Q & A with Instructor Rebecca Gould
As we move deeper into winter, it’s a good time to consider how we can best care for ourselves, in both mind and body. Qigong is a mind-body-spirit practice featuring regulation of breath, body movement and posture, and meditation. We checked in with Qigong Instructor Rebecca Gould to find out how the practice has helped her, and her students, weather these pandemic months.
Has your Sheng Zhen Qigong practice been helpful to you during the pandemic?
Sheng Zhen has been a very supportive practice during this pandemic--both for me and for my students. During classes, we call it "Sheng Zhen vacation time"-- our time to take a break from whatever is happening in the world or in our personal lives. A time to just relax the body and mind and let go of worries. A time to enjoy the present moment. When in-person classes stopped in March 2020, I immediately switched over to online, and my students continue to thank me for moving on that so quickly. Feedback I’ve received includes, "This is the first time I've smiled in two weeks," and "Thank you so much, I really needed that today."
Can you be more specific? How can be Sheng Zhen be helpful? How might it help students get through these winter months and beyond?
Sheng Zhen, especially Awakening the Soul, can really help us get through tough times because it's not just about going through the motions. It's about really feeling and embodying things like peace, unconditional love, compassion, and calm. It helps people feel grounded, safe, provided for (by qi, the universe, the earth, etc).
There is also the community and connection aspect of taking a class, even if just online. Coming together to share the practice, to practice together, to learn together, amplifies the good energy. Sheng Zhen helps us not only bring in "good vibes" by cultivating qi and the pure energy of love, but it also helps us remove and let go of stagnant/stuck energy. It helps us clean and clear any "murky qi" and therefore improve our mental health and our physical wellbeing. Especially during these darker winter months, having an uplifting practice is important. And Sheng Zhen is very uplifting! The movements, plus the contemplations, are very supportive, inspirational, soothing, and even "happy-making."
What can students expect when they take a virtual Qigong class with you?
If they've never done a virtual class before, there may be a small learning curve. But they'll get the hang of it. I'll sometimes stop what I'm doing to come closer to the screen in order to see each of them better, checking their movements so I can provide feedback and corrections. There will be time for Q & A and conversation. Some of the time they'll get to close their eyes, which will be a great break from looking at the screen, especially if they have Zoom fatigue!