Sometimes Qigong beginners come to the teacher after only few classes of Qigong saying: “Oh, this is too much. I can’t remember all exercises. And there are so many other things to be aware of.” Nobody demands from beginner to learn everything at once. It is impossible. It is a long process in which practitioner develops various skills that at the starting point he doesn’t have yet.
But it is not rare that people keep deeply inside their unconscious mind the idea that they have to be perfect, or that they have to do/finish things at once, or that they are not capable to do certain things. Learning Qigong is an opportunity to change the disc that they are “listening” and develop new inner believes.
I would like that you learn Qigong with ease and fun. By being playful and being present in the moment you will learn more efficiently and faster, not only Qigong, but also other things.
The first, maybe the most important, tip:
You have to decide that you would really like to learn something new and be excited about
You should remember that “If you think you CAN or if you think you CAN’T – in either cases you are right.” (Henry Ford).
If you think that you can’t remember the sequence, you create a mental block that will hinder your learning process. Don’t think about how to achieve your goal, neither how long it will take… Think about how nice is to learn something new, piece by piece. And above all – don’t think too much! 😉
Attend regularly your classes of Qigong, Taijiquan…
This is especially important at the beginning because you probably didn’t establish your daily Qigong routine yet. By attending a class you can learn from your master or teacher in many different ways. By observing, repeating, listening and by being in an energy field that teacher expands. You might be also encouraged by a teacher and older students. And maybe you can realize that learning is a continuous process, never ending story. Each one in a class is still learning, including the teacher. They are learning on different levels, but they are learning, the same as you.
Be present when you are learning
When you attend the Qigong class or you are doing Qigong at home try to be present with your mind, try to be in a moment. Be here and now, without distractions. This is the time when nothing, except doing Qigong, is important. Try to forget eventual daily worries, world crises, politics… Be focused only on doing Qigong. And if some thought comes, don’t fight with it. Focus again on a Qigong and let it go.
When you, as beginner, observe the teacher, you often have a wish to do Qigong just like him. You wish to be stable and rooted, moving with ease, using soft yet powerful movements. Maybe you feel even frustrated but you don’t have to be. You are where you are and everything is fine.
Try to remember how children learn an alphabet. They don’t look at the alphabet and – eureka – know all letters. They learn letter by letter, and then they begin to combine them in simple words. After that they learn to form simple sentences and many years later they are capable to form complex words and texts. Only people who have dedicated to the writing a lot of time are able to combine words in a magnificent harmony and create amazing literature or poetry. The process of learning Qigong is similar, only much more complex. It is a long way. Step by step. And you can choose to be joyful on this path.
1. Don’t try to learn all the sequence at once.
At the beginning choose only one exercise and try to learn it. It can be the first one in the sequence or the exercise that you like the most or the exercise which is for you the most challenging. We are different. Each one have to know what works the best for him or her. When you learn this first exercise basically, start to learn the next one using the same process. And then another one… In the end you will remember all the sequence basically, without details, breathing etc…
2. Disassemble and reassemble exercises or forms if necessary
If the exercise is too complicated try to disassemble it. For example learn separately the position or movement of legs until you feel comfortable with it. Then learn separately the position or movement of arms… When you have learned both, reassemble them and continue with practice.
3. Establish your daily Qigong routine gradually
Learn gradually means also to establish your daily qigong routine gradually. Establish daily Qigong routine is maybe the most challenging thing for majority of Qigong beginners. If you immediately demand from yourself to do daily an hour of Qigong it is very likely that you will not succeed. But if you start with few minutes and you are gradually adding each newly learned exercise, you will slowly adapt yourself to the increasing time of practice.
Observe – Repeat – Improve (in a spiral course)
This is the process that is worthy to remember as it can really improve your Qigong practice in a long term. And not only Qigong practice. You can learn all kind of things in the same way.
First you observe the teacher that is doing an exercise – then try to repeat the exercise many times and in different ways: at class, at home, during the day, in front of the mirror, repeat the exercise in your mind, try to describe the exercise with your own words and write it down (you can write also all associations you have, especially the funny ones). At the next class observe your teacher again and try to improve something in your exercise. Repeat this process until you know the exercise basically, but do not try to learn all the details. And do not forget to do this exercise every day, starting in this way your short daily Qigong routine.
Then start to learn the next exercises, one by one. And each time add a new exercise to your daily Qigong routine. When you have gone through all exercises, you will be able to perform all the sequence of exercises on a basic level. And meanwhile also the length of your daily Qigong routine has increased.
It is time to move in a spiral course upward and repeat the same process on the next level. As you have some basic knowledge about exercises, now you can observe them from different point of view. Maybe you can try to make movement more relaxed or smooth, add breathing or improve stability… If your foundations are good, you would be probably able to work with all exercises one after another.
When you feel enough confident at certain level you are naturally eager to know and learn more. You are ready to move again in a spiral course upward. Maybe this time you are ready to add energy awareness, feel meridians or learn how to lead Qi … In this way the Qigong is never boring and becomes gradually deeper and deeper.
Enjoy the Process of Learning
If you are oriented only to the final goal somewhere in the future (for example to learn a long Taijiquan sequence) you can be frustrated and impatient because you are not there yet. And when you are in a bad mood, worried, unsatisfied, you can’t learn efficiently. Instead, if you enjoy the whole process of learning and the process of your self-cultivation on that way, your path will be still long, but joyful.
May the Qi be with You!
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