Wandering Warrior- Qigong

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Wandering Warrior- Qigong

By Jill Roth


THE MARTIAL ART
This month we’ll be entering the amazing world of Qigong with the gentle guidance of Bina Bou. Bina is a certified instructor of Qigong and Tai Chi who enjoys sharing her knowledge with her students in Cave Creek and other locations in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

DEFINITION OF QIGONG
I began with Bina’s website (www.binabouchi.com), which answers the question “What is Qigong?” Long used in training for the martial arts, Qigong is described by Bina as an exercise “designed to cultivate your Mind,Body, and your Spirit; and revitalize your Chi, the life force energy, by deep breathing and synchronized movements.”Qi or Chi means energy—a resource so essential it is impossible to define or translate Gong or Kung means to cultivate—a practice or methodology.

Qigong, therefore, refers to the exercise of one’s internal energy, and is a path to Mindfulness. Intention – Attention – Repetition – Guidance.

While everyone has Qi, most people don’t know how to tap its potential for healing and stress management. Qigong training allows practitioners to learn to relax and develop their mind-body connection. Through slow and gentle movements, Qigong has the practical benefits of providing balance and enhancing the body’s own natural healing—benefits which are documented in numerous medical publications.

With this background on the Qigong tradition, I attended one of Bina’s classes. To warm up, the group of about 24 gathered together in a large circle. You could feel the effervescent energy rippling around the room. We started with some wonderful, uplifting music and reflexology for the feet. We accomplished this
by walking in a giant circle, first on our toes, then on our heels, followed by the outsides of our feet, and finally on the insides of our feet. Next, we continued to walk while kicking out to the front, and then kicking our tushes, kicking out sideways, and lastly, marching with our knees up high. The room was filled with smiling faces, exuberant walking, and good cheer. Oh, and did I mention that the participants in the class ranged in age from 55–83?

Qigong can be used for its martial, healing, or meditative aspects. Bina says that Qigong is the mother of all martial arts, and that with slight variations it can be used for each of these goals. According to Dr. Jwing-ming Yang, a well-known teacher and author in the field, there are two separate trains of thought in the Qigong schools focused on martial arts. One, Nei Dan, believes that one should build Qi in the body and then have that spread to the limbs to increase their martial effectiveness. The other, Wai Dan, follows the belief that you should build up the Qi in your limbs and then have it flow inward to your internal Qi. This type of Qi can be used to “energize the skin and the muscles, enabling them to resist a blow without injury.” Both schools teach that by harnessing the focus of the mind (Yi), you can send Qi to the muscles and increase your fighting effectiveness. The progression of acupuncture theory also increased the effectiveness of Qigong as a martial art. By gaining a thorough knowledge of the acupuncture meridians, a Qigong practitioner would know the most effective cavities to hit and the necessary depth at which to strike. This combination of knowledge had made for a formidable martial art.

The meditative aspects of Qigong can be as simple as enjoying the focus and stress release of the movements, or as in-depth as the intense Marrow/Brain Washing, a level of training revered and kept secret from all but a handful of practitioners in every generation. To learn more about this area you can read the Marrow/Brain Washing Classic by Da Mo. Da Mo wrote this book about energizing the brain and attaining enlightenment after nine years ofseclusion in a Shaolin Temple.

Bina Bou has focused her practice on the healing properties of Qigong. I was impressed by how her students were brimming with health. Don’t be mistaken— many of her students have faced and overcome health obstacles that would have stopped others in their tracks. Take, for example, Debra, who developed a serious illness and was having difficulty with stamina and balance. Debra had been in a wheelchair before she started working with Bina. After a few months of Qigong practice, Debra was helped to the extent that she is now walking freely. But more on this later; back to the class…

Read the rest of the article and get facts about Qigong on pgs. 40-43

By Jill Roth
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Ask The Trainer- Holiday Willpower & Dieting

Ask The Trainer- Holiday Willpower & Dieting
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How many of you have ever wished for more hours in the day? I think most of us at one time or another have felt the pressure of too much to do and too little time. There are only 24 hours in each day. What if you could use all 24 . . . every single day? Just think about how much more you could accomplish! Of course, you have to train yourself to function without any sleep. You have to eliminate that wasteful use of 8 hours each day. One third of your day . . . unnecessarily spent with your eyes closed.

What? You don’t think you can do that? You don’t think it’s healthy or the right thing to do? Well, how else are you going to achieve your goal of getting more accomplished in your 24 hour day? Just decide you are going to do it and summon up every ounce of willpower you can muster!

Of course, we all know how the above scenario will turn out. Your willpower may get you through one day without sleep, but the true needs of your body will soon take over and you will fall asleep. And it was NOT the fault of a wimpy willpower!!! In fact, it had nothing to do with your willpower whatsoever.

The definition of “will” is “the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action.” Willpower, then, would be the control of that decision making process. Obviously, the main emphasis in that definition would be on the word, “control.” And herein lies the answer to the universal complaint of all dieters: “I just didn’t have the willpower to continue.” “I fell off of the truck. It’s all my fault.”

Let me make it very clear right here that I strongly believe in personal responsibility. One needs to understand that actions have consequences and we reap what we sow. That being said, however, we need to examine the control factor with willpower and diets.

Most diets are designed with deprivation in mind. The HCG diet, for example, is built on severe calorie deprivation where the dieter must eat only 500 calories each day. Since most adult basal metabolic rates (BMR) are above 1200 calories, this is destined to fail. Your BMR tells you the amount of energy (calories) your body NEEDS just to function. That means sitting on the couch all day, breathing, but not moving. So if you are providing your body less than half of what it needs to function, what do you think will be the result? Do you think your body, which desperately wants to survive, knows that you are simply trying to make your gut smaller by consuming only 500 calories? NO!! Your body knows that in order to keep functioning, it
MUST find nourishment quickly. So it sends the appropriate hormonal cascade into action that signals hunger. Starvation, in fact. Ignoring that signal becomes impossible. It has nothing to do with your decision to lose weight. It has everything to do with the control of the hormones and the central nervous system that environment.is hard-wired for survival. It is not the dieter’s “fault” that they “fell off of the truck.” The fault lies with the diet that is completely counter to supporting the body
in a healthy way.

Think back to my ludicrous suggestion that you could “will” yourself to stay awake 24/7, without any sleep. You, of course, rejected that idea as a valid solution to getting more done each day. You knew that not getting sleep is harmful to your body and to your productivity levels. The only ending to that scenario is one in which the body takes over and controls the situation. Your willpower means nothing at that point, right?

So why do we insist on diets that are just as ludicrous, just as harmful to our bodies . . . and believe that we can “will” them to work for us? Restricting calories severely, eliminating an essential food group, or even excessive exercising in order to “purge” are all misinformed ways to approach weight and fat loss. They are destined to fail and will not provide the long term result of a healthy body that really is what we are all seeking when we go on a diet.

Consider my opening example again. What would be a better approach to accomplishing more in each day? We might focus on improving efficiency and effectiveness throughout the day instead of just adding hours. Who is in control in that situation? We are. We can decide to write a chapter in our new book instead of watching that mediocre sitcom on TV. We can meet by webinar at work instead of traveling to each different location. Making choices and utilizing our decisions to “initiate actions” give us the opportunity to work on our willpower because control is appropriately ours to exercise in each situation.

Now translate this same idea to losing weight. What is in your power to control? How can you use your willpower to help? Instead of working against your body by depriving it of certain macronutrients and consuming too little, work with your body to help it function at a higher metabolic rate and encourage it to release its stores of fat. When you eat quality ingredients and include a lean protein, a complex carbohydrate and a good fat with every meal, you send a signal to your body that it can have confidence it will receive what it needs and it won’t starve. In an atmosphere of abundance, your body will willingly release fat and not feel the need to store more. You can then use your willpower to focus on eating quality and not giving in to overly processed, sugar-filled, non-nutritive food. And your body will support you in this pursuit instead of taking over control because it feels threatened. There is no need to “fall off of the truck” because you, your willpower and your body are all working towards the same goal of being healthy !

Read the original in our Holiday issue; http://joom.ag/rZkb

Email your fitness questions to Dianne at: DBailey@TheConditioningClassroom.com
Diane Bailey
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Dianne has been providing professional weight management and sports conditioning training for individuals since 2002 and opened The Conditioning Classroom, a private personal training studio, in 2006.

Brick Wall Beliefs

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Dianne Bailey
The Conditioning Classroom

What if someone told you to run as fast as you can into the side of a brick building — they convinced you that you had the power to run through walls just like in the movies and you tried it. And then after two weeks in the hospital and six weeks of rehab, you could finally walk again. OK, so now someone else is telling you to run into what looks like a brick wall. Would you do it? Of course not! Not unless they show you that it’s really just a towel that only looks like a brick wall and will easily move aside when you run through it. Many of the things that we believe to be solid brick walls in the world of fitness are really just towels that — when you finally believe you can run past them — they move quietly to the side and let you through.

What brick-wall beliefs are you holding on to? Let’s examine a couple:

Eating more will make me fat!

As you run toward this one, do you believe you can run through it, or does it stop you flat? You’ve been to the seminars with the fitness professionals and the nutrition specialists who tell you that you need to eat enough to support your body. If you starve yourself, your body will actually hold onto the fat because it wants to survive. But you’ve also heard over and over again that you need to eat less to lose weight. If you reduce your calories by 3,500 in a week, you will lose one pound of fat, right? So you should really just count calories, right? But the true professionals are telling you to eat enough to support your body and your goal of losing weight. You need to concentrate on eating the right foods each day: lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and good fats, and not just focus on calories. Eat more to weigh less, they say.

Can you accept this fact and run toward that brick wall, believing it is merely a towel that will wave as you blow past it? I know it sounds difficult because that brick wall seems so real — but you need to believe the science and your trainer, your doctor, your dietician. Run confidently toward lasting success in changing your body.

I won’t get lean unless I add hours of cardio to my workout routine.

This is a huge misconception, and a big brick wall that stops a lot of people, that hours of cardio are necessary to creating a lean body. Consider Heather, who was a successful competitive bodybuilder. She spent 2 hours a day on any number of cardio machines as she prepared for her competitions. Then she had kids, 2 beautiful children for whom she is very grateful and with whom she now enjoys each day to the fullest. She came to me to “get her body back and feel better about herself.” She didn’t want to compete anymore, but she wanted to get back into her pre-pregnancy clothes. As we started her program, she kept asking me when we would start incorporating the intensive cardio that she was used to.I told her that she really didn’t need it. She trusted me…sort of. She nervously followed the program that she later realized fit, amazingly, into her life. Just minutes each day — not hours. Time to spend with her kids. Real food — clean food — not coolers filled with plain chicken that she had to haul along on her vacations. Heather ran toward that brick wall that she thought was solid, that wall that told her she needed to kick up her cardio into high gear. She didn’t realize it was just a towel that looked like a brick wall until she went into her closet and tried on clothes that she hadn’t worn since before her children were born. Those clothes fit, and looked better on her than even before her competition! She was able to run right through that brick wall that said she needed to commit hours each day to cardio in order to look and feel her best!

These are just two examples of common “brick wall” beliefs.

What beliefs are holding you back from real success? Take some time to examine your goals and the typical way you approach them. Do you try to lose weight by starving yourself? By spending hours doing cardio on boring machines? Maybe you should re-examine your beliefs and trust the fitness professional in your life to help you run through these brick walls into the gratifying arena of true success!

Dianne has been providing professional weight management and sports conditioning training for individuals since 2002 and opened The Conditioning Classroom, a private personal training studio, in 2006. She earned the prestigious designation of Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist from the National Sports Conditioning Association in 2007. Dianne is dedicated to helping others learn to truly live as opposed to simply existing. From self-defense classes which teach living as an acute response, to helping create the right exercise and nutrition plan so that life becomes chronically enjoyable, Dianne and the trainers at The Conditioning Classroom have helped countless numbers of individuals become vibrantly alive!

Email your fitness questions to Dianne at:

DBailey@TheConditioningClassroom.com

TCCLCC