Learning to relax
“Relax, relax the body.”
I regularly hear myself saying this in Qigong class.
Every person who comes to a Qigong class troubled by a tense and stressful body wants nothing more.
To feel relaxation.
When I myself, in the last century, started doing Qigong, my body didn’t know what relaxing was about.
I had to learn, learn what a relaxed body feels like.
I had to learn what I had to do to achieve this.
Rather, what I had to stop doing in order to create tension.
How to do it?
How do you relax a body that actually doesn’t know how to do that yet.
How do you know if you have achieved it?
My dog Lotus could explain this to me perfectly at the time, a wise animal.
To relax is to make yourself very heavy.
When Lotus didn’t want to go somewhere, she would put herself on the ground and make her whole body heavy.
Then I tried to lift her up, which did not succeed without difficulty and so she could mostly stay where she wanted to stay.
Lotus was a fairly small dog of less than 10 kilos, in a relaxed state she felt as heavy as 20 kilos.
So this is how you do it.
You let go of all your muscles and you let gravity do its work.
The energy of mother earth, or rather the attraction of mother earth brings you closer to her.
She helps you with grounding.
Our earth is the most stable attachment figure there is, she is always there, she carries you.
For some reason we are quick to move towards the sky, like to live in our heads.
Heaven is also a stable factor, but it usually feels less solid in your body to connect with it.
You don’t feel grounded at all.
The body sends signals to the brain that you are holding yourself up against gravity.
And often we don’t even know why.
Often we can’t remember what it feels like to not be doing this.
And then we start looking for methods to get the discomfort, the tension, out of our bodies.
In practicing Qigong, you learn how to release the tension.
You learn how to make your body feel wonderfully much heavier and more grounded.
You learn to let go of the thoughts and emotions that cause you to focus too much toward the sky, and let you live in your head.
Distribute your energy wisely, make yourself heavy, let the energy of mother earth help you to release your muscles and tension in your body.