Qigong Teachers, Tevia Feng, and Lee Holden Josefina Weaver were part of a panel for the Qigong Global Summit on Becoming a Professional Qigong Teacher.
This interview is part of the Qigong Global Summit a free online event. For more information, please visit https://qigongglobalsummit.com. This recording is a copyright of The Shift Network. All rights reserved.
Everyone, many of us have a vision of a better world. With healthier, happier people who have less pain and suffering. Some of us have developed our Qigong practice to a certain level. And we notice how that has helped us and our hearts want to share what we’ve learned. It’s clear that our world needs more dedicated, experienced Qigong teachers. So for anyone thinking about transitioning from Qigong practitioner to Qigong teacher, either sometime soon or down the road. Let’s talk about how to go from practitioner to instructor and become a professional Qigong teacher. And we have some wonderful experts here who are going to give us their tips.
Our panelists, Lee Holden, Josie, Weaver, and Tevia Feng each have a strong dedication to cultivating and training Qigong teachers. I am excited to have this wonderful opportunity to hear from each of them about their experience, their practice, and their insights about becoming a Qigong teacher, from the point of view of the student, as well as the trainer.
Professional Qigong Teachers: Sharing experiences
After they each share, we’ll have some time to dig in a little deeper. So let’s start now with Lee Holden. Lee is an internationally known instructor of Qigong, meditation, and Tai Chi. And his pioneering work has popularized qi gong through books, classes, workshops, video courses, online events, and American Public Television. Lee has a very comprehensive online certification program. This is popular with budding teachers, as well as longtime teachers of the art of Qigong. Welcome, Lee. It’s always great to see you. And I love you. Great. And I’m looking forward to hearing about your own experience of going from practitioner to teacher and what your programs are all about.
Lee’s Qigong Teaching Experience
Thank you so much, Sharon. I’m excited. This is a great panel. What a great topic. This is such an emerging field of holistic health and mind-body medicine. I think it’s a great choice for anybody considering becoming a Qigong teacher or Tai Chi teacher. It’s just a wonderful way to be in service, and promote health, healing, you know, emotional balance techniques and tools to overcome stress, and just give people resources to lead very healthy and fulfilling lives. You know, my journey started with Mantak Chia. Maybe that’s where we met Sharon.
Working with Mantak
And I was, uh, it was funny. In my mid to late 20s, I was a senior teacher for Mantak Chia. I was helping him almost every retreat, running his teacher training. I got a lot of hands-on experience with him, running teacher training, and seeing how he did it. You know, helping him with his books, manuals, organizing retreats. And then I started teaching with him on occasion when he was in town, hosting his workshops, and whatnot. And then it really was easy for me to just start to host my own workshops and retreats. I was teaching Qigong all over the place. From Jesuit retirees to kids classes, to Silicon Valley corporations to fitness clubs.
Teaching Qigong in Places
I was doing Tai Chi and Qigong, and even bodywork on Hollywood movie sets. It just gave me a wide perspective on how to be flexible in the way to which we present this material based on the audience that we’re teaching it to. Becoming a Qigong teacher is one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I’m so glad that I did it in retrospect, some 30 years later. I mean, it’s just led to amazing places, meeting incredible people teaching all over the world, and, really, you know, help to do good work in the world where people are getting tools and resources to be able to transform their lives.
And I love just being able to now help people become teachers themselves. And I see a lot of my teachers doing very creative things, whether it’s bringing this work into hospitals, retirement centers, mental health, all kinds of things where now they’re helping change and transform people’s life. I mean, this is an ancient practice. And my goal was to make it applicable to modern life and modern people. So I really had to distill some of these esoteric practices into something that’s much more accessible.
Talking about people’s maybe pain points, like, I’m too stressed, I can’t sleep, I got tension in my neck and shoulders, I got a headache. So it really took me into the medicine of Qigong. And I became an acupuncturist as well. So I was thinking, how do we give people tools and resources to really help to transform their lives in an easy, short amount of time, accessible ways, and that was my goal. And so this kind of modern approach to this ancient practice, became what I was really passionate about. For me, it really became distilled into some very core principles of the Qigong practice. And those core principles are what I teach in my training.
And now we have a wonderful 16-week, self-paced online training that is also full of, you know, q&a is with me and masterclasses with different instructors, including myself. So people take this self-paced and then are able to come up with their questions. They send us videos, we review their videos, and it’s, you know, it’s a modern approach. And it helped a lot while we were in a pandemic.
Now we’re sort of rethinking and reshaping. How do we all get together in person so that we can all practice as a community? And so that’s kind of what’s new and coming up in 2023. And moving forward. Encouraging everybody just to use the Qigong practice as a way to dive in. You want to deepen your own practice to become a teacher. Even if you don’t want to teach, it’s a wonderful way to take your practice to the next level. And maybe you get inspired to teach this practice in something that’s true to your heart. Whatever it is that you are feeling that is an inspiration.
Josie Weaver: Reshaping Qigong Teachers
Thank you so much, Lee, that was wonderful. To revisit your movement from practitioner to teacher was very similar to mine. So it was really lovely to hear that and to hear where you’re taking it now. So let’s go now to Josie Weaver. Josie is a longtime meditative movement teacher with multiple certifications in Tai Chi and Qigong, yoga, and bodywork. She is the president emeritus of the healer within Foundation, a nonprofit that is dedicated to disseminating Mind Body practices. And she also serves on the board of the Qigong Institute. She is an active trainer of future practice leaders and has also developed a curriculum for the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi. So welcome, Josie, I’m very interested to hear you share about this topic.
The Beginning of Healing Path
Thank you so much, Sharon, it’s so great to be here with you and be on this lovely panel. I just love this idea of really offering a path, a path forward to practitioners of Qigong. And just I’m just hearing the presentation with Lee and just saying, Yeah, you know, that’s true. There’s this desire to serve, there’s this desire to do a little bit more with your life. Qigong has been that for me, and mind-body practice has been that for me, but I am going to start this way. Telling my story briefly that I feel that qigong teaching Qigong, teaching Chang chi teaching Mind, Body practice, and being of service in this way, really use every single bit of experience and training that I’ve ever had.
Learning the Art of Qigong
It just goes back way back to college days studying the mind studying philosophy of mind studying neuroscience, studying cognitive science, and just really taking a degree in that and then using that in the teaching as well. I’m coming into these practices from this beautiful sense of wonder of what it means to be a human being and what is the nature of nature and really approaching that this way. And this is what has sparked my imagination and come into practice this way. Now, this is like this the bright and shiny part but I really came to practice from my life not working from their being illness from their being challenged in a week talked about those pain points.
Understanding the Body Pain
Oh my goodness, I know about the pain points, having experienced chronic pain myself, having experienced stress manifestations in the body, and then really really searching for something. So let’s like that, what happens so much when you become a practitioner is you just run out of ideas and you say I’m going to try something new. And then Qigong appears in your life, the teacher starts to show up. And it was just magnificent to just start going into this, this beautiful path.
Now I come from this, tech background. I’m in Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay Area. And I was on that track. I was in software development, and I knew about deadlines and I loved it. I loved the exhilaration of creating with really smart people. But then, then stuff starts falling apart. My, chronic pain I’d had in college, which was musculoskeletal, and just mysterious. And then that had resolved after college.
Addressing Body Pain through Qigong
It came back, it came back with fury. So just like Winston Churchill says that you know, you can resolve your depression or your pain, but then the black dog comes back. So when my black dog came back, that’s when I started to train and just I discovered yoga and discovered Feldenkrais and just dove in. I always thought, I would take that path of deepening, right, and just saying, I just want to know all there is, I want to know, I want to know, and, then I always thought I would go back to my Silicon Valley work, I thought I could do both. But, it turned out, I was really on the path to being a teacher.
This is where I found several teachers who are willing to work with me, in particular, Dr. Roger Yonka, of the Institute of Integral Qigong, Tai Chi, who, as you know, has a training beautiful 200-hour certification for the training of teachers. And at the time, this was a long time ago now, it was the Omega institute that had the program for a month.
From Student to Teacher
I was doing another training there just by coincidence, and I just kind of said, I’m going to do this. And it was that kind of movement of spirits. That happens and suddenly, I’m training. But thought, I’m going to return to my yoga classes, I was teaching full-time 12 classes, yoga, and very busy. Then suddenly, I have four classes of Qigong waiting for me, when I get back from omega, which was a month long, I had been in omega for, you know, eight weeks.
I was really transformed by all this daily practice. And just sometimes it was 810 hours, 12 hours of practice, which was exhilarating, just we love that this is how you go really deep. And then it’s taking it from there. Now I’m this practitioner, I got involved in assisting Dr. Roger Yonka, capturing a lot of his curriculum, writing it down, and really being that that scribe in the background that would take notes, and then create training programs with Dr. Yonka. As a result, just go hand in hand.
Learning from Mentors
So a very powerful mentor, a really wonderful human being, and just always is always going to be in it just this, the star, this light in the background in my orbit. But then what’s interesting is just to be able to connect with other teachers and to find the commonality, the principles that unite us as we practice Qigong. And so I’ve gotten a little bit into Qigong research, this is my participation when she got an institute, I’ve written articles, submitted stuff, publication, opinion pieces, that have just ended that’s had a sort of a component of wanting to help other teachers as well as for example, dealing with standards and, and that sort of thing in order to get that going in our community because at the time are in the moment, right now, there is no unifying body.
For the certification of teachers. There’s no accrediting body. And so it really requires a lot of us Qigong teachers and practitioners, to communicate with each other. So the summit’s right the conversations we can have with each other. That’s what’s required to really go that next level. So just I’m just an advocate. I’m this really happy person doing this now, and teaching and writing and really enjoying our time, just being a teacher. So really excited about this panel. Thanks so much.
Thank you, Josie. It was very interesting, I did not know your background. So now finally we have Tevia Feng Tevia the founder and director of white tiger Qigong. He was born with a chronic illness and began practicing Qigong and meditation at the age of seven, for healing purposes. His work is, as in white tiger Chi Gong fuses, ancient Taoist Qigong with cutting-edge, neuro, and sports science. And he has a very dynamic teacher training program. Welcome Tevia Feng, I’m very interested to hear your thoughts about your path in teaching Qigong.
Tevia’s Qigong Journey
Well, I’m honored to be here, and I’m honored to be amongst such great people. And I want to apologize that I don’t have my camera on, but it’s part of a vow, I took never to promote myself and only promote White Tiger Qigong, in my practice, so I apologize. I did not teach actually until I had been doing Qigong for over 20 years, I was very timid. When I first began to teach, I was scared to teach, but my teacher pushed me to teach. And then he had me work in a cancer clinic in China. Working with eyebright, we not only work with cancer but also difficult-to-treat illnesses like Tourette Syndrome.
Learning from Patients
The first person I was working with, was in a little clinic in Xiaoju China. This man was dying of liver cancer. He couldn’t eat, sleep, or smile, and I was very intimidated to work with this man. And I thought, you know, what, you how is he going to believe me? Dr. Wu, said, If he knows you’re with me, there’s no problem. So I worked with this man. After three days, this man was eating, he was sleeping, he was smiling. So he invited me into his home and treated me like a family member.
He moved me so deeply. It was so richly rewarded for me to work with someone who was enduring, great suffering, and to watch them come out and start to enjoy parts of their life and their last stages of life. And that moved, my heart. I knew at that moment, this is what I want to do the best of my life. And it wasn’t until then that I even really considered teaching so then I began a real deep focus on how can I bring this practice to the world in a way that’s tangible, that’s going to make sense.
Meeting the Ancient Practice of Qigong and Science
I’m a results-oriented person. Had spent my entire life focused on the Chinese practice of Qigong, and understanding that philosophy. I wanted to bring it into a larger context and I knew that this is not some magical practice. Reaching out to sports science experts because I want I know that they’re results-oriented as well. And I tried to find the crossovers and lo and behold, there were so many crossovers that blew my mind. So we started integrating Fascia, Fascia science, and how it related to Qigong and meridians. I found so many incredible crossovers. And we integrated what’s called the kinetic chains to bring a sports science framework into how to teach how chi moves through the body. And it brings it to a tangible level that anyone can understand. It reduces their learning curve dramatically, is what we’ve found.
Fusing Qigong with Chinese Medicine
Then I worked with neuroscientists, as well to understand what was happening in the mind in the nervous system and started integrating back into my curriculum as well. On top of that, we’ve worked with Chinese medicine experts to bring a classical Chinese medicine perspective. And then I realized that I don’t know much about education. So how can I really reach people? So I reached out to a Ph.D. in education from Stanford University, who was my student, and I said, Can you help me make a real true curriculum based on educational best practices? And he did that.
We created a multi-layered curriculum, that touches design with deep down-list philosophy and preserves the integrity of the Qigong while bringing it into a modern context with sports science, neuroscience, and modern educational best practices to reach all different types of learners. In addition, when COVID hit, we knew that we needed to go online because we weren’t really online. Before that, we were just in-person training.
Going Digital with White Tiger Qigong
I reached out to an educational expert from Harvard University who specializes in tech education. She taught me how to bring our curriculum online and preserve the integrity of the Qigong and make it digestible. And so we created these teacher trainings that we have online, smooth that methodology. And so we’ve been able to reach so many people and make such a positive impact, so I feel so fortunate to be able to share this cheat on and in a way that people can understand it, and it makes sense, and that impacts their lives. Watching people’s lives change in a positive way, watching people go from suffering to feeling so empowered with their life. It just is confirmation for me that this is what I love to do. And this is still what I want to do for the rest of my life.
How do keep the Integrity of Qigong?
The conundrum that happens is how do you preserve the integrity of the Qigong? How do you keep that intact while reaching a mass audience? So that was a question that we wrestled with. So I will stop there.
Thank you Tevia that was really, a moving story about becoming a teacher. And you started to touch on something that I want to address to the panel to everybody here. And, you know, all of you, in some respects, had a kind of traditional teacher-student relationship that used to be present. If you know, back in the days of traditional Qigong culture, you know, there was a strong connection between the teacher and the student, and that ensured that students who became teachers had strong competency and understanding of their lineage.
From Student to Master
The teacher observed the student over time and usually, if the master felt that the student was ready, that student is tapped for responsibilities that would help the teacher, like what happened with Lee, what happened with me what happened with Josie what happened with Tevia, we all had some little version of that. Usually, for a certain amount of time, if not forever, the student would continue to work under the master as they began teaching.
Passing the Baton
You know, this kind of Qigong culture still exists. But it’s not as prevalent because now given what’s happened, specifically, in the last four years with a pandemic, there are mostly online certification programs, where the teacher often does not know the students that well. And so this brings up two questions, one for the students, or potential students, and that is, what should someone look for these days when they are considering enrolling in a qigong certification program? And on the other side, for the teacher, this question that Tevia has started to bring up, how do you preserve the integrity of the Qigong while doing the job and the business of certifying Qigong teachers? So this is like a big ball of wax to unravel, and I’m gonna ask Lee first, so take it away, Lee. All right,
Preserving the Qigong
I’m gonna start to unravel this ball of wax. Because it is something that we talk about a lot. And it’s something that we’re, I feel like we’re pushing the envelope a little bit by doing the training online and that’s kind of where our modern world is. And a lot of training and a lot of teaching is happening online. It kind of does, you know, we kind of have the inquiry does it work?
Working with Students: Past vs. Present
You know, does it work because it’s really different than the way they did it in ancient times? And you know, That’s what we were really curious about. Is it working? Is it producing good teachers, people with integrity themselves, and helping people become tuned into energy? Are they being able to teach this practice in a way that it lands for people? Does it help them? he answers that we’ve come up with over, you know, these, you know, four or five years of teaching a certified program online is that yes, it absolutely does. And there’s some, there’s some, some not-so-good things about it, too. I mean, it’s so great to all be in person and to be hands-on and teaching people where you could see them and interact with students.
Dealing with Students Online
The way that we’ve worked around that is by doing it by doing more live zoom classes and q&a is by doing by having students teach, and having them be filmed while they teach and send it to us for feedback by having us do one on one training with every single one of our students. So every single one of our students that is going through a teacher training program has a few one on one lessons to make sure that they are comfortable, confident, and competent, in the way in which they’re teaching and discussing the material.
It’s very, the nice thing about doing it online is so practical. It’s a way in which people can really take their own practice where they’re at, dive deeper and really work with the material and learn it. The other nice thing about it is that you can repeat and review it.
In Person Certifications
When people used to come in for my live certifications for let’s say, two or three weeks, you know, they’re frantically taking notes. And they were asking questions, and then a month later, they were like, wait for a second, what was that movement? What was that? How did that movement relate to the five elements more than any other things this way, you can go back and review over and over again, and really fine-tune and work on what it is that you want to work on.
I think there’s, there are positives and negatives to this new way of teaching. I think it gives students a chance to really digest the principles of the practice themselves. Yes, of course, it’s so wonderful to get together and do the training live with a teacher and a community that supports you with like-minded people. We do that the best we can on an online program. And then we and then we follow up with live events, as well. So that’s me those are my thoughts for now.
What to Expect as a Qigong Student
Thank you, that was helpful. Josie, what would you say to a potential certification student? Like, what should they be looking for? And a program, like in terms of not just how it’s run, but any kinds of support? Any kind of, you know, kind of practicum? Where do they have to do something? I mean, what are your thoughts about what students are potential students who want to be teachers? What should they look for? In a program?
Yeah, thank you for the question. And, you know, I think it points to the thing that is similar, between the tradition of hanging of doing like a, like an internship or an apprenticeship, with a teacher, and really spending a lot of time with them, is just it’s so social type of feature. And so I think that the good programs are going to be the ones that show that feature of interaction.
So it could be practice teaching in small groups are encouraged, for example, which is what we do, and one of the training online, that you know, the I need, there’s always a little group that you can communicate with, as the training is happening, just like a 25 hour, 200 hours, whatever it is, that’s happening, that you have these friends that you can make. And similarly, what happens then is that there are people like assistants that are assigned that can handle communications.
Teaching Qigong Virtually
It’s not directly the teacher, but hey, you have this pretty experienced teacher who can work with you may be one on one, or help you with just email, or texting, or whatever, but somebody’s available during that time of the training. And so should look for those social features that they can help. Because what happens when in an online situation is it feels like you’re alone, but you’re not really alone. There are other people taking that journey with you. That’s where that connection could happen. So what happens a lot is there’s a Facebook group now where you can go and post and be social or there are your little friends during training. You can talk to them on the phone, whatever zoom, and then the teacher becomes available through q&a, through reunions through that sort of thing.
Connecting with Students Online
You’re touching in just as human beings, and then we start to model what’s it like to be patient with one another, and to wait, and to understand how communication can break down, right? So that becomes this great feature of in part of training. So I would look for, you know, one on one time, group time, that can happen online. And then, of course, can translate, you know, to the in-person thing, because that’s not gonna end. I mean, you’re social, and we want to get together. And then of course, when you do Qigong with a fantastic big group, it’s, it’s amazing, it’s life-changing, as well.
Yeah, I think the factor of community is a really important factor. You know, for me, when I did my teacher training in 1983, with Mantak Chia, some of those people became my lifelong friends. I mean, you know, these are your training partners, and you’re committed to doing something that they’re committed to doing. And it’s an important thing in your life. And I think that aspect of the community is something that we’re all kind of experimenting with in this online world. Because it’s very easy for people to kind of feel left out, you know, like, that in the certification program that I just finished teaching.
Connection within the Community
Last year, we had one guy in India, you know, and, you know, everybody else was, like, sprinkled all over the United States, but you know, this guy, he would come even, even if it was the middle of the night for him, he would tune in. And, and, you know, that really showed something about a commitment.
Tevia, I want to address the last part of the question to you, and that is, you, it’s what you brought up and what you brought up to me. And that is, how can you preserve the integrity of the Qigong while you’re doing the job and the business of certifying Qigong teachers?
Retaining Qigong Integrity in Modern Teaching Methods
Yeah, thank you. Well, this is, as I mentioned, this is a question I wrestled with because I had a conundrum, you know, how can I put out this Qigong online? reaching a mass audience while preserving the integrity of this practice, because our practice is not easy. Qigong, it’s not very simple. It’s more complex. This is monastic Qigong. And we don’t want to break that integrity.
What we did, and what I found out by working with this education expert from Harvard, is that we need to have multiple touchpoints and multiple angles. So one of the things that we did is I bought a motion capture suit, I spent 1000s of dollars on this motion capture suit. What it did is it gave me a three Dimensional perspective so I can show students myself at any angle when I’m doing the qigong, and then we can animate it to create actual checkpoints.
Those checkpoints become what we call rubrics, rubrics now are like a PDF that someone can download. It has all the checkpoints showing each frame and each point of the movement in snapshots with actual checkpoints. And we also can show the anatomy as well. So the structure is very clearly shown. And like Josie was saying, creating the community. We purchased a private community platform that allows the students to upload their own rubrics and share them with each other, and then also create accountability groups. And so our students are making lifelong friendships and holding each other accountable and creating these private groups that they can then train with each other and have them meet up in person as well to support each other through the train.
Then we integrated video analysis. So not only do we have the recorded classes, but then we have a video analysis where each week, you can submit your video of yourself doing your chi go to your instructor who’s assigned to you, then they can give you feedback on your chi gong through a video recording they can keep, which is like a mini private lesson. And on top of that, we also have privates with our instructors, for our students available or going through our teacher training. And then I also teach a weekly class to the students and then a lot of people said, you know, Tevia, you’ve been doing this your whole life I’ve never been able to look as good as you I want to follow someone who you know is more like nice. So we have one of our other instructors teaching the same Qigong.
We can display that Qigong can be done by different people with different abilities with different bodies and look very different and that that’s okay. And so that really breaks the ice for a lot of people who are intimidated by practicing with someone who’s been practicing a whole life. Seeing that, you know, everyday people can do this. We have all of these touchpoints, and all of this support through our teacher training, and that creates standards.
And we have a test at the end, which you must pass the test in order to come and cheat on the teacher because what I didn’t want to do is become looked at like yoga, yoga is kind of a laughingstock as anyone can go in and pay. They get their certification automatically, right? So I didn’t want to be looked at like that. Nor did I want to become like the McDonald’s of Qigong teacher certification. So that’s why we have a pretty rigorous test actually.
Technology Meets Ancient Art
Wow, that is a quiet and 21st-century way of teaching Qigong, I’m fascinated by all of this creative use of this technology. I’d love to see it sometime. But you ended up, what you were just talking about was testing. And so before I get into this testing thing, because, you know, this is sort of at the core of a big conversation about standards in the world of Qigong, whether it’ll ever be accepted by insurance companies, you know, there are all kinds of issues that are circling around this kind of aspect of becoming certified. I want to kind of step back and say, ask all of you two questions.
One is, what will make what makes an ideal Qigong teacher? The second part of that question is, what is the difference between being a good practitioner and being a good Qigong teacher? Is there a difference? So late? You’re on? Being a great practitioner and a great teacher
Great Practitioner vs. Great Teacher
I think that’s a great question, Sharon. I think there is a big difference between being a great practitioner and a great teacher. I’ve seen it over and over. Again, it’s like somebody’s doing some beautiful, Tai Chi and Qigong practice, but not being able to articulate it not having the patience to talk to somebody who might be struggling in their own bodies, or their own limited flexibility or whatnot. So I think there’s, there’s a, there’s a big, there’s a big bridge beget between being able to articulate the practice making it relevant, talking to somebody kindly and compassionately figuring out how different bodies ages can apply the principles of Qigong into their own lives, I think that’s so important to be able to really meet people where they’re at because this practice is about flow and about flexibility.
And it has something to offer for everybody, whether it’s somebody who can’t stand up and is, you know, aging, or whether it’s somebody who has an injury, or somebody who’s very fit and athletic. That is where Qigong is just a really different way of moving their bodies. You know, I’ve talked to a lot of athletes about the idea of flow state, where athletes are really wanting to be in a flow state, but not necessarily knowing how to prepare themselves to get into that for the game.
Then being able to move slowly with relaxation is such a different way of moving than tightening and quickness and speed and agility, and being able to really help them to create that bridge into a state of mind and body where they’re in peak performance. I think this is important for all of us, because it’s, it’s not just for the athlete to be in peak performance or flow state.
Qigong gives us that really accessible way to slow down and connect mind and body, then we’re in a flow state, and how does that apply to our daily lives and make us healthier, happier people? So I love this idea of really helping to articulate and bring it to people where they’re at and helping them to digest it and assimilate it in a way that’s so effective in their lives.
Yeah, thank you for that. So as you were talking about this, I was thinking okay, so an ideal Qigong teacher has communication skills, they have patience, they know how to speak the language of their audience to train If like the language of Qigong into the language of their audience, Josie, what else would an ideal Qigong teacher?
Inspiration to Aspire Others
I think that to answer it, and thank you, Lee Yeah, but you know, I think about this a lot. Because it’s something I aspire to just, Hey, can I improve this game? can I improve this skill? And I think one, what I’ll add, that is really helpful. Really good when I like to see in Qigong teachers, and in myself is life, long learning, display gear are never done, there’s this, like, you do your form really well.
Then tomorrow, you do it better, and just what it’s just that kind of attitude, which is tricky, this could be lead you down a path of always refining and always being a little uptight, and always, you know, feeling not done. You want to instead, be relaxed, because that’s what we’re doing and Cigale want to have that hold that feeling of lifelong learning, and always something more, in a light way, in a place of curiosity and discovery.
Sharing the Knowledge
Then it’s not so it’s not drudgery, then it’s, this is joyful, and you want to share that with others, it’s become something that you say, My God, you gotta try this, this is exciting, this is fun. We bring lifelong learners with you, you spark that in them as well. The other thing that my Tai Chi teacher had several, said was, “You know, it’s also not giving up, there’s a getting in touch with your inner Bulldog” is the phrase he used. Just really be very steadfast and keep showing up, especially when you get started.
You might not have a lot of students, but you can keep going and then discover it to that moment, in that moment of, oh, I am time teaching Qigong now to a full room. It’s very magical, and wonderful when that happens, but you do need to hang in there. And so perseverance furthers, as the teaching likes to say, so those two I will add.
Perseverance and Commitment
Thank you. So enthusiasm and perseverance, and commitment to lifelong learning. Great, love it. And so Tamia. The other part of, of the question, then is, okay, what makes an ideal Qigong teacher? The other part of that question is, what kinds of qualities do we need to work on? To let go of in order to become a better teacher?
Great question. So I asked myself that question, because how can I go from a practitioner to a good teacher? Well, what I did is reached out to education experts, I hired them to come into my trains of evaluate me evaluate my teachings, and then give me advice, and consult me on how I can adjust my training to become better. I hired professional public speaking teachers as well to come and help advise me on how to do that.
Basically, just like I reached out to Qigong teachers to teach when she got, I reached out to educational experts to teach me how to teach. After that, I worked with them to integrate that curriculum to create an entire module in our teacher trainings about how to teach. That was a really crucial move that affected our teachers and their ability to teach, because it’s one thing like you’ve said, to be a skilled practitioner, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to a skilled teacher.
Pursuing the Daoist Way
It is an art form that is to be learned as well. So someone needs to really pay attention to what those skills are. And understanding that there are different types of learners. There are different types of feelings of comfort that different students have, and to be able to reach those different students. Also speaking the right language, creating a language that makes sense. And also keeping that down to the most essential information and then understanding how students retain information as well. Not overloading overwhelming students with information overload. Understanding that, for example, students learn things in series. So we need to keep pointing to three points at a time when we’re making, what we’re teaching you something and then also having material to back it up and having the right questions to ask the students to see if they’re actually understanding what you are teaching.
A modern way of Teaching Qigong
You know, we were talking about testing standards. We not only do video analysis. But we also have a teaching test where they actually have to teach the Qigong and prove to us that they actually can use the framework that we provide to teach that Qigong. We provide it with an entire framework, and they have to display it. Yes.
Thank you. This is such a great conversation. I hate to end it. But I have two more questions. And if you could keep your answers short, that would be helpful. So the questions are, what are your top tips for new Qigong teachers? And for those who have been teaching for a while? Or who plans to have to teach as a lifelong endeavor? What are your tips for keeping your teaching fresh and vital? And Lee, why don’t you answer those two questions for us, please? That would be great.
Teaching Qigong as a Journey
Yeah, I mean, number one, be yourself, understand who you are and what you’re bringing, and don’t try to teach like somebody else. This means that you know, you take the material, digest it, really learn it for yourself, but speak from your experience. So if you’re a new teacher and are just learning this practice, here’s how it’s helped me. You know, being really authentically you, to your audience, I think really helps them to relate to you more, even being you know, vulnerable, saying how she has gone helped you through something, some crisis that you are going through our healing challenge, can also be very helpful.
Make Teaching Fun
Make the practice fun, that’s always a big one for me to keep it light and fun. I mean, this is what we’re doing where, you know, we have a serious business of not being too serious, as you know, practitioners and teachers so that we can keep things light lightness helps to create a movement of energy. And so there’s a way in which this can get a little bit heavy. So feel like you know, be yourself, stay light, be kind and compassionate and humble, even when you are a teacher. And I think you’ll get great results.
Thank you. Josie.
Yeah, so practical advice. So I say, what my teachers told me to work hard, just really work hard, really bring my best, really communicate with them and say, Hey, what is that? What does that mean for you? I think it was Maya Angelou, who said, you know, to do your best, and then until you know, better, and then do better, keep going, keep going. But there’s also humor, just light, keeping things light and describing things. The what, you know, that makes sense to you.
I think that that has a lot to do with what Lee said, about being yourself. Absolutely. That’s what you’ll find people need to hear you, and the practices come through you in a fresh way. And this is why we need a lot of teachers, we need lots of ways to communicate this beautiful, same principles that are going to come to you in some beautiful way. And so, you know, I that my next bit of advice to a new teacher, or inexperienced teacher, follow your interests, your interests, you know, if you want to know more about fascia, you go for it.
If you want to know more about neuroscience, you go for it, you start finding that Chi Gong is a multi-level endeavor that you can just keep going and really in learning about. In following your interest, if you want to, you know, pay, you want to be expressive, put it to music, whatever art associated with painting, whatever it is, it starts to have a life of its own. And then that’s when you start attracting. It’s wonderful and that’s what you start doing as a teacher.
But then you find that fulfillment in May and have that expression yourself. So that’s my advice. Thanks. Thanks, Josie. Tevia, How about you? Tips for new teachers and also for teachers who’ve been teaching a while and might be in a rut? How can they keep their teaching fresh and alive?
Well, Lee and Josie pretty much summed up everything I would like to say but just touching on that, like what Lee said about authenticity, is one of the virtues that we strive for. And being yourself and not trying to be that sometimes people try to be a guru, which is why we say don’t do that. Be your true authentic self. Let that personality come out. We are teaching and that sees the thing that any teacher must do continuous learning like what Josie said always learning we’re always encouraging our students to learn more. So like I’m always learning more about how to teach better. And I’m learning different modalities and how they integrate with neuroscience and sports heads. Those are really seen things for us and then also to compassion.
So you’re working with a healing modality. It’s important to understand and be empathetic with the students that you come into contact with, that you’re coming into contact with very many different types of students across the spectrum, and that have very different needs, and being understanding and so compassionate with yourself because this is a practice that is about healing and find your true self. And so that compassion will really go through and reverberate from yourself through your students, and to everyone around you.
Sharon, this reminded me of one thing Can I mention one? I think you know, this practice, you know, getting out of your own way, meaning that you have gifts to share with the world with people around you. And if we could just be ourselves, like Tevia was saying authenticity, remember that there are people who don’t know about this practice and that you being a teacher and sharing it with them, being a channel for this energy and this wisdom to come through you, you might be giving somebody a life-saving gift or a gift to them that really changes and transforms their lives.
Teacher’s Effect on Students
We get teachers often get so self-centric about this, how am I teaching? How am I doing when I’m teaching and I’m shy, this, you know, if you just step out of your own way, let this information come through you remember that you’re giving and imparting these beautiful gifts that you don’t know how it’s going to change somebody’s life. And the ripple effect of that could be monumental, even though you don’t even know like I changed this person’s life, that person changed somebody else. It can be just amazing ways in which we bring an elevation into the vibration or the energy that’s in the group field or the world around us.
Exactly, yes, yes, yes. Yeah. I am so grateful to have had this conversation with all of you. With all the problems of scheduling across the globe with Tevia, and Vietnam, I’m in New York, and you too, are in California. We did it and I’m just really grateful and appreciative. I know that our audience is also and if you could just quickly let people know how they can reach you tell us your website or an email address. Or however, you want them to reach you too heavier Why don’t you go first?
Ways to Learn
White Tiger Qigong That’s qigong.com. We’ve got hundreds of YouTube videos for freedom got free ebooks, we’ve got all types of free stuff that people can get to check us out. And we have a teacher training coming up in Vietnam, actually five animal Qigong in March. And then also online a trigram. In February. Thank you wait,
Holden Qigong the same way the spelling is Qi, G, O N G holden Qigong. We have you know from weekly classes that are free and available to try out to online Qigong certification program with lots of different education on conditions, specific titles, and all kinds of things to just really help you to go through that escalator into your own practice and possibly becoming a teacher Holdenqigong.com
Thank you, Josie.
Yeah, mine’s easy, Josie weaver.com. And that’s going to be the gateway to all the interests of healers within the foundation where the trainings happen, chi gong Institute where you can really get a nice Chi Gong education and see what’s happening in the research community scientific research on Qigong. So Josieweaver.com Is my URL. You can reach me there. Great.
Well, thank you so much. I have great gratitude to all of you for this very stimulating and interesting conversation about moving our practice to the next level. And we’re very grateful to all of you out there in the shifts audience for being here. And I look forward to seeing you soon.
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