When I lived in New York, I enjoyed getting up early to go practice Qigong in the city parks. At dawn in parks all over New York, something magical (and often amusing) happens.
And it’s not just New York. Wherever there is a large Chinese community, whether it is San Francisco or Beijing, you see the same thing: dozens of Chinese people gathering at dawn — rain or shine — to exercise.
If you visit one of these parks, you’ll see…
- …people practicing many different forms of Qigong and Tai Chi.
- …esoteric forms of Kung Fu.
- …people doing push ups and sit ups.
- …people practicing the Tai Chi Sword and other weapons.
- …lots and lots of dancing.
Yes. Dancing. Like it’s the most normal thing in the world for a group of adults to be dancing to music at dawn. (And maybe it is!)
The video below is beautiful done, and gives you a wonderful glimpse into what happens every morning in Chinese parks all around the world. This particular video looks like it was shot in the Temple of Earth Park in Beijing, China. (If anyone knows where this video originally comes from, then please let me know so that I can give credit.)
If you are interested in Qigong and Tai Chi, then it’s worth the watch. The video is about 8 minutes long. Here are some of the highlights:
- At 1:15, a man is doing an unusual version of Single Whip.
- At 1:56 a man is enjoying Cloud Hands similar to the way that we do it.
- At 2:23 a group of elderly people are practicing Playing the Lute.
- At 3:05, there’s a guy who looks like he’s practicing Carrying The Moon!
- At 3:25 an elderly man is doing some beautiful Tai Chi Sword (Jian) work.
- At 4:11 the dancing begins! (I think this music is edited, but they typically have music.)
- At 5:48 a woman is…well…it looks like she’s slapping her butt!
- At 6:15 there’s a man leading a class, with some Westerners participating too.
- At 7:37 they begin to wave goodbye to us.
Have any of you been to a park like this, either in Asia or somewhere else? If so, then please share your experiences below!Mindfully yours, Sifu Anthony I’m Anthony Korahais, and I used qigong to heal from clinical depression, low back pain, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. I’ve already taught thousands of people from all over the world how to use qigong for their own stubborn health challenges. As the director of Flowing Zen and a board member for the National Qigong Association, I'm fully committed to helping people with these arts. In addition to my blog, I also teach online courses and offer in-person retreats and workshops.