Qigong in the Waves

This resort, the Andaman White Beach Resort, is only 15 minutes from the airport but manages to be nestled away from the central tourist areas. The narrow and windy road to the resort blends with the coastal local communities of small huts, chickens, dogs, and a multitude of motor scooters. However, the drivers here seem to have figured out how to relatively drive safe while driving on these narrow roads. The Andaman Sea is right at the footsteps of this resort with its venue of 3 different restaurants. The pool restaurant was the favorite as it served fresh daily fish and an assortment of Thai and western style menus.  Throughout the resort Christmas music hummed about ironically reminding us of the cooler weather usually associated with this season.  In fact, a myriad of Christmas trees and lights jot the Thailand landscape with its commercial undertones sans the Christian iconic symbols.

Phuket is a coveted destination for those seeking refuge, respite, and holistic healing. Many of the latest methods of physical and spiritual healing can be found among the various resorts on the island. Some of the healing modalities include rebirthing, crystal and color healing, and the use of local organic plants and herbs for massage treatments. The practice and energy of qigong fits right in.

Learning Qigong can benefit a person in surprising ways. One of my students, Annie, a senior citizen, attempted to play in the waves but after being tossed about she gave up and forlornly pulled back to sit on her towel.  After we talked about it, it became clear that her anxieties about the oncoming waves were a reminder of old emotional and physical traumas. Bravely, she accompanied me back to the shore line, gently taking firmed rooted steps as she began to feel the lapping of the water around her feet.  With her following steps she gained more confidence and after 20 minutes of belly button breathing, rooting and lowering her center of gravity – basic Qigong exercises – she was able to hold her own in the surf while the waves rolled around her knees.

It was evident to her that she referred to the waves as an onslaught of the traumas she had to endure as a child.  Her Qigong walking and rooting therefore translated into psychologically holding her own and not succumbing to old fearful reactions.  Later, she courageously accepted an invitation to row around the bay to a cove, and we were soon paddling through the surf to the cove where she proudly dove into the warm tropical sea swimming with delight and her confidence intact.

By the way, this resort also has one of the best swimming pools I’ve ever seen – I was able to swim laps in a pool that seamlessly melded with the tropical setting. They incorporated the natural landscape of the jungle foliage into the facilities nicely.  In the evening the adjoining pool side restaurant prepared fresh seafood with fruits and vegetables from local fisherman and farmers. Aside from the inevitable nuisance of mosquitoes, being immersed in the azure colored Andaman sea, among the lush deep green tropical forests, we understood why this island is one of the chosen places to let go and to be one with oneself.  I can’t wait to return here to explore more opportunities for healing, snorkeling, diving, sunbathing, and simply learning to be.

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