to unlock your potential for mindfulness and comprehensive well-being. We look forward to connecting with you and teaching you more of the secrets Qigong has to share.