Many people are unaware of what a Qigong class entails, what to expect, how to prepare for a class and who is suitable to train. Although Qigong is slow and gentle in nature extended periods of standing and slow movement can still be a physical and mental challenge for those unused to such practices. If you are not used to regular exercise then this something that you should be aware of. In addition to the physical aspect regular practitioners will also begin to feel movement of Qi within the body. This can be perceived in a number of different ways such as feelings of warmth, heat, tingling or changes in emotional states during practice.
As with all forms of exercise to train safely there are some simple guidelines to be aware of:
- Food and Drink. Whilst you should allow sufficient time to digest food and fluids before undertaking any exercise (at least half an hour) it is important to give the body sufficient fuel before practice. As with any exercise it is important not to be hungry as blood sugar levels may be affected during practice which could lead to feeling faint. Diabetics should be particularly aware of this possibility.
- Illness. Don’t train if you are unwell. Your physical and energetic body is already working to restore your health and asking it to do more at the same time will leave you feeling drained.
- Emotional balance. Our emotions are an integral part of our energetic system. Training when in a heightened emotional state can be counterproductive and is best avoided.
- People with low or high blood pressure and those prone to light headedness or fainting. Qigong will alter the oxygen levels within the bloodstream and improve blood flow in a positive way but this can cause dizziness in those whose Blood Pressure is low. Another common sensation as our blood flow improves is a feeling of heat within the body. Students with high Blood Pressure need to be aware of this and should stop and rest if this occurs as again it can cause feelings of dizziness.
- Alcohol. You should not practice Qigong if you are under the influence of alcohol or any recreational drugs.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IT IS IMPORTANT TO TELL YOUR TEACHER BEFORE CLASS IF YOU HAVE ANY ISSUES SO THAT THEY CAN TAKE THIS INTO ACCOUNT DURING TRAINING.