Cross-Train the Zen Way

December 9, 2008

Most dancers know the benefits of cross-training. Activities like yoga, Pilates, and running are a common supplement to dance class. But because of meditation’s non-movement connotation, few dancers include it in their training. A form of active meditation, however, called Qigong (pronounced chi-gong) combines meditative elements with movements from yoga and Tai Chi for a more physical experience. Its “no exhaustion” policy can be a turn-off for diehard, I-must-be-drenched-in-sweat exercisers. But you still leave class with a tingling sensation in your limbs and the same sense of fulfillment that exercise brings. In addition, Qigong can help develop balance, lower blood pressure, and of course, reduce stress.