What are Practice Groups?
Practice groups are a natural outgrowth of existing classes. They are established to promote easy access and ongoing practice for current or returning students. Some practice groups are led by students; some are led by certified instructors. Most practice groups are free unless a nominal fee is charged for the facility.
What do we do during Practice Groups?
Regardless of how long or short the practices are, all practice groups spend some amount of time doing warms ups, and then they do the 1st Set Dayan Qigong Form . . . or as much of the 1st Set as they have learned. Often they practice the 1st Set Form one or two times.
Some groups add standing meditation, and groups with a lot of advanced students who have already taken 2nd Set Dayan Qigong classes might practice the 1st and 2nd Set of Dayan Qigong, ending with the 1st Set again.
During each practice, pick one person to lead the group. It’s always helpful to have a list of warm-ups with you. (Ask your instructor for one, or bring your book.)
Start on time—even if only one or two have arrived. If you find you are the only one that day, do the practice anyway!
Some chatting during warm-ups is fine, as long as it does not distract from the exercises. Standing Mediation and the Form are done in silence.
How long are the practices?
Practice groups usually take about one hour. Groups with a lot of advanced students usually take approximately one and a half hours because after the warm-ups, they practice the 1st , 2nd, and 1st Sets of Dayan Qigong in a sequence.
What if we get stuck or cannot remember what to do?
Ideally, there is at least one person in the group who knows the Form well. If not, you can still practice. If the group gets to a point where no one is sure what move comes next, stop and close, as you would do normally in class.
Spend a few minutes trying to remember – it may come back to you! If not, talk to your teacher during your next class—or check the DVD or your book. Over time, everyone in the group will become more grounded in the Form. That’s the beauty of ongoing practice.
What about corrections?
We strongly suggest that no one give anyone else unsolicited feedback on how he or she is doing the warm-ups or the Form.
On the other hand, if someone asks for clarification on a warm-up or a move, by all means, help him or her as best you can.
Again, if everyone is stumped about what to do, talk to your teacher during your next class—or check the DVD or your book.
How are Practice Group leaders selected?
Practice Groups are about practice . . . not about perfection. They are a great way to strengthen, gain confidence, or improve activities learned in class. Practice groups should be fun, collegial, and efficient, and it is always a good idea to rotate the leadership among the core members who attend practices regularly.
Leading in this case only means being the person who moves the group through the warm-ups, starts and ends standing meditation, and starts the Form—No teaching or giving instruction. This might be the same person each week in the beginning, but we strongly suggest that leadership role be rotated so that more people have an opportunity to gain some confidence leading the group.
How do you form a Practice Group?
It can start with just one person who picks a day, time and location that works well for his or her schedule. Let your instructor and classmates know, so they can join you and help spread the word. Once you have a group of 3-5 people who like to practice at the same time and place routinely, pick a start date and let your instructor know that it’s okay to share that practice group information with others.
Note: Every practice group listed on QigongClasses.info must have a contact person.