Instructor Spotlight with Polly Maliongas
One of our talented Qigong instructors, Polly Maliongas, will be offering a class in January: Qigong Hulu Gong. Our Amma Therapy Program students will be practicing the form with her, but the class is open to the public as well! Check out our classes page to see more info on our ongoing movement classes.
We had an opportunity to catch up with Polly, to learn more about Qigong and her practice. Read what she had to say here!
Q: In your words, can you tell us the greatest benefits of Qigong?
As an active branch of Chinese medicine, Qigong is a self-care tool that continues your treatments. It also provides a philosophy for connecting with nature by living in a seasonal energetic pattern. As nature transforms from season to season, the energetics are mirrored within ourselves. By practicing Qigong that correlates to the seasons, we then in turn reconnect with the nature rhythm of the universe. Over my years of practice, I have heard and experienced how practicing Qigong is not only about the movements, practice becomes part of your lifestyle and making choices in your daily life.
Q: Where did you get your training and what motivated you to do so?
While living in Atlanta, I began my training with Taiji and Qigong routines were warm-ups prior to practicing the form. I really liked the Qigong portion and began to research Qigong teachers. I discovered Master T.K. Shih in Connecticut and began studying with him. I completed his teacher training programs. Qigong made a huge difference in my life and lifestyle choices. I wanted to learn more about this ancient art and my next step was to study Chinese medicine. I moved to Portland for school and met Master Liu He. The forms of her family spoke deeply with me and immediately enrolled in her Self-Cultivation & Teacher Training Programs. This was with the Ling Gui International Healing Qigong School. I have been studying with her and Dr. Liu Dong for the past twelve years. I continue to study and am amazed at the depth Qigong takes you, as you unwind yourself.
Q: How does Qigong benefit your practice as a LAc?
As a LAc, Qigong provides great benefit for myself within the clinic room. Qigong has allowed me to refine my Qi sensation, develop my intuition, and cultivate my awareness and focus when working in this area. I prescribe Qigong movements for each of my clients as part of their treatment plan. From a personal standpoint, practicing Qigong provides me a way to release daily stress, let go of the work that I brought home, and cleanse from the day inside.
Q: What is your perspective on how Qigong strengthens our students’ development as Amma practitioners?
As practitioners, we need to heal ourselves. Qigong provides a tool to open the door of healing, as you practice you unwind yourself, traumas, patterns of stuck thinking, stuck emotions. Qigong also provides a way to work with emotions or thought patterns that have been stuffed down or ones entrenched and rooted. Qigong provides a way for a practitioner to “taste” the Qi, feel the Qi, become aware of Qi. This is paramount in energy based worked.
Q: As someone who has experienced Amma, what is it that you like about the modality?
I like the energetic work involved with the Amma modality. Utilizing the meridians to unblock stagnation and giving a whole body treatment.
Q: What do you like about our space/students? Is there something special that keeps you coming back to teach here?
I have always been impressed with the programs offered at The Wellspring School. The students want to learn and it is evident in their studies. Because I feel the importance of Qigong in an energy based healing modality, I am thrilled that The Wellspring requires their Amma students to take movement classes. Many schools do not and I feel this is a loss in a student’s education.
Q: Tell us a little about the Hulu Gong form that you’ll be teaching here in January?
The Hulu Gong form is a simple yet powerful, five routine form. A standing form, the routines take you through a visualization process of picking a vibrant gourd and holding the gourd, becoming aware of the qi field and then bringing the Qi inside of yourself. The term Qigong came about after the Cultural Revolution. Prior to that, movements were called Bao Qi Ping, Conserving Energy in a Bottle. In this form and context, your body is the bottle and you learn to bring Qi inside, feel Qi, and know the difference between your Qi and other. In this form we also will walk the Ba Gua. This is eight trigrams that comprise the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching, the great book of changes. By walking the Ba Gua, we became acquainted with the eight aspects and learn to navigate and accept the transition from one to the next. As we physically walk this, we bring these concepts into our awareness and begin to use these concepts to navigate through our own life transitions. This form is also a great form for building immunity.
Q: Where else can we find you and your classes when you’re not teaching at The Wellspring?
I offer healing sessions at Moongate Chinese Medicine in Oregon City and teach a monthly class in Gresham.