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Susan Sandage, L.Ac, Dipl.O.M., M.S.O.M, RN, BS, BA View Entire Blog

Nurturing Qi Throughout the Week

6/27/2012
One of the goals of an acupuncture treatment is to balance the flow of qi, or life force, through the body. Yet in day-to-day life, the flow of qi can become obstructed as a result of your experiences, health, ability to cope with stress, or any number of factors. AHS wanted to further support the acupuncture community by offering regular opportunities to help you maintain balance and harmony in your life. With the help of some gifted instructors, we have incorporated yoga, breathwork, and t’ai chi classes into the clinic. The common theme among the classes offered at AHS is restoration. Participants leave not feeling depleted of energy for their efforts, but carrying something more than their mats home with them: perhaps more openness where there was constriction, newfound awareness of what is around and within, or fresh inspiration for the week ahead.

Similarly to acupuncture, certain types of yoga work to move life force (which in the yogic tradition is called prana, or breath). The hatha-style class—Restorative Yoga–taught by Susan Kaplan draws awareness to the breath and body by moving through gentle stretches and balancing postures. While encouraging participants to breathe and take poses at their own pace, Susan creates an environment that is ideal for beginners but allows plenty of room for progression. The class helps to quiet the mind and release tension stored in the body.

Restorative Breathworks, taught by Lara Kain, offers a chance to get comfortable on your mat with a pillow or blanket. The class practices breathing and gentle stretching techniques that can open up the body and mind to release stress. Yet it will become clear after a few minutes in this class that much of the breathwork is accomplished by way of laughter. The dynamic class is at once high-spirited and relaxing, and the energy shared among the participants is bountiful enough to leave everyone feeling uplifted by the time the class draws to an end.

T’ai chi, an ancient Chinese martial art that has been shown to offer health benefits throughout life, is an excellent way to work on awareness, breath, and balance. Recent scientific research has shown it to have positive effects that span generations: from increasing well-being in college students to improving balance and coordination in the elderly. Pat Hoke is a certified and experienced T’ai Chi instructor who will be forming a class at AHS in the coming months. She would love to hear from those interested, and you can contact her at the number listed in the class schedule.

Group classes can offer a convenient and enjoyable way to nurture your qi throughout the week. All are offered in the upstairs loft of Acupuncture and Herbal Solutions; space is limited, so check out the class schedule and be sure to contact the instructor if you’re interested in trying a class.