Free Qigong Class Oct. 6 At Noon In Butterfly Garden

Isabel Shaw, Staff Writer of The Current

“Qigong practice can help reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality and positively impact your immune system. The benefits are profound,” said Maxine Forster Guenther, MA. a certified instructor of Integral Qigong. “The practice is easy to learn and welcomes students with all levels of ability.”

On October 6 at noon, Guenther will be teaching a Qigong class to Brookdale students. She is a member of the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (, the National Qigong Association ( and the Qigong Institute ( She also holds a master’s degree in human development and behavior.

The Innovation Network (TIN) is sponsoring the free Qigong class as part of the “Blossoming at Brookdale” series for Brookdale students and friends.

What exactly is Qigong? (Chigung)

“Qi is often referred to as “the vital life force” and gong simply means to practice,” explained Guenther. “To learn Qigong is to practice moving that vital life force energy for purposes of balance, good health and healing.”

This ancient healing method has been practiced in China and Tibet for thousands of years. Practiced standing (or sitting, depending on one’s ability), the gentle movements improve balance and enhance relaxation.

Qigong classes begin with creative warm-up exercises. Then students are taught the slow, gentle movements, integrating physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.
Qigong’s psychological and physical components include creative visualizations, repetitive movements, synchronized breathing and the belief that the body holds the potential to heal itself. It is believed that Qigong helps one become aware of the flow of one’s own life force energy, or qi (chi).

“As you practice Qigong, you will notice that there is an important connection between earth, your body and the heavens or the universe,” Guenther said. “The beautiful Tai Ji or yin/yang symbol expresses the balance of energies flowing between yin (the earth) and yang (the heavens). In Qigong practice, we use movement and intention to connect with those energies.”

The class will be outdoors in the Monarch Butterfly Waystation and Meditation Garden, on the lower patio (west facing) of the Student Life Center. In case of rain, an indoor space will be announced.

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