How Interesting: Jaime Lee presents Qigong exercise at Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center
Every other Friday afternoon at 4, a new exercise class, Qigong, is being offered at Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center. Led by volunteer Jaime Lee, the next class is October 7th. It is free to members of the Center at 3201 Hillcrest Road in west Mobile. Lee also teaches a Saturday class every other week at Semmes Public Library.
According to the National Qigong Association (http://nqa.org/about-nqa/what-is-qigong/), Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention, and, Lee said, the slow repetitious motions can be midified to fit any person's physical condition.
Lee is well-qualified for her position as instructor. "I've been practicing this exercise for more than 20 years; while growing up in Thailand, I attended traditional Thai Massage Therapy school, which includes qigong exercise that can reduce stress and hypertension, increase vitality and improve balance," Lee said.
The Qigong website gives the following information about the exercise: "The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality."
The site is very helpful in understanding the origin, the movements and the benefits of Qigong.
More relevant, however, may be the comments of Lee's students. Maggie Lawson, who recently had eye surgery, the exercise has helped with balance (there are chair backs to hold onto, so no danger of falling.) Donna Burnham finds that the breathing exercises have a calming effect, helps her to focus and ultimately, aids in making decisions.
Don't let the idea of gentle stretching, controlled breathing and slow movements of Qigong fool you: If you follow Jaime Lee's lead, you will "feel the burn" and you WILL break a sweat!
For information on this class or the many others offered at the Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Center, call 251-602-4963 for a list of events.