This week’s qigong class focuses on the element of fire and its corresponding organs, the heart (yin organ), and the small intestine (yang organ). The corresponding body part is the tongue (speech). The healing sound is “Haaa” and the energy colour is red (or pink). Fire—the heart—is our radiant light, like the sun that sustains life on earth. This warm, spark of life is what is traditionally called the “Palace of the Spirit.”

The heart center is the location of the middle dantian, where energy is both stored and generated. The heart is traditionally thought to be the home of the soul or spirit—the heart-mind. We now know, through scientific research, just how true this ancient idea of “heart-mind” is since there is more electromagnetic energy and neurons in the heart than in the brain.

The acquired emotions or states of the heart may include impatience, hastiness, sorrow, arrogance, cruelty and hate. The balancing and natural virtues of the heart include joy, passion, sincerity, honour, love, forgiveness, healthy boundaries, order, and creativity. A closed or blocked heart, or imbalance in the fire element, are often related cold hands and feet, hot flashes, hard arteries, high blood pressure, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and anxiety. Digestive ailments, such as heartburn, diarrhea and constipation may be related to excess heat caused by an imbalance in the fire element.

When open and in balance, heart Qi is experienced as innate joy, nourishment and the feeling of warmth, the ability to build healthy relationships, a willingness to forgive, the ability to follow one’s passion and complete projects, and a feeling of interconnection with nature and life.

One of the easiest and best things for the heart is to laugh, which vibrates the energy of joy and lightness through the body, uplifting the spirit. We will also work with the element water (kidney) to help balance fire.

This week we will use the inner smile meditation and heart healing sound to practice the alchemy of transforming held or stuck energy into flowing and expanding virtues. Emotions are not bad and our goal isn’t to “get rid of” them. Working with the heart, pericardium, triple heater and small intestine meridians will further allow for energetic balance and flow. Our stretching, posture, breath work, and flowing qigong movements will connect us with our heart center as well as ever nourishing earth and universe energy.

Slow, soothing movements and deep breathing calm and cool the heart. We will practice Swimming Dragon, Great Heart Breathing, Crane Walking, Showering Qi, the Five Elements Tonifying for Heart and Kidney, and more.

I’m looking forward to practicing with you.


© Sandra Tonn