This month’s blog post is from the files of ‘Awesome Questions Asked By My Students’, which I often find can be informative for everyone, and is the reason why I encourage anyone in my classes not to be shy and to ask away when they want to know something. A student who completed Qigong for Stress and Anxiety wrote me asking about some of the other energetic practices they had been exploring since beginning their Qigong practice. This included yoga, reiki, Mindfulness Meditation, and binaural beats (sounds at a specific hertz to induce a specific brain wave pattern). Being a good student, they wanted to make sure that none of these things were incompatible with Qigong or worked against those skills in any way. Gold star for you for asking.
So, this begs the question, should one avoid these practices if doing Qigong? Would they detract from your practice?
Generally speaking, as long as you are following the instructions and practicing to the best of your ability, there is no problem with enjoying other areas of energy cultivation. In honesty, I would caution people against practicing multiple Qigong styles at once, as someone might accidentally import an instruction from one style into another, which could potentially cause harm (e.g. some styles use visualization, Cosmos Qigong does not). But outside of this exception, exploring these other modalities may actually enhance your Qigong practice!
Yoga requires flexibility, a calm mind, and good balance. Qigong cultivates all of these things. Meditation requires a relaxed body and ability to be aware of and let go of thoughts. Sound familiar? Binaural beats can facilitate a mind state where deeper Qigong practice is possible. In short, many of these things complement and enhance the other.
Humorously, I don’t think I would’ve ever had the mental discipline for seated meditation were it not for Qigong. If you remember my ‘Put Crap in, Get Crap Out’ post, you’ll recall how I discussed this natural gravitation towards healthier and more wholesome things as one builds a stronger and deeper Qigong practice. Exploration of other energetic modalities is an expression of that gravitation.
Your practice is just that and certainly does require that you be mindful (no pun intended) of the rules. Beyond that, there are so many things out there that can enhance our emotional and spiritual development while deepening our own Qigong practice that you could say it’s only natural that you may start to explore them. As long as it’s not directly detracting from your training, enjoy and see how it enriches everything else!