The Journey of Transformation

Practicing qigong for just 10 minutes a day can be a journey of transformation. We can use tried and tested principles to allow positive, useful change.

In qigong and meditation practice, with the right guidance you can easily reach deeply relaxed states of mind that can feel quite profound or blissful. But aiming for these states, and wanting to stay in them, can be a trap that slows down your progress.

 

Regulating Mind States

In classes with Fully Alive, you learn skills that allow you to be deeply relaxed and expanded. You also learn how to safely come back to a more everyday state of mind. You will practice regulating between a more expanded state and a more ordinary state of mind.

In an expanded state you might be more open to inspiration. Or you might have a direct realization of the interconnectedness of everything and a sense of the bigger picture. But there is no need to go to this place every time you practice.

 

Getting the right balance

As well as the two extremes of expanded and ordinary consciousness, it is really useful to be able to consciously find a balance somewhere in between.

Being able to adjust mind, body and energy to stay relaxed and open as well as present and focused, moment by moment, makes everyday tasks much easier. And everyday life can become more enjoyable.

For example, being able to maintain a relaxed focus for work or hobbies makes you more productive without feeling drained of energy. In relationships, being able to relax without disconnecting or disappearing makes it easier to resolve difficulties and makes good times more satisfying.

Opening up to new possibilities

Opening up the mind, body and heart creates opportunities for change and new possibilities. Practicing relaxed, open presence in classes can transform our relationship to ourselves and our lives.

But this is not always a completely smooth journey. As you become more aware, you may have to deal with issues that are challenging or difficult.

In classes with Fully Alive you will make progress safely and progressively. With a clear understanding of skills and principles, and guided practices that build gradually on what you learn, you become equipped to deal with what comes up. And there is a supportive space within the classes for this process of transformation to take place.

A student who recently completed Level Two – Developing Skills for Conscious Energy Flow made this comment:

My whole being feels different. I feel more at peace and, after a long time of not feeling very happy, I feel, in a gentle way, happy. I suppose one could say finding some sort of contentment.

 

Another student commented:

I always need a way of returning to 'Being mode', to return to a real sense of myself, and to the bigger picture beyond. I have found a real home here in these classes where that is understood.

 

Take a journey of transformation

If you are interested in starting out on a journey of transformation, why not try one of our weekly classes? You will learn at your own pace, and according to what you want to get out of the class, whether that is change on a physical, emotional, mental or energetic level.

If you are interested in learning the skill of generating an energy flow, which is the foundation skill of all qigong classes with Fully Alive, you might be interested in our pre-recorded Level One course to take in your own time and at your own pace, with support by email from Tim as and when you need it.

Showing Up

In this clip from the Shaolin Arts class, Tim talks about showing up and doing the practice, even if you don’t feel ready, or think you won’t do it well enough.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it ‘right’ in the class.  Right is only an idea anyway, which it can sometimes be useful to let go of. What’s important is being as present and connected as we can be in body, heart and mind.

When we allow ourselves to be fully engaged like this, we are practicing Triple Cultivation of JingChi and Shen, body, energy and mind/spirit. This is one of the hallmarks of the Shaolin Arts and Shaolin Cosmos Qigong.

In the following clip, Tim explains that Triple Cultivation practice gives a felt experience of connection and presence. This can take you beyond thought, worry and judgement. When you practice coming from this embodied place in class, it becomes easier to come from there in everyday life.

Alignment of heart, mind and energy can sound like an abstract concept, but in classes you will get a felt experience that you can bring into what you are practicing, whether a qigong form or a kungfu set. It can feel really good to find a deeper connection with yourself. Sometimes it can even feel extraordinary. And some days it isn’t so easy to find, so we keep doing the practice.

This way of approaching things may start to feed into other aspects of life. Work, hobbies, interactions with other people, or doing everyday tasks can feel more rewarding and be less effort. We may find we are naturally showing up more fully to things, and relating to ourselves and to life differently.

If you are interested in exploring ways to become more connected within yourself, or finding ways to approach life with less stress and more engagement, why not try one of our classes for a month and see how you get on?

Browse all our weekly classes

Reduce Stress, Gain Confidence

Why would we want to learn Tai Chi Chuan or Kung Fu if we never plan on fighting?

Many people practice Tai Chi and Kung Fu to reduce stress, increase confidence and help make life flow more easily.

Responding with more ease and flow, without getting disrupted, is a technique we practice in class. But it will also change the way we respond to situations in everyday life.

Learning how to react with less tension when things are difficult can be a fairly small adjustment. But it can have a big effect on how we feel, and how things turn out for us and for people around us.

And if something happens that does affect us, we can learn to notice and come back to a more balanced state.

Applying what we learn in class to everyday life takes the practice from a fun, relaxing, rewarding hobby into something far broader, that can really change the way things happen in our lives.

So our Shaolin Arts or Tai Chi practice becomes a way of living more meaningfully every day, with the confidence that comes from knowing we have more choice over how we respond.

This is not something we need to work out intellectually. We just do the practice, and things will naturally start to change in our lives more widely. Life can seem easier and we feel more peaceful. We may also find that we have more energy, because we are using it more efficiently.

Learn a practice that really will change your everyday life. Find out more about our classes:

Shaolin Arts

Tai Chi Chuan

 

How to save time and increase energy

Our lives can be full of demands. Overwhelm and burnout are common. How can we save time and increase our energy? How can we make more time in our lives to do all the things we want or need to do?

If you want to make more time for yourself, it's worth thinking about how you spend your time and energy. Maybe you're spending half an hour scrolling through social media every day.

What's nourishing you, and what's depleting you? Can you make any simple changes to save you time and energy? It's so easy for our time to be taken up with things that don't really add any value to our lives.

If we want to increase our health and wellbeing, we can make that a priority and give less time to something that's less important.

Making time to practice qigong for a short amount of time every day can bring about positive changes - having more energy, being able to deal with stress better, increased balance and mobility, and a clearer mind.

Perhaps you already have a practice, but things aren't changing as quickly as you would like. Regular practice is key.

When you learn how to use your mind, body and energy efficiently, qigong practice only needs to take 10-15 minutes. It can even be for just 5 minutes if time is limited. Daily practice has a cumulative effect.

As our practice develops and our awareness increases, it can become clearer where we are putting our energy. We notice more, so we have more freedom to choose.

Chi flow, the missing ingredient

Are we missing something? The simple answer is yes, we are.

We are missing something essential, the building block for all things, yet for various reasons, many people have completely missed it. As a result, it seems that they get stressed more easily, sick more often, and lack sustained vitality.

I'm talking about energy flow.

It's not our fault - we have become so conditioned to focus on material things that we have missed the key ingredient, energy.

Let's take Qigong (Chi Kung) as an example. Many people focus on learning the outward form, or more and more forms, and believe that if they practice the Qigong forms, they will be well, happy and full of energy. However, they never progress to the essential skill of using energy (chi), so they miss out on this energy art's essence and more significant benefits.

If the form (movement) alone was responsible for increasing health, releasing held tension and stress, and increasing energy levels, you would feel an increase in energy flow every time you got up from the sofa. Likewise, every time you unloaded the dishwasher and reached up to put a cup away, you would feel an increase in energy flow. Getting in the car, putting a seatbelt on, getting dressed, bending forward to tie your shoelaces would noticeably increase your energy levels. But it doesn't. Why? Because you are not using or developing the skill in using energy.

If you aim to improve your health, better deal with stress or anxiety, and increase your energy levels, you need that essential ingredient, energy flow.

Over the last 20 years, I have practised and passed on the secrets of energy flow so that people can get the full benefits from Qigong practice.

 

What you see in this video is a Qigong practice with energy flow. Energy flow comes from relaxation at the physical, emotional and mental level, what we call a Qigong State of Mind. Once you have developed the skill of using energy, your Qigong (Chi Kung) practice changes dramatically, as do the benefits you get.

If you are not used to seeing or experiencing energy flow, it can look odd at first. Some people ask why I am losing balance and wobbling all over the place and that I should stand still and do the form correctly. I smile, for they have never developed the genuine skill of using energy, as passed down from generations of masters, so how would they know?

If you are interested in learning genuine high-level Qigong, then try one of our classes.

Identity and Awareness

 

One of the students on the Unfolding Being course shares some insights from his practice...

Identity is a part of who we are. Through time we collect and hold onto passing events and get distracted by our predictions of the future.  Our minds create a story out of this which we then identify with as “I”.  This “I” is then the place where we relate from and to ourselves and the world around us.

Awareness is to experience what is without identification.  Imagine there is a space inside all of us where everything may be seen from, where all is already in relationship with one and another, without having to make any connections or relate to things, as this is already inherent.  It is a place where you may come to rest and surrender your “I” to be with all beings as one.

Chi Kung is a way to enter into this awarenessing.  By developing the skill of generating an energy flow and letting go you awaken this awareness.  It only a matter of time and dedication to become familiar with this mode of being.  It will certainly help with broadening your view and understanding the bigger picture of things.

-Pascal

Yu Wei and Wu Wei

Two concepts you will often hear mentioned in our classes are Yu Wei and Wu Wei. Yu Wei translates as intention or action, and Wu Wei as non-action or non-doing.

When you start to practice chi kung, you will have an experience of wu wei, doing nothing. This can be a beautiful place to be, not needing to change anything and being able to rest exactly where you are.

But you might also have aims and objectives that you want to get from your practice. This is yu wei: setting an intention for a specific outcome.

Learning to use intention to direct your energy, then letting go is a useful skill in Chi Kung practice. It's also really useful in everyday life - knowing when to act, what's the right amount of action, and when to let things be.

 

 

This is a clip from one of the Friday morning Fundamentals of Energy Flow for Health classes. If you're interested in learning these kinds of skills, you can book the class and drop in any time. Payment for the morning classes is by donation.

Energy Management with Qigong

Do you find your energy levels go up and down through the day? Do you find your energy gets depleted in certain situations?

Qigong practice can give you techniques for energy management to use throughout the day, maintaining and enhancing your energy levels.

Sometimes we might want to increase our energy or focus, perhaps if we have something we need to get done. Sometimes we will want to feel more relaxed, especially when we are practicing in the evening before bed. At other times we might want more of a balance between being energised and calm.

It's useful to know how to adjust our practice so we can make it work for what we need at that particular moment.

We can use qigong as a tool for energy management by learning some simple techniques.

This is a clip from the Fundamentals of Energy Flow for Health class, every Friday, 9-9.30am.

If you're interested in learning some skills to help you manage your energy, you can book a class here, or contact us for more details. You are welcome to join, whether you are a complete beginner or have done qigong before.

Developing health and resilience

Winter is approaching in the northern hemisphere, and here in the UK it's getting cold and damp. So it's useful to have effective ways of keeping ourselves healthy and building our resilience.

This is a time when naturally we want to do less, stay warm and hibernate to some extent. But our busy lives mean that for most of us this is impossible. Depletion of our energy and internal resources can be more likely at this time of year.

In the weekly classes at the moment, we're exploring ways we can use body, mind and energy skills to build our energy and nourish ourselves. We're using techniques that give us more energy and vitality, while being gentle and kind to ourselves.

We are really lucky to have access to these time tested mind-body-energy exercises. They have been used to keep people strong and healthy for thousands of years. And over the years these ancient practices have been refined and developed, evolving to stay alive and relevant today.

 

 

In this 3 min video, Tim talks about how in Fully Alive, we continue to explore and stay curious. We are finding simple, effective ways we can use the techniques and skills of Chi Kung and the Shaolin arts in our everyday lives.