San Juan Island’s own Nicholas Corrin is spreading the power of healing energy to readers in all corners of the nation. His book, The Power of Letting Go: Transforming Fear Into Love is a finalist in the self-help category of the 2013 USA Best Books Award, sponsored by USA Book News. The competition includes over 1,500 other entries from both independent and larger publishers such as Random House, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and more.
Nicholas is a professional healer, teacher, author, and public speaker who has been practicing Taoist Qi-Gong, yoga, and Eastern medicine for over 20 years. He believes in approaching life with clarity, love and courage, and is adept at helping others develop those traits in themselves.
“Qi-Gong (pronounced Chee Gong) is an ancient and very powerful exercise system that can be used by people of all ages. Whereas Yoga helps to keep the joints and muscles flexible, Qi Gong works at much deeper levels of health, nourishing the vital organs, brain, glands and nervous system. It has long been used to prevent or even heal all sorts of diseases.
The three classes will cover basics of breathing, movement, posture and energy flows. The classes will include training in “Dragon and Tiger” Medical Qi-Gong. This specific form of Medical Qi-Gong has been used successfully in China for many years as an adjunct to chemotherapy and radiation. It has even been used directly to successfully heal cancers and other serious diseases.
In brief, Infinite Body Qi-GongTM offers tremendous health benefits to all: it will increase your lifespan, enhance flexibility, lower stress, improve digestion, enhance mood, restore immune function, build inner and outer balance, and boost your overall vitality.”
Nicholas has created his own special system, Infinite Body Qi-Gong, which is creating a real buzz on the island. More and more islanders are realizing the benefits of Qi-Gong. Fortunately, Nicholas offers Infinite Body Qi-Gong classes three times a week, for just $10 per class. There is also a Tuesday morning class at 8 a.m., at the Brickworks by donation only, in conjunction with Hospice of San Juan and the Ag Guild.
I had the pleasure of attending one of Nicholas’ Infinite Qi-Gong classes today. Despite the freezing temperatures, there were half a dozen students in attendance. Immediately upon entering (after removing my shoes, of course), I was enveloped by a sense of calm. That sounds so cliche, but it really was true in this case! The studio was spotless, minimally decorated, and full of windows that allowed the bright winter sun to shine through, casting pleasing streaks of light on the hardwood floor. Nicholas greeted me with a smile and a warm handshake, and I was set at ease in an unfamiliar environment by his soft-spoken voice.
He began the class by explaining one of the core concepts of Qi-Gong, “dantian,” loosely translated to mean the center of the body’s energy. Nicholas described it as “the place where it all began.” It’s located in the lower abdomen, just below the belly button, and can also be called the “energy womb,” or for women, “second womb.” The point of Qi-Gong is to try to develop the dantian as fully as possible. Finding it, according to Qi-Gong, means finding a sense of who we really are.
Nicholas explained other concepts, such as the starting position of the exercise, which means “without limits.” He stressed that in a world full of rush, rush, rush movements, in which having a still mind goes against the modern belief system, our goal is not to quell movement; but make it more fruitful, rather than just giving into the mass chaos of our daily lives. This was certainly a timely concept as we have begun the manic holiday season, which used to be about stopping to appreciate your loved ones and what you have, but is now all about which person can get the best sales or buy the most impressive gift!
Throughout the class, I noticed that the students asked questions freely; if they didn’t understand a concept, Nicholas would pause to explain it to them in a different way. He never hesitated for more than a few moments, and he never talked down to the asker. He occasionally offered praise to someone who was performing a movement particularly well; if someone was struggling, he would simply continue speaking to the class at large while gently adjusting the movements of that person. I’m someone who gets very nervous about going to group classes, especially in something I am not familiar with, and I felt that if I had participated in the class today, I would have been very comfortable. Nicholas makes everyone feel welcome and able. Interacting with him was much more like having a chat with a friend than being instructed by a teacher.
To show the movements, Nicholas faced the mirror instead of turning toward the students; I could tell that this instinctively made them less self-conscious than being stared down by the instructor, as is the case in most group classes. He used simple metaphors that everyone could relate to, such as comparing the movement to seaweed in a current or the delicate walk of a crane. Qi-Gong imitates the movements of certain specific animals; this is both to free the mind and loosen the joints. Qi-Gong is not just for mental health; it has been proven to improve joint health. The movements, although simple, did require total mental and physical concentration, because they are so purposeful.
The class finished with a demonstration of martial arts, to be used both as a meditative exercise and, if necessary, self-defense. The movements continued to be slow and graceful; Nicholas showed us a deflective move he described as “sending it [the negative energy exuded by the attacker] on its way,” a term that garnered a few appreciate chuckles. He encouraged his students not to be afraid of martial arts or see it as a bad thing, but rather, reminded us that everything in nature protects itself in some way, and knowing how to defend yourself inspires confidence.
When one gentleman expressed frustration on not getting a movement exactly right, Nicholas came over to him and said, “Remember, the movement doesn’t really matter, just what the mind is doing.”
The student paused, asked, “You mean, more like freeform?”
Nicholas answered him, “Exactly. Freeform,” with a warm smile, then resumed the class.
Admission: $10 per class for regular sessions, or by donation only on Tuesdays
Dates/Times: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12-1 p.m.; Tuesdays at 8 a.m.
Location: XYZ Movement Arts Center, 689 Airport Rd. (M/W/F); the Brickworks, 150 Nichols (Tues.)