What is Qigong?
Qi – pronounced “chee” means energy as well as breath
Gong – pronounced “gung” means work or skill
Qi is the invisible, immaterial substance that propagates life and animates our bodies with movement. Energy is in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the emotions we feel. Energy is within our bodies and permeates all of nature. Quantum physicists and mystics from all ages agree that we are literally made of and living within a limitless sea of energy.
Gong is the methodology by which one learns the techniques and skills of working with energy.
Qigong exercise signifies an expertise of working with life force energy. It is considered the ultimate energy workout originating in China thousands of years ago. Qigong is uniquely suited to relieving stress, boosting the immune, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems, and increasing the body’s innate healing potential.
The practice of Qigong combines synchronized movement with breath, stretches, standing postures and flowing movements performed with a calm, unhurried focused mind. Qigong movements mirror the movement of nature, especially the fluidity of water. Qigong creates a better understanding of our life force energy as a bridge between ourselves, the earth, and the universe and provides a deep connection to nature.
Try Qigong Now
My lifelong passion for teaching movement evolves from my early years as a professional dancer in New York and Los Angeles after receiving my BA in Dance from Butler University. My innate desire to help others move with freedom, gain self-awareness and to access inner peace is the catalyst for over 25 years of teaching experience to students of all ages in NY, LA and Chicago.
I have been studying, practicing, and teaching the art and science of Qigong for over 10 years. I received my Qigong teaching certification from Lee Holden at the Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine Center in 2011. In addition to Qigong, I currently teach gentle yoga and yin yoga with a certification from Paul Grilley. Meditation is an integral part of my daily practice and teaching. I have studied meditation in person with Sharon Salzburg, Rick Hanson and Elesa Commerse.
Qigong nurtures through meditative breathing, gentle stretches and focused attention. By rooting the mind into the body, it becomes clear, stable and calm. Learning to move with freedom helps calm the nervous system and releases habitual holding patterns of tension.
Working one on one, April designs each session with your unique circumstances and needs in mind. Working with the energy of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations you will learn to integrate and bring harmony within oneself. By focusing inward, you will become familiar with your life force energy also called "chi". Qigong techniques help you feel your chi and teach you how to direct it and focus it for the purpose of self-healing and inspiration.
In addition to working with internal energy, April will teach you how to tap into external energy. There is an infinite amount of energy always available to you from the Earth, Nature and the Universe. Learn how to become receptive and absorb, contain and harness this energy.
Relaxation is the first step to opening the flow of life force energy and allowing it to move freely and smoothly within oneself. Learning simple breathing techniques will help you balance the nervous system thus awakening the body's natural healing potential.
A session typically includes the following: breathing exercises, joint mobility movements, stretches, flows and meditation.
April's influence on my life and well being is immeasurable. Over the last 8 years, I learned to practice yoga and Qi gong in her weekly classes. April leads yoga classes that are restorative and nurturing. She has an extensive understanding of the body and helps every student to find the correct adaptation of poses that are most beneficial for each individual. April's background as a professional dancer and dance teacher brings another dimension of beautiful and correct form to her movements. April is verbally articulate in presenting all that she teaches and she is physically articulate in her movements, which made learning Qi gong from her deeply meaningful for me. April is passionate about the work she does and about sharing it with her students. I will always be grateful for all that I have learned from her.
Julia K., Illinois