Balance body, mind and spirit

The ancient practice of Qi Gong offers soothing relief in anxious times.

Each morning as the sun’s first rays warm the hillsides of Tallebudgera Valley in the Gold Coast hinterland, guests at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat turn their faces to the light to bring balance to body, mind and spirit with Qi Gong.

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese practice. It began as a way of introducing flow back into the body to bring the life-giving force, Qi (pronounced chee) to restore wellness and harmony.

While Gwinganna was temporarily closed to help contain the spread of COVID-19, the retreat released a Qi Gong flow session on its YouTube channel for people to stay connected to their sense of self at home.

Traditionally, Qi Gong is practised in the early morning, outdoors facing the sun with feet bare on the earth if possible.  

If you don’t have that sort of spot, just find a comfortable place to complete the routine which takes about 30 to 40 minutes.

“Medical Qi Gong has been used for centuries as a way of bringing the renewed energy, Qi, to the organs so they can be replenished and heal,” Gwinganna’s Emotional Wellbeing Manager and Equine Therapist Megan Bardsley said.

“In Western medicine, Qi Gong assists in flushing the lymphatic system, cleansing the organs and enabling the body to breathe a deep, cleansing, full breath.

“It brings harmony and balance, not only on a physiological level but also on the mental level, helping reduce stress and anxiety. 

“At times such as these, Qi Gong is an ideal exercise because it assists us in keeping our internal world calm; in a moment of potential turmoil, it can bring balance back.”

Ms Bardsley’s experience with Qi Gong started after a major health crisis 15 years ago.

“It brought gentle movement back to a body that was healing, and balance to me, having previously pushed the limits with overtraining,” she said.

“It taught me to find the quiet that is inherent in each moment, even when weathering life’s many storms.

“And its greatest gift has been connecting me back to my breath, which helps me to be centred and present.”

Using Gwinganna’s Qi Gong YouTube video, everyone can feel the flow of Qi. Practice at home and take the time to breathe and send positive energy back into the world.