Qi Gong is an ancient form of exercise and healing that focuses on breathing concentration and energy flow. The Chinese word Qi is formally defined as “breathing/air”, but can also be used in the context of describing the relationship between matter, energy and spirit. The dictionary definition for the word “Gong” is that of achievement or results. The two words are combined to describe a method of energy cultivation.
There are many forms and styles of Qi Gong originating from different segments within Chinese society.
Dr. Steven K.H. Aung is a pioneer in the integration of western, traditional Chinese and complementary medicine. His efforts have helped to make Alberta and Canada an active centre in the field of integrated and complementary medicine. His unique approach to medicine, combined with the remarkable compassion he brings to all that he does, has made him a highly respected teacher, researcher and physician. He been a geriatric and family physician, and a traditional Chinese medical (TCM) practitioner and teacher for more than thirty years. He has taught medical Qi Gong to thousands of people around the world, and is a clinical professor in the departments of Medicine and Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. In 2006, he was appointed to the Order of Canada.
The idea of a concise, compelling description of ‘Somatics’ that can be communicated in the short span of an elevator ride makes good sense.
It makes good sense because, as a Somatics educator, I am often asked: “What exactly do you do?” or, “What is Somatics?” and “How does it work?”
So often, I am met by that bewildered gaze whenever I dare mention the “word”.
As a longtime yoga instructor, the elevator pitch has been much easier, if even necessary. Most people have at least some general understanding of what’s involved in the practice of yoga. Somatics, however, is different.
Many of us are terrified of embodiment. We can’t face our broken hearts, the chaos in our minds or the pain in our bodies. We yearn instead for transcendental bliss. Every chance we get, we go off into the beautiful light instead of choosing to face the continually unnerving yet miraculous experience of living that light in our bodies. In this way we continue to separate the realm of the soul from the body.
As far back as I remember, I had two great passions—one for the Divine and one for dance. My whole life has been a search in how to bring these two into direct sacred marriage. The road to this marriage has been long, fierce and difficult yet very rewarding – a road in which I immersed myself in different styles of dance and mystical teachings in my search for this unity of soul and body, spirit and matter, through which I have come to create the style that I perform and teach today, called Dance of Oneness. Continue reading Alchemy of the Dance →
Our bodies – are they objects to be trained and taught from the outside, as most of our exercise, movement and dance programs do for us? Or can the body be seen as a 4 billion year biological process that contains an inner movement of expression that is unique and important to be listened to for the sake of our health and wellness?
Most of our exercise programs come from an external model that “teach” the body how to move and what to do next. A movement vocabulary is being overlaid upon the natural flow and movement of the inner body’s expression. It is much like the founder of Continuum, Emilie Conrad, said, “We treat our body like an object – it is to be “trained” and decorated with clothes, makeup, and jewelry”. She felt we should consider seeing the body as a profound biological process with deep, inherent wisdom of truth and health for us individually.