In this video I’d like to discuss Qigong for seniors, and 5 tips to improve your practice.
Simple Qigong practice is very good for seniors
While Qigong is an excellent exercise to practice at any stage of life, it is particularly beneficial for seniors because it can help the body and mind without causing any strain or injury.
We can measure our “age” by our “chronological age” – how many birthday candles on your cake, and by our “biological age” – what is the state of our physical body (heart, circulation, joints, skin, muscles). Ideally, we want to have a low biological age, despite how many years we have been on the planet – and Qigong can definitely help with this!
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind if you are over the age of 65 beginning Qigong. PS… These tips actually apply to everyone.
Listen to your body
We all have our own history of aches, pains, health conditions, and injuries that we deal with. Qigong practice ideally should respect our body and listen to the messages that it is sending us. Pain is a signal that something is not quite right.
If there is a sharp, shooting, aching, or heavy pain, it’s important to listen to it, stop, and adjust what you are doing to make sure you are not hurting yourself.
If an instructor or teacher is watching every single movement you make, they can tell you when you are doing something incorrectly, but if you are practicing in the comfort of your own home, you have to be your own guide by becoming very self aware of every little detail.
So respect and validate the signals that your body is sending you and adjust your practice so it feels good.
This takes energy and attention, but when you listen to your body you can achieve excellent levels of health!
Qigong is a combination of gentle movements, deep breathing, and positive intention to help the body become healthy and full of vitality.
While it can be physically strenuous, it can also be practiced in a very gentle way so it doesn’t aggravate any old injuries or cause any harm. We can achieve this by following the 70% rule.
That is, keep your
- range of motion
- exertion, and effort
There is no need to over stretch and push your muscles and joints – just keep the movements circular and relaxed.
Use your muscles, and invite your body to become stronger but take your time.
Even if you feel that you CAN do more, you don’t need to.
Practice Qigong in a way where you are using some energy, but not maximum effort. This preserves and strengthens your qi, which is important in as time goes on.
Notice small improvements inside and outside of Qigong practice
Some people will notice major improvements during Qigong practice – it can be quite dramatic. For most, energy, strength, balance, and mental clarity will improve gradually over time. You may notice improvements during Qigong practice and after practice.
Throughout your day you may notice that you are standing a little taller, breathing better, and keeping your body and mind in a relaxed state throughout your day.
This is excellent progress! It is hard to measure this effect, but it is very valuable!
So notice and value these small improvements.
Focus on coordination body and breath
Breathing deeply and naturally is very important during Qigong practice. In fact, without breathing Qigong is just a gentle exercise – but with breathing it becomes a system for promoting health!
When you are following the 70% rule and not overexerting your body, you have the mental space to focus on coordinating your body and breath. With every movement – breathe in, breathe out.
How often do we just breathe throughout the day – I mean really breathe and draw in all this wonderful energy around us?
Qigong is an excellent time to focus on breathing -ideally, while coordinating every breath with each movement.
This particular style of Qigong that we discuss here lends itself nicely to coordinating body and breath.
If we are following the previous tips of:
- Listening to your body
- Following the 70% Rule
- Focus on small improvements inside and outside of practice
- And focusing on natural deep breathing
Then we can find “flow.” This is a state where we are ‘in the zone,’ we feel timeless, borderless, and experience a state of calm, Present, relaxation.
The movements seem to flow naturally and our mind is aware but peaceful.
We’ve all experienced Flow at some point, and with practice we can achieve this every time we practice Qigong.
These 5 tips apply for anyone practicing Qigong as well as for seniors. If you would like to explore Qigong practice, come join the Communi Qi!
We have many “young hearted” Qigong practitioners in the Communi Qi and they are getting more vibrant by the day 🙂