“We’re going to dance now,” Joyce said.
Dance? Dancing was not something I was comfortable doing, especially in a room full of strangers. I looked around apprehensively at the unfamiliar faces surrounding me, wondering if they would judge me for how I moved. Before I could let my thoughts get the best of me, the music began playing. So I turned around, faced the wall, and danced. And it was uncomfortable. And it was just as weird as I imagined it would be. But yet I felt a sense of liberation.
Last May was the first time I tried Sensual Qigong. As I browsed the Yoga schedule, the name of this class peaked my interest and I decided to try it out at least once. I was 15 at the time and the youngest in the circle of women whom I practice with.
As I entered the studio, I sat down in the circle and greeted the new faces around me. My instructor, Joyce Virani, began by dropping a blend of delicious essential oils into our hands which we massaged onto our bodies. We then began with tapping. We tapped the crowns of our heads, our faces, chests, arms, legs, feet, back, etc.. The purpose of tapping is to awaken and move the energy around in your body– what Qigong is all about. Then came the dancing.
It took multiple classes for me to get comfortable with dancing. Every time a new member joins the class, I see a small look of panic gloss over their face when Joyce announces that it is time to dance. Although I used to be that person, Joyce has helped me overcome my fear of moving freely and recklessly with abandon. I now dance, shake, and jump wildly around the room, paying no mind to what others may think.
The dancing is followed by several body movements. We shake away anxiety and grief and invite in our wishes and desired feelings. We manifest our dreams and set intentions. There is even a portion of the class where we yell– as loud as we want– and push away what we do not need. With the love and support from each other, we also welcome in what we DO need, whatever it may be.
So why the oils, tapping, dancing, shaking, yelling?
It is a sensual practice. This means that when we practice we engage all of our senses. Engaging my senses helps me listen to my body and tune into what I need. Joyce and her practice of Sensual Qigong has helped me live my life more freely, clearly, and of course sensually. After going to Qigong for over 6 months now, it is a practice I would recommend to those willing to step outside their comfort zone. Please share your experience with Qigong if you ever try it~
Me and my Sensual Qigong teacher Joyce.
The circle which we practice around.
One of the cards I picked from the Oracle deck we draw from every class.