It is almost May, which means that my one year anniversary of practicing Sensual Qigong is soon approaching. Qigong, like yoga, became a safe space for me where I could escape my mind and express myself. After reflecting on my year with Joyce Virani, I realized that I’ve learned many concepts which have enhanced my life and I wanted to share a few of them.
Accept compliments. Although a simple concept, accepting compliments is probably something you do less often than you think. It is common that when we are complimented, we feel urged to dismiss it. As Joyce says, when someone compliments your shirt, for example, refrain from replying: “Oh, this old thing?”. Instead, breathe in the compliment and say thank you. You do not need to feel compelled to regurgitate a nice comment back at them, just let them know you appreciate it.
Walk with your hips. I remember the day that Joyce introduced the class to hip-walking. What is hip-walking? Doesn’t everyone walk with their hips? Hip-walking is something you can integrate into your everyday life. When you walk, avoid being stiff and brash. Try being soft, slow your pace, feel your hips move. When you tune into your body (and I have heard other’s stories which also attest to this), your energy is better received and you can find pleasure in everyday mannerisms. Remember: you must move different when you want different.
Understand how people receive affection. Joyce introduced me to a book called “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. After reading this book, I gained an understanding of the 5 ways most people perceive affection: Words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. This novel has helped me comprehend how both myself and others receive care. Personally, I discovered I am touched through words of affirmation. To me, hearing positive reinforcement speaks more volume (literally) than acts of service done for me. However, I realize this may be the other way around for some people. So be mindful. You could think you are giving all the love in the world to someone, yet your affection does not reach them. I believe that when you grow close with others, understanding how they accept love and sentiment will help you to better serve their needs.
Do not be burdened by the fear of other’s judgement. I talked about this in my very first blog post, but dancing in Sensual Qigong has helped me overcome my insecurity of other’s judgement. While it is not easy to do, stepping outside of your comfort zone is the first step in becoming more secure and confident in yourself. So go to places alone, start up conversations with strangers, or maybe dance wildly in Qigong class. All situations which push you outside of your normal routine will help you slowly overcome worrying about what others think.
While Joyce has taught me so much more, the broader concepts and lessons I have learned are harder to explain. I do feel slightly weird giving advice as only a 16 year old, but these are concepts that can be understood and practiced at practically any age~