How body wind exploration got me back the groove

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews / 23 July) – “Does a Yoga master get sick?” A friend teased me when I told him I got ill. I am not sure if I find that funny. I am not a master or an expert. I am simply, like the others, a Hatha (exercise) Yoga student.

Though I have been an instructor for four years, I know I have to learn more. That, I think, keeps me going, discipline, passion and all. But I did get sick the summer heat wave got me. I was outdoors for days and my blood pressure went ballistic. It rose to 184 over 114 and didn’t stabilize for days and dragged on for weeks.

The inconvenience made me feel miserable and depressed and wondered why, of all people, did this happen to me. I took a doctor’s prescription but pursued alternative medicine and struggled to be strong and normal.

I would not do Asanas (yoga exercises), afraid I would fall when doing standing postures. Then I thought, why not do body wind exploration (Bwe)? I actually invented the name and the program. It was inspired from Tai chi and Qigong. Both are short warm-up “devices” I do with my Yoga class. But later I designed a one-hour session independent from the Yoga class. To think, earlier, I wasn’t too serious with both. I learned them from a lawyer-friend but I thought I don’t have the discipline and recall.

I felt burdened and lethargic but one day a thought (or was it a whisper?) ordered me to “chase the wind.” Chase the wind is Qigong “mirroring” exercise and is one of my favorites as it is calming and soothing, especially if done outdoors early morning and in the serenity of the room. Of course so do other gentle exercises (synchronized with the breath).

Sunrise, I do Bwe not just as an exercise but as a path to healing. I noticed doing it regularly balances my state of mind and regulates my physical self and got me long deep sleep. “Sleep repairs the body,” the acupuncturist said. I went to her every other day and believe both-Bwe and acupuncture are tools of healing.

A friend who for years complained of work burn-out and stress called me and asked how I was doing. I said I was feeling better and was exercising again. He seemed not convinced, telling he hasn’t seen me walking or jog and not even in the gym (never did the last two). For him an exercise means jogging, playing badminton and other competitive ball games. No “meditation-in-motion”, deep concentration and breath for him. But I understand his indifference. Who on Earth thinks slow-motion movement is the best exercise in the world? (More so if you’re past 40 years old.) Not my friend who is battling diabetes and other middle aged ailments.

Even in bed, in the sofa and the dining table, while sitting, my hands softly rising up and down, floating sideways and always aided with the right breath.

The body wind did help me find my health back. It restored my confidence and reinvigorates my senses. I look forward positively as I thank my blessings and tell myself: this is the best times of my life.