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Autumn is here and what better time to fall into an exercise routine? Qigong is an ancient Chinese exercise regimen that combines movement and breathing techniques. There are hundreds of varieties and Dayan is one of hundreds of them; it translates into “Wild Goose.” In China’s Zhou Dynasty, a wild goose symbolized marital fidelity and was given as wedding presents.

These days in Oakland, wild geese symbolize infestation in and around Lake Merritt. But the benefits of learning the Dayan movements today in Dimond Park will start you on a path of lifelong health. This free event at 5:30 p.m. will introduce anyone interested in stirring their qi, or “life force.” The Dayan Qigong poses are designed to enhance the circulation of energy throughout the body. Self-acupressure, stretching and meditation are all facets of qigong, or “life practice,” and the after-effects include alertness and well-being.

I practice qigong and find that I sleep more soundly and have more balance. Even my internal organs feel exercised. As my instructor Kirstin Lindquist says, “Qigong practice is centered around the kidneys. And your kidneys are the key to lifelong health. You could say they’re your body’s 401K.”

After you preview some qigong today in Dimond Park, consider taking a course at the Park Boulevard Yoga Center. You’ll learn the history of the practice and all 64 movements of the Dayan. Check out the details: