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Health & Wellness

I was having a discussion with Sukh and Maria last week about online vs. in-class QiGong practice. It was a healthy subject to explore as we are, of course, trying to develop an online community to share the benefits of this ancient practice.

We are all mindful that this is an area where some people have strong feelings about whether to choose online or in-class and I thought it would be an interesting topic to share some of our thoughts, which will of course include feedback we have received from clients over the last few years.

As a student, I have had the opportunity to practice in-class, online and attend several group retreats. Withstanding the fact that every retreat was awesome in every regard 😉, my preference was always in-class. Uhm, you might say, well why go down the online path? I’m just being honest. For the first five years practicing QiGong, I had two classes a week with a great teacher five minutes down the road – it was perfect! During the pandemic, I struggled to switch to on-line as I had practiced in-class for such a long time. It didn’t feel quite the same and I preferred to practice on my own, at a time that suited me in the comfort of my own home.

I had also become a teacher about a year before the pandemic and when in-class practice became impossible, I explored and set up online classes as well as ran a few outdoor classes in the warmer and drier months. For reasons, most of you will understand, having access to online classes during this period was a lifeline to many for a multitude of reasons, and that experience resonated with me as well.

My journey has opened my mind to the different approaches to practicing QiGong.

  • If you are restricted with time and distance, in-class practice may become impossible, whereas online opportunities can fit in with your timetable and you are more likely to practice more often – the most rewards of QiGong are achieved through regular practice, daily if you can.
  • Online classes might seem less sociable to some people, but in many aspects, QiGong is a very personal practice that can bring up emotions that individuals prefer to process in a quiet place without distraction from others. Of course, there are also times, where being with other individuals may be a comfort.
  • Students are often concerned that they are unable to improve or correct their technique in an online environment. QiGong is a forgiving art to learn, and physical form does not have to be perfect. As beginners, the most important areas to focus on are breathwork and mindfulness, both of which can easily be developed in an online environment. Online access to recordings creates the opportunity to focus on technique at your own pace.
  • Many students are unable to find a quiet, peaceful space to practice at home and the ability to remove themselves from the home environment for an in-class practice makes a real difference. Of course, disturbances at home are not ideal and I understand this challenge. In such scenarios, finding an agreeable time to remove yourself to a quiet room like a bedroom or a little zen room (if space allows) can not only provide a great space for QiGong, but creates a space for any time that you or a member of your family needs to take time out.
  • Some students do not have access to the necessary technology to access online classes. This can present a real challenge as whilst most people have access to WIFI, some individuals only have a smart phone where screen size is challenging. There are possibilities to buy cables that interface with modern, smart TV screens, making the online experience much more rewarding (note I am the wrong person to talk to about technical stuff, but a couple of students have assured me this is possible 😉).

Sukh, Maria and I are all very conscious about making your online QiGong practice as rewarding as possible. This involves using the best technology we can access, adapting our teaching method to suit your online QiGong practice and listening to any feedback given to us by you.

Hopefully, this is good food for thought. Do feel free to contact any of us with any suggestions or feedback – we will always listen and take on board your thoughts.