Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong are each very different and unique practices, but all three basically have the same intent – to improve overall health and well-being. They are three paths to the same destination.
So, which one is for you?
I have a little bit of experience with all three, but I am certainly no expert of any. And I certainly haven’t a clue which one would be best for you! That is for you to determine. But allow me to offer a few personal observations of all three practices.
Our very first “Survive, Thrive & Be Fit” activity that was offered in February of 2010 was a “Gentle Yoga for Cancer Survivors” class that has remained a popular activity amongst fellow survivors. Yoga is a mind-body exercise that combines movement and internally directed focus on awareness of the self, the breath, and energy (or prana). At ST&BF “Gentle Yoga for Cancer Survivors” we primarily practice gentle Hatha yoga which focuses primarily on the pose (asana) while stretching and connecting with the breath. For me, this type of yoga has been especially helpful in improving flexibility and balance. I especially enjoy the connection with others (especially our ST&BF group – whether in-person or virtually), although many enjoy practicing yoga alone.
Join us for “Gentle Yoga for Cancer Survivors” with Kaitlynn Kiela, CYT on Monday, September 27th at Vollrath Park at 530P or check out this previously recorded session by Kaitlynn:
“Tai Chi for Cancer Survivors” was first offered in 2014. Tai Chi is rooted in the Martial Arts with movements specifically designed for combat and defense. In fact, Tai Chi has been a demonstration sport in the Olympics. Like yoga, there are many different types of Tai Chi. ST&BF “Tai Chi for Cancer Survivors” focuses on the Yang style designed to combine slow intentional movement, mindfulness, breath, and Qi (vital energy) for health and vitality. It is the slow and graceful movement that appeals to me along with the concentration and commitment required to learn forms that range from basic to quite complex.
Join us for “Tai Chi for Cancer Survivors” with Michael Finney, CYT on Wednesday, September 22nd at Firehouse Park at 530P or view Michael’s “Grasp Sparrow’s Tail” video:
“Qigong for Cancer Survivors” is a relatively new ST&BF activity. Like both Yoga and Tai Chi, Qigong has different types. Medical Qigong is one of the four branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) along with acupuncture, herbal medicine, and medical massage. ST&BF “Qigong for Cancer Survivors” is a self-healing practice that consists of a series of movements designed to improve the flow of Qi throughout the body and enhance overall well-being. It is the simplicity of this practice, which seems to allow me to experience a deeper relaxation, that I find particularly appealing.
Join us for “Qigong for Cancer Survivors” virtually or in-person or view this online “Five Treasures” video:
So, which one is right for you? I encorurage you to try them all and find out for yourself. You may find out, as I have, that all three of them are right for you… but at different times and for different reasons. When I am looking to find a deeper connection with others, I may practice yoga. When I am looking for discipline and to sharpen my focus, I may practice Tai Chi. When I am looking for a simple but effective way to relax, I may practice Qigong. Your reasons may be different… but the only way you will know what your reasons might be is by giving them all a try!