Integrated Strategies for Whole Person Fitness, Episode 5

by Chip Richards |  Date Released : 16 Sep 2011

Following our overview look at the Congruence Wheel in Episode 1, our closer examination of the inner faculties of the Mental Body in Episode 2, the cultivation of our emotional outcomes with the Emotional Body in Episode 3 and the “external alignment” of the actions of our Physical Body in Episode 4, today’s video explores the sum of all these parts — the “Energy” of what we do. Today’s video session is not a comprehensive study of energy, but rather a doorway into an ancient martial and healing art called Qi Gong. Qi (life, air, breath) Gong (cultivation, power, achievement) quite literally means “life force cultivation” and has been used throughout China for thousands of years as a tool for bringing health and vitality to individuals of all walks of life. In China there are Qi Gong hospitals that use Qi Gong exclusively to treat clients and patients with a wide variety of (often terminal) diseases and medical conditions. Many people resort to Qi Gong after they have exhausted the conventional medicine pathway, sometimes when they have been given very little time to live, and the success rate in these programs is truly astounding. When a patient arrives at a Qi Gong hospital, they become a “student,” with the basic philosophy that if the body can effectively cultivate and harmonize more Qi, then it will efficiently heal and bring itself back into balance. In Episode 5 we introduce the first in a series of Qi Gong movements from the Shaolin tradition, called “Lift the Sky.” The “Lift the Sky” movement is a simple movement that can be done any time during the day and is often used in my own training sessions with clients as a conclusion to our time together, and a chance for the client to center themselves for the day ahead. The “Lift the Sky” movement has three basic parts – inhale, pause and exhale – and in essence is an acknowledgement of our unique partnership with the Universe. We bring our Qi to the partnership with our inhale, we “give it over” in the pause between inhale and exhale, and we allow ourselves to accept the Qi and life force of the universe as we exhale. Simple. Easy. Profound. Qi Gong is a bit like a “Trojan horse” with our clients in that it sort of sneaks in through the back door in a very subtle way, and yet as it is woven effectively into their daily practice, it can have a truly powerful and lasting impact on their energy, vitality, healing and performance – in fitness, sport and life. Personally, I have found very few activities in life that have such a consistently positive and tangible influence on virtually every area of my life. Take some time to explore your Energy Body in your training sessions this month. Stay tuned for our next step on the path to creating integrated, whole person strategies into the training environment with clients and athletes of all levels.

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Chip Richards

About the author: Chip Richards

Formerly ranked #1 in the US for Freestyle Skiing, Chip served as head coach of the 1998 Australian Olympic Freestyle Ski Team and has mentored Olympic athletes (including four World Champions) from six nations. For the past 11 years, Chip has taken his passion for coaching into various business and creative industries. Merging ancient wisdom with the "inner science" of transformative change, Chip has guided film makers, musicians, business leaders, adventurers and wellness professionals on their journey of self discovery. In 2005, following eight years as Editor for PTontheNET, Chip founded the 4th Dimension Holistic Life Coach and Leadership program, aimed at empowering individuals to transform their lives. An internationally published writer and storyteller, Chip has published a variety of written works on the subject of human development, consciousness and wellbeing.

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