You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘qigong’ tag.

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:



Some mornings in Madison Square Park, you’ll see a flock of ladies in mandarin jackets moving in sync. It’s a nice breather amidst a commuter landscape of BART riders and racing cars. Some of the hundreds who use the park to exercise practice qigong—a 1,700-year old Chinese exercise that promotes health and longevity. It’s like a cousin to tai chi and it’s a combination of self-accupressure, yoga and meditation. Just an hour of moving through it leaves me with a heightened sense of well-being.

I started practicing “Wild Goose” qigong at the Park Boulevard Yoga Center. I’ve learned each of the 64 movements and I’m getting more graceful with each session. It’s the best thing I’ve done for my health to date; my body is more flexible, my mind more able to concentrate and stirrin’ up my qi gets me high.

Starting next month, you can earn your wings with instructor and accupuncturist Kirstin Linquist. She’s an amazing teacher who dove-tails her knowledge of Chinese medicine with direction on physical form. More details below:


Kirstin has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1993. She was certified to teach Dayan (Wild Goose) Qigong by Master Hui Liu at the Wen Wu School of Martial Arts. Master Hui Liu is the disciple of Master Yang Mei Jun, the world’s foremost practitioner of Dayan Qigong. Master Yang enjoyed excellent physical and mental health until her death at age 108 in China.

Cost: $225/15-week session. Class size is limited. Please pre-register to reserve your spot: 510–597–9923.

After a week of visiting mountain towns in the Rockies and Sierras, I returned to my little corner of the world. My car wound down Highway 80 past San Pablo (and the casino that reminded me of those in Colorado) and through 580’s MacArthur Maze. When Kwik Way came into view, I remembered how long it had been since breakfast; but it wasn’t until I drove by Marzano on Park Boulevard that I felt hungry. I had seen its mouth-watering pizza menu on my way out of qigong class but hadn’t stepped in for a bite. So I decided to dabble. And after my first sip of their Glenhattan cocktail, I knew I had found my fave place in the G’view.

An old friend from Cody’s Books on Telegraph joined me for dinner on Sunday. We walked under the awning with a crown that reminded me of Luka’s and sat at a table for two by the window. Low lighting flickered from the iron chandeliers. Wooden beams stretched along the ceiling. Ice and alcohol tossed in the bartender’s cocktail shaker.

Our attentive server brought my drink first. The bourbon, aperol, orange juice, peychaud’s bitters and ginger beer gave it a warm, coppery hue. They served it in a tall rocks glass with an orange wedge garnish. The taste had the kick of a real cocktail, with the heavy bite following the first shot of sweetness. One glass was all it took to feel a little fuzzy.

My friend L. smiled when he saw the Sangue di Christo cocktail. (He was still dressed in the clothes he wore to his mom’s San Antonio district church.) The “Blood of Christ” was a little peppery for him, but he enjoyed the blend of grappa, blood orange and creole shrubb served up. I had a taste and found it to be mellow like a Bloody Mary.

We ordered chestnut pumpkin arancini for an appetizer. They came crisp fried with bitter greens and a balsamic vinaigrette. The fried, outer layer was surprisingly light and didn’t overwhelm the delicate fontina, prosciutto and sage filling. Four pieces were more than enough to satiate us while we waited for the main course.

The quatro formaggi pizza gave us more of the nutty fontina cheese, but also mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano and salty pecorino. They went well with the crimini mushrooms, sage and thin crust. We had plenty to share between the two of us, and with room to spare for dessert. The almond tort was a bit dry and cakeier than I expected, but it went down smoothly with the whipped cinnamon cream.

We spent about $30 each but I felt like I had eaten a $200 meal. The staff was friendly and the atmosphere with the hearthy glow of like the mountain cabin I had stayed in days before. Marzano restaurant is definitely a place I’d like to call home.

Next time I drop by, it’ll be for brunch. They’re open 10 a.m.–2 p.m. every weekend. If you’d like to have dinner, they’re open daily from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. I’d suggest making reservations or showing up when they open in the evening, before the lines get long. You’ll be rewarded with a view of the sunset, framed by the storefronts along Park.