March 11, 2019  (Web Review)

Qi Gong: Mindfulness in Motion

(2018) 45 min. DVD: $29.95. YMAA Publication Center (www.ymaa.com).

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

Instructor Lee Holden hosts this introduction to the ancient Chinese practice of Qi Gong, which is not about weight loss or muscle gain, but rather aims to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and increase vitality. As ambient, synth-oriented music plays in the background, Holden presents his lessons from the side of a stream in California’s Yosemite National Park. The movements—which take their inspiration from the natural world—include “Tiger Claw,” “Knocking on the Tree of Life,” and “Fireflies in the Lantern.” As he demonstrates each exercise, Holden also explains the meanings behind their names and the ailments they target, such as pain, fatigue, and depression. Granted, some of the commentary can get a little esoteric. “Fireflies in the Lantern,” for example, “helps to bring the heart into the present moment with full strength and power.” But after following the routine, practitioners will likely feel more relaxed than tired, which is part of the goal. Recommended. Aud: P. (K. Fennessy)