For me, Qigong is not just a practice; it’s a way of life.
I first met Shelethya Toles during a Qigong convention several years ago. Since then, we have kept in touch and encouraged each other to pursue our respective dreams. She is truly a bright light and has much to share with the world. She is a very dedicated Yoga teacher and has been for many years. However, in recent years, she discovered something that I once heard Jeff Primack say at his Qigong conference: Qigong and Yoga should be a married couple. Her story of discovering the power of Qigong is one that I hope many practitioners of other healing styles will come to see. Qigong is energy and energy is at the essence of all things …
I’ve seen her blossom from a person who wanted to teach to a person who actively teaches both Yoga and Qigong. I know that She is just getting started. She doesn’t mention it below but she has also shared with me her desire to spread the message of love, empowerment and healing through film. I look forward the many projects that are in store for her, and I’m thrilled to have her as an integral part of Black Qi Activation.
What inspired you to first start practicing Qigong?
I initially learned Qigong in 2010 and have since become a regular practitioner. When I was first introduced to Qigong, it held no real appeal to me, coming from a Yoga background. I was told that it was calming and relaxing and would not cause me to break a sweat. Wrong! My very first time doing Qigong, I sweated profusely and my body was on fire! A couple of months later, I attended a half-day Qigong class. Although I still had not found the peace and calm that Qigong promised (it still hurt my body to stand for a full hour in one spot and move my arms in mid-air), that class set in motion my future with Qigong, unbeknownst to me.
Fast forward to April 2011, and I am at my first Qigong conference in Orlando. I kept up with Jeff [founder, Supreme Science Qigong] during every Qigong session he did throughout the four-day conference, my body feeling less pain as it gained strength. I flowed through each Qigong practice with ease as I surrendered to the peace and calm of Qigong. Even though I was a beginner, I could feel my technique grow by leaps and bounds that weekend. I was open and ready to receive, and I was acutely aware of my own energy as well as the energy around me. There’s nothing like the combined Qi of 2500 practitioners moving and breathing as one. After the conference, not only was I inspired to practice Qigong regularly, I was moved to take the Level 1 Qigong Teacher Training and get certified to teach, with the goal of sharing the gift of Qigong with as many minorities as possible.
How do you incorporate Qigong into your everyday life and work?
I do Qigong daily. I do Qigong before going to work, even if it’s something as simple as one quick round of Empty Force; one day a week is dedicated to Breath Empowerment. I also do the Qigong walk, both on and off my treadmill. The calm and peacefulness that I feel after doing Qigong stays with me throughout the day. Also, as a Yoga instructor, I incorporate some Qigong into my Yoga classes. For me, Qigong is not just a practice; it’s a way of life.
Tell us about your work, your latest project (or a project that you are really passionate about)
I currently teach Level 1 Qigong on Tuesdays at a Reiki Shrine in the Tampa area; however, classes are on hiatus for the remainder of the summer and will resume in September. Also this fall, I will be taking the Level 2 Qigong workshop for teacher certification. My goal is to start teaching Level 2 Qigong immediately after, particularly the Qigong 9-breath. My students who are familiar with Qigong 9-breath are eager for me to teach it.
What do you hope will emerge from the expression of your work?
I hope that I inspire others to just be in their Qigong. Once Qigong is learned and practiced regularly, it promotes peace, calm and optimal health. It is about working with one’s Qi. I also hope that I inspire others to keep an open mind and an open heart when doing Qigong, not only in their practice but also in the space where they choose to do it. While I feel that having a good space to practice indoors is good, I jump at every opportunity I get to do and share Qigong outdoors. I highly encourage others to take their Qigong outdoors as well and experience the powerful blend and beauty of Qigong and Nature.
What is the best way for people to contact you (to purchase your products, books, hire your services, etc.)?
I can be reached at one of the following:
Facebook: Yoga She