Annie writing today! I had a lightbulb moment during my routine colonoscopy last week. (Side note, had to have due to family history).
If you’ve ever had one, or any minor surgery, you know what I’m talking about when I say that hospitals are just cold and intimidating! There are so many machines, so many hallways, and so many people asking for your name and birthdate every time they enter the room you are in. I’m glad I knew this was a very minor and routine thing – it would have been far too easy to get nervous and worked up especially as the (very kind and thorough) nurses stuck and pasted all kinds of monitoring equipment on me. I could feel my blood pressure taken every five minutes and hear my heart rate at all times.
Which brings me to the point…I could hear (and see on the monitor) my heart rate at all times. An endless beep…beep…beep. And given my growing feelings of stress (being in the environment of the hospital and all), I decided it was a perfect time to practice a little stillness qigong meditation to stay calm.
It took me a minute to let the hospital environment around me fade away and quiet my thoughts. Then I focused on my Dan Tien and I literally watched my heart rate drop in real time to a more normal (for me) 55, then even lower. I got it all the way to 41 for a few minutes, just by staying in my qi state! And yes, this was before I had any medication.
This experience is an incredible reminder that we can use the calmness we learn and cultivate with our Qigong and Qi-Lates (qigong + pilates) practices, and translate it into helping us through stressful situations. Imagine the instances where this could help….stressful work meetings, commuting to/from work using public transportation OR in bumper to bumper traffic using your own car, disciplining a child or pet, worrying about politics or money, or even something more simple like watching a scary movie.
At LightSpace we use this practice to teach our clients how to cultivate a deeper internal focus. Why is this important….? Because Pilates and Qigong complement each other! Qigong movements and meditation help release superficial physical tension that create imbalances in posture and alignment, often leading to injury. Once this tension is released, it is much easier to activate the deeper core muscles of the abdominal wrap. These muscles provide stability, support, and flexibility for more efficient movement patterns, but are particularly difficult to access.
The result? An awesome workout for the physical body combined with improved energetic flow. And the amazing feeling of having meditated for an hour!