Volunteer Blog: From Gardening to Qigong - Healthwatch Hillingdon's Virtual Wellbeing Day

A Healthwatch Hillingdon Volunteer details their experiences with Qigong at their second Wellbeing Day.
Volunteer Blog - From Gardening to Qigong - Healthwatch Hillingdon's Virtual Wellbeing Day

Summer has arrived late this August. I have managed to stretch the Wi-Fi signal from the house, so that my laptop sits with me on the grass in the garden. Laughter and useful tips float across my screen as, yet again, I try to absorb the magical techniques of successful gardening.

It is my second Wellbeing Day that I have attended online with Hillingdon Healthwatch. Free, fun, and with the ability to participate as much or as little as you want – I couldn’t think of anything better to invite into my garden on a lazy afternoon. Plus, I am a sucker for trying something new.

And today is full of new things for me. An introduction to Qigong. An insight into Sound therapy.

I cycle through smooth motions and light stretches guided by an experienced and calming Qigong teacher. My fingers brush the grass. Tension releases from my shoulders as I ‘shoot the golden eagle’. It is strangely beautiful and only needing an armful of space in each direction it is wonderfully practical for the soft, self-contained exercise that I have come to rely on since lockdown. If you have space to stretch your arms out in every direction, then you are already half-doing Qigong.

But the physical movement is not the only benefit we get from Qigong. As we are now discovering more and more, the physical and the mind are inextricably linked. I close my eyes for the moment of meditation at the end. My body is loose and vibrating from the patterns of motion. The warmth from the sun prickling my skin mirrors the warm tingling within. I am grounded. Coming back to nature, I take a deep breath heady with dahlias.

Not only have I had the chance to experience the interesting movements of Qigong, I have also had a glimpse into the meaning of it. The connectedness. Returning to the feeling we have inside of us. In a world that is increasingly hectic on the outside, ‘wellness’ can be found in the little grounding moments of ‘me’.  We should grasp with both hands any new experiences we have that can teach us about them. Hillingdon Healthwatch Wellbeing Days allow you to do just that!

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