Practice, Gongs, New Habits

qigongpractice“It takes nine repetitions to form a new neural pattern, but it takes around a hundred repetitions to permanently stabilize that connection. The modern science of neuroplasticity validates the ancient science. That’s the reason we practice for a 100-day Gong” (from TheChiCenter)

More of Master Mingtong’s ideas: Gong means to practice but it goes beyond that. Gong means to work with the challenges of every day life through your practice. And just like you need to eat every day, consider that every day you need to care for your body by doing the de-stressing energy work of qigong. The body will contract every day with stress, so every day we need to practice, open the energy flow and connect with our bodies and let that stress go. Health is an every day choice.

Once you start qigong practice, you do start to notice the difference in your body on the days you do the practice and the days you do not.  I can attest to this for sure, especially once I started a consistent, daily practice. Here’s another ah ha–sometimes “if we’re doing things for others, we can be responsible for them and make sure those things happen, but if it comes to doing something for ourselves, it can be different”. We often put ourselves last, when the most important thing is to care for ourselves, to be self compassionate, to be in harmony with ourselves so that we CAN offer our best to others. When you start a qigong practice, it becomes a commitment to oneself for mental, physical and emotional health. That’s good stuff!

I resisted the idea of 100 day Gongs for awhile. I figured I’d do the practices when I could, did not want to be stressed by HAVING to do them for 100 days in a row. That sounded basically impossible, especially while working, traveling, etc. But then I got into the teaching certification program where gongs are required. Now that I’ve completed two gongs, I am now a gong advocate! When you are committed to doing a practice 100 days in a row, you find creative ways to complete your practices and FIND ways to make time. There is a little wiggle room. If you miss one day of practice, you may do two practices the next day, that helped me a few times. But in general, it’s also motivating to practice every day so you don’t have to double up! So then, once you have completed the gongs, those practices have become a part of your life. It feels weird not to do them! You figured it out. You made space for practice in your crazy, busy day. It’s a beautiful thing!

A great, not too over committed way to start would be a 10 minute per day practice–it’s good to start somewhere! So, let’s say you try to get up 10 minutes earlier, that would be best. But you miss that, so then there’s lunch time, or evening, or right before bed…you can do this! Remember, think of it like eating. Your body wants this energy nourishment every day for optimum health.

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