Rolf Godon: Why Ki Gong | SierraSun.com
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Rolf Godon: Why Ki Gong

Rolf Godon
Photo courtesy TanzyRolf Godon demonstrates 'balancing the ball,' one part of an 18-part sequence called Tae Kuk (Korean for Tai Chi). Godon practices and teaches a Korean form of Ki Gong and donates class proceeds to the Sierra Senior Services.
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About seven years ago I was introduced to Ki Gong. I somewhat reluctantly attended my first class, being the skeptic that I am. My chiropractor, Dr. Tim Schroeder, had invited me to attend the class he teaches. Dr. Tim led us through several series of repetitive movements designed to generate energy Some of the movements required rather difficult coordination in the order of the rubbing your belly while tapping your head variety. Some movements were coordinated with deep breathing; the type where we pulled our breath deeply into our bellies very slowly and then exhaled equally slowly. There were periods of time where we would stand very still, breathing deeply and just focusing on our breathing; a very quieting, meditative experience. We were instructed to smile and think happy thoughts while engaging in the sequential movements. As I focused, I immediately felt energetically lighter. At the end of about 90 minutes I was amazed at how I felt. I have always been quite athletic and this 90 minutes was gentle in nature. Yet I felt a combination of energized in a quiet and relaxed way. My body, mind and spirit all agreed there was something in this for me. I continued to attend classes and experienced increasing benefit. During the movements I experienced the warm tingling of energy I was generating and bringing into my body. My breathing in my daily life deepened so I breath all the way into my belly; the natural breathing of children. This also enhanced endurance in athletic exercises. That was a great and unexpected benefit. I was particularly excited about the smiling part, as I experienced such a positive energy shift when I did it. I would think funny or mischievous thoughts and get a big grin on my face and it would turn this serious class into lighthearted fun and ease.As a result, I decided to focus on this in my daily life. When I walk into town or the grocery store and smile, people would smile back and say hello. I felt much more in relationship in general and found myself laughing a lot.Over the next year or so of practice I found myself wanting to introduce others to this major enhancer of my health and well-being. I began to teach classes in Truckee and continue to do so to this day. The students range in age from 40 to late 80s. They range from active and fit to wheel chair bound.Teaching increases motivation to keep learning and enhancing skills and understandings. We have a yearly Ki Gong clinic at Asilomar, near Monterey, where we learn new movement sequences and other techniques. In recent years, western science has begun to study KI Gong. The results show the practice of Ki Gong has a positive effect on hypertension, reduces tension, stress reactions and enhances the immune system. My Truckee class meets each Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at Truckees Community Center. Proceeds from the class are donated to Sierra Senior Services. When the weather warms we meet at the Riverfront BBQ area at Truckees Regional Park. Doing our class outside by the River is particularly wonderful.It is a drop-in class open to one and all. Just show up, call me at 587-2557 or contact the Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park District at 582-7720. In Tahoe City there are several classes. Call Dr. Scroeder for information at 583-7475. Rolf Godon Ph.D. is a 37-year resident and practicing psychologist. He has been teaching Ki Gong for six years and donates the proceeds from the classes to the Sierra Senior Services. Contact him at 587-2557.


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