Full Step

Release stress, stomp out worries, find your ground. In this fun and energizing workshop, we lean on the rhythms of live drumming to help us drop the mind and let the body move freely. We come together as a group around the time of the full moon to leverage the moon’s power, and because our energy accumulates exponentially when we’re together. We begin with a simple march-like step that helps us feel our foundation, our roots, from the feet up. We build to nine energy-enhancing movements developed by Grandmaster Nan Lu. Known as “Qi Dancing," the movements are simple, so that you can let loose and deeply feel the vibrations of the live drumming. Through these structured movements, the mind drops, tension is released, and energy builds. No dance or movement experience is necessary; klutzes are welcome. 

The Five-Element drummers cultivate energy as a group. Each percussive element acts like aural acupuncture, helping participants relax, release, and gather energy.


What should I wear? 
Please wear loose, comfortable clothing that won't inhibit you from stretching, reaching, sweating, or moving freely in any way. This class is all about moving from the inside out. We sweat and we move. A lot. I wear a worn pair of loose martial-arts pants that I've been practicing Wu Ming Qigong in for years. They are not at all flattering, and I've promised my husband that I will find a more presentable pair to wear in public. But until I find just the right movement pants, they're my uniform. This class is all about setting up frameworks (movements, rhythms, sounds) to allow energy to flow. I find that form-fitting yoga and dance wear is stretchy enough, but it suggests, ever so subtly, a focus on the body's form. In this workshop, we focus on the body as energy and on doing everything we can do let our energy flow. I find that the feeling of loose pants and tops gives my body one more nudge to loosen up. 

What are the movements we'll be doing? Where are they from?
The core of this workshop is a set of nine Wu Ming Qigong movements formalized by Nan Lu, OMD, in a set called
Qi Dancing. I say "formalized" and not "created" because the movements themselves are thousands of years old, from a lineage of Taoist Qigong that extends back to Lao Tzu. Master Lu collaborated with his master, Grandmaster Xi-Hua Xu to offer a set of movements that would help Westerners harmonize their own body, mind, and spirit. You can purchase a DVD of Master Lu leading you through the movements.

May I bring my kids? Children love these steps and tend to pick them up quickly, but at the moment the Full Step events are for adults only. Someday soon I'd love to offer a family class in which parents and kids can come together, or a drop-off class for kids (tell me, which would you prefer?).