I was recently invited to the local school to help fill in time in between exams. The school had decided to bring in a number of local practitioners to promote health topics, so as well as my qigong, the children were being offered, yoga, pilo and other forms of exercise.
I decided to do shibashi, because the moves are so simple. I also took a bit of a gamble and asked them to begin with 5 minutes meditation during which time they should count their breaths. They could sit on a chair, on the floor or they could stand. As you might imagine, this was a bit of a shock to the system and during the 5 minutes there were giggles and nudges and the teacher who was sitting in felt she had to ask them settle down.
To start with, I asked what they knew about qigong and they told me it was relaxing. So we enlarged on that idea, and about how it works. We covered yin and yang and did some walking so get the feel of empty and full, positive and negative. Then we went through each move, making sure they knew what they were trying to do, and we came up with a workaround for those who were flummoxed by Wave Hands in Clouds.
Then I put on the music and we just did it. Every one of them performed it properly, with real focus and effort, no giggling, no nonsense.
When we finished we did another 5 minutes of meditation and breath counting. I didn’t ask for numbers but they all agreed that their breathing was deeper and slower despite the exercise. You wouldn’t have thought they were the same people. One of the girls even sat with her back to the circle to allow her to remain focused. There wasn’t a word, a stifled giggle, a cough, a poke or anything.
If you ever wanted proof of the value of qigong in calming and focusing the mind, this was it.