• tia@tia-ma.com
  • Gainesville, Florida
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Qigong on the Pond

Qigong on the Pond

Gratitude for the magical moments in nature

Photo by Ashley Knedler on Unsplash

As I rode my bike through the Spanish moss tunnel, the live oaks protected me from the afternoon rain. There was just enough chill in the air for my green hoodie.

I saw a little pond I never noticed before, in the middle of a neighborhood, and decided to stop for some qigong. I saw folks nearby playing cards, and others laughing under the roofed picnic area, easy-Sunday-morning style.

Kickstand out, I parked, scoped the trees, and found a perfect little flat area to stand. I began:

starting position

soft knees

spine elongated

I listened for the f u r t h e s t sound I could hear

I looked five miles ahead

on the horizon

That’s when I locked eyes with a 7-foot alligator, some 30 feet away. My heart jumped a beat. It was fully out of the pond, facing my direction. Its long scaly tail looked extra shiny in the light rain.

Now, I was not too shocked, because it’s Florida. “If there’s water, they’ll be gators.” But still, this was in a neighborhood park, with kids just over the way, and people so close you could hear them shuffling the deck. Normally I head over to the Prairie to be this close to the alligators, and there’s a dip down to where they like to hang out, (it’s not much in terms of protection, but it calms me down.) I remembered the fact that if an alligator runs toward you, they might be able to reach 35 mph, but they can’t zig-zag. I smiled, cuz it didn’t look like this gator was going anywhere fast.

I found my breath again, unclenched my jaw, and continued.

I inhaled

and exhaled

my hands glided up …in slow motion

and floated….back down

like two clouds

then they rose again

Gator watched my every move.

slowly… I pressed a ball of qi forward —

moving steady as thick honey

when BOOM! The gator jumped STRAIGHT UP in the air, landed completely backward, then flung itself into the pond — all in one motion. It was the fastest I’ve EVER seen a gator move.

I burst out laughing. Apparently, my ball of qi was a bit much for the beast. I wasn’t planning on blasting the gator, I was just practicing moving energy forward, I didn’t expect the gator to feel it some 30 feet away!

Finishing my practice, I flipped my hood overhead, hopped back on my cruiser, and rode past the three men under the picnic area roof. They let me know they’d witnessed what just happened.

As I nodded a friendly hello, I was met with a little “All right now…..” approval and a bit of, “What da hell was that?”

I kept riding, with a big smile on my face. I was feeling extremely grateful for how qigong gives me magical moments in nature on the regular.

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