After 3 years of doctors I was diagnosed with a rare brain disease called Ataxia. There are 49 different Ataxia conditions and I have been diagnosed with Episodic Ataxia Type 2 and SCA 6. There is no cure and the disease is progressive.
Ataxia causes the cerebellum in the brain to atrophy. Causing imbalance, nystagmus of the eyes, (shaking of the eyes) and slurred speech and many other symptoms.
Balance being the worst for me, finding Bina's classes has been a god sent. My doctor is extremely happy that I am doing Qiqong and Tai Chi. It has given me a reason to get up and moving. My balance has improved and my fear of falling has reduced so I am being more active with getting around. Learning to breathe properly helps to shorten some of my attacks. I am so thankful to everyone who has encouraged me in Bina's classes. I have gone from chair Qiqong/Tai Chi to standing classes and am now learning Tai Chi Easy. Thank you Bina for being the instructor/coach that I need. ~Jodi G.
Since starting Qigong classes I have seen a real difference in myself – both physically and mentally. Although I’ve only been coming for a few months, I can definitely see an improvement in my strength, flexibility and sense of balance. In addition, after just having a bone density test, my status has improved from having osteoporosis to osteopenia and I no longer have to take medication for this condition. I am sure Qigong exercises contributed to this improvement. As a former nurse, I tend to be a little skeptical about some “alternative” therapies, but I am convinced that Qigong is one of the best things I’ve ever done to improve my health. ~Phyllis L.
I have only the most positive thoughts about Qigong. Since starting Qigong a little more than a year ago, I have noticed that I just generally feel better. I started because I knew my fitness level was very low and that I had to do something about my balance. Since doing Qigong, I feel noticeably stronger and I can do the balance exercises much better than before. Even in my everyday activities, I am conscious of better ways to move. I walk conscious of how I step and how I hold my body. It is paying off in other ways also; for the first time my recent bone density test showed that my bone density has improved! I have just entered my 8th decade and it is very important to me to live it with strength, grace, and good health! I want to be ready for my 9th decade.
Thank you, Bina, for making the classes such a joy. I know good teaching when I see it. I have been an educator for over 50 years and I am continuing to work with schools. You motivate us all to be our best and you do it in such a fun, supportive way. ~ Barbara G.
I enjoyed the Restorative Qigong class, it really was a gift. The moves and breathing that went along with them were quite healing. Slow stretches with intension felt great. After each class I felt lighter and much more flexible! It also really elevated my mood as if I gave my body a giant hug.
~ Cindy S.
I have spent one month with a great teacher, Bina Bou. Participating in her (Restorative) Qigong class was not only restorative, also a total delight. When a teacher strives to be the best role model she can be, she teaches and the student learns. Perhaps more importantly, she, as a teacher looking to the future, inspires her students to commit to a healthy life, filled with a mind/body connection.
Bina enters the class with a high level of respect for each student’s needs. She observes as we perform our exercises and corrects to bring the maximum benefit from each session. Her attention to detail helps everyone do his best and feel proud of one's own progress.
There is compassion in all Bina does. Her soothing voice keeps her class relaxed while her students concentrate on deep breathing and slow-moving exercises. Qigong is perfect for relaxing tight muscles and also strengthening muscles that have been compromised. Deep breathing also helps bring oxygen to the brain, which promotes energy of thought. Overall, Bina’s class encourages a positive spirit and an attention to a lifelong focus on health.
I would be remiss to not mention Bina’s sense of humor. Her approach to life is bright; the sun always shines in her presence and her kindness is infectious. She takes her teaching seriously and shares her knowledge with all who are as excited as she is to continue learning everyday. This qigong class has brought joy to my life and healing warmth to my body, especially my back. Thank you, Bina, for an opportunity to learn and improve!
Gratefully, Elizabeth R.
QiGong and Tai Chi have become a part of my life. I have done both now for over two years and I have benefited from these disciplines in many ways. Certainly from the physical side, it helps me stay limber, strong and fit. I also benefit from them mentally as well through stress reduction and a general feeling of "well-being" that I get from the practice. All in all, I really enjoy QiGong and plan to continue on for many years. ~Jeff G.
Qigong appears easy but it can be intricate and demands attention and focus and will eventually flow with the inner rhythm of your body, mind/ heart and spirit. I personally am aware I have not reached the depths nor all the benefits of this practice. My teacher Bina Bou challenges me continuously -in spite of myself sometimes- to engage in positive ways of living. There are often boulders blocking the way but Qigong can clear the path. For me, the biggest secret of the year got revealed: I can actually produce my own medicine and become the channel of my own healing,as well as that of others. That secret is worth sharing! Helene D.
I have been attending your QiGong classes once a week pretty regularly for almost two years. My balance was not good, I felt not very strong and focus and breathing were not things I often thought about. Now I am attending two classes a week and learning a Tai Chi set. I have learned that focusing helps with balance and just these easy movements are making me stronger. When I leave each class I feel really elated, that I could do anything. I find Bina to be a happy, soulful person and she passes on her joy in life to all of us. ~Jane N.
I am so grateful to have met Bina and her students as Qigong has helped me with fatigue, back and neck pain and also depression. It is a great mood elevator and a fantastic way to begin the morning, helping to better cope with life's ups and downs. Plus it is gentle - no exhausting aerobic workouts which leave you sore and exhausted the next day. Love it! ~ Meg W.
Bina's Qigong and Tai Chi Easy classes are: calming,strengthening and inwardly nourishing. I have been extremely grateful for her weekly class over the last couple of years. ~Katherine E
I have been in Qigong classes with Bina for the past year. Initially, I entered her classes with the sole practical intent of helping my breathing techniques in Tai Chi. I have been taking Tai Chi classes for the past two years and the major objective has been placed on learning the form. It was time to integrate the breathing with the form. Qigong has immensely helped with the breathing and I find that I can focus and "get into the zone" with ease.
To my delight and as additional gifts, my balance has improved, along with my focus, energy and peace of mind. Bina is an excellent teacher and her quiet way and humor make the class fun and add to the atmosphere of inner peace. I recommend Bina's classes with great enthusiasm.
~ Carol H.
Here’s how I asked my question to you, How can I feel both energized and yet also feel relaxed after practicing Qigong as I find that to be a paradox that I can feel both of those things at once”! Your answer was very helpful and made sense, that the practice of Qigong energizes the mind, and that then relaxes the body and that where the mind goes Qi follows. ~Jennie C.
I have been doing Qigong for one year now. It has really helped me learn to breathe, relax and focus. I have chronic back problems and Qigong has helped me feel better. By stretching and strengthening my core muscle groups, my back is the best it's ever been. I love the gentleness of it and Bina Bou is amazing! ~ Diane F.
I had no energy, nor did I want to exercise. It has helped me mentally and physically. I was stiff and hurt. After a long recovery from an illness, I really didn't want to do anything because it hurt and the drugs made me crazy. I have found that with this program I don't need the drugs I was on. I'm coming back slowly but surely. -- I'm feeling a 100% better since I started the program. It has helped my flexibility also. I am looking forward to the fall classes. You are very good at explaining the moves and the benefits of the moves. Thanks for all your help.~ Pat P.
My experience with qigong and tai chi = peace. Peaceful, calming thoughts. That has benefited me the most this past roller coaster year. Besides restoring muscle mass in my thighs and overall toning it has also taught me to be conscious of my posture. Before taking your class I experienced back aches for years but after a few weeks of class they are very infrequent now. Remembering to bend my knees and shifting my weight is useful throughout the day performing mundane chores. The breathing techniques have been invaluable to help calm me down. This past year has been very stressful healthwise but the breathing exercises have now become second nature. It appears that things happen for a reason. I find it ironic that I saw your flyer at the chiropractor's office a few years ago and decided to call you on the spur of the moment. So, I suppose it was meant to be that my sore back sent me to the chiropractor where I saw your flyer and thus began my journey to inner peace from taking your qigong/tai chi classes!
I don't know if you want to mention my heart transplant or not but the cardiac rehab was a start to regaining my strength whereas the qigong tai chi is a lifelong gift of continuing good health. So thank you, my friend. ~Beth S.
I will be leaving Arizona for the summer in a few days. I will miss so many things about being here. However, going to your Qigong class is at the top of my list. I have reaped so many benefits from attending your classes. I am more flexible than I have ever been in my life and I feel so good. My balance is great. I have more bounce in my walk. Even, my golf game has improved.
You are a great teacher. You break lessons into small parts so that leaning new things doesn't feel overwhelming. Your kindness and caring nature is welcoming. You are always willing to give a person some extra help with an exercise that will help a particular ache or pain to fit his or her individual need. You are always sending the class thoughts or comments that will help us grow spiritually. There are also jokes that keep us laughing, exercises to help us learn better, or just great information.
You call your students your Qigong family and that is a perfect way of describing us.. There is so much wonderful energy that we all share by being in your classes and that really makes us feel so connected to you and each other. ~Cheryl K.
I wanted to tell you too that Qigong has improved my posture which in turn has lessened some of the discomfort that I am prone to feel in my neck, back, and shoulders. I am aware of my slouching and correct it even on the trail. I had gotten in to the habit of leaning slightly forward when hiking which also most likely was putting more stress on my knees. Bottom line, I love it.
Thanks, ~Karen S.
I wanted to tell you two things while I was thinking of them (not that I forget anything…). The first is that I take my blood pressure every day and keep a record (to see how much medicine to take), and I’ve noticed a pattern. On Mondays when I go to Qi, the blood pressure readings are lower than on other days! Proof that Qi affects blood pressure. The other is that one of the ladies in the class said to me “I LOVE Mondays” on her way out – obviously another person who feels they’re getting a great deal out of the classes. Just wanted to pass these along and say thanks.
~ Suzanne B.
Before I became ill 2 years ago I was working full time and going to cardio exercise classes everyday. I was working on becoming healthier and fitter. I was progressing with increased strength, endurance, flexibility, and weight loss. Then I developed a severe illness and became unable to work, exercise, and even required assistance with daily actvities.
I saw an advertisement for a Qigong class that would help improve flexibility, balance, breathing, and could even be geared to people with multiple medical health issues. I was so weak from my illnesses and multiple hospitalizations that I thought maybe this would help get me back on track. It looks incredibly easy to do when you watch it but when you are very ill it is incredibly tough to start with.
Over the past few months I have seen dramatic improvements in my balance, breathing, flexibilty, and endurance. What I didn't expect was the change in my psychological well being. I have actually begun to feel that I can improve and if you believe you can that helps you strive even harder.
Will it cure all of my health issues? No. Will it help deal with them better? Yes. Plus the encouragement of others in the class and the instructor make a big difference in how you view yourself and your progress. ~ Linda C.
I truly feel that the qui gong classes have made a difference in my energy level and mobility. You know I have encouraged my many Pat friends to attend, what better endorsement could there be? I plan to continue in 2013. ~Karen S.
Qigong classes have allowed my mind to slow down and connect with my body. During class time, I am totally focused on a calm, controlled motion. The only intensity I experience is that if trying to get the motions perfect. This concentration almost feels like a sort of meditation for me…… ~Rita T.
Your Qigong classes are an experience in meditation for me. I appreciate so much the ability to mentally break off and immerse myself in your classes. Thanks. ~ Maureen H.
At 63, most interested in flexibility, strength and learning to breathe and balance better. Qi Gong is first, a quiet, focused hour: PRACTICE on attention and open minded learning. Always find the calm that develops a wonderful inner guide to "what's going on" in my body if not in my life." A self-perceived "klutz" I appreciate that the qi gong movements are simple, simply repeated and do not involve long involved patterns to learn as in tai chi. I appreciate the simple movement, the simple focus and the awareness that the class is to help everyone, whatever their needs or abilities. I always leave class calmer, refreshed deeply by the attentive breathing and physically refreshed in terms of flexibility, strength and well being.
I appreciate Bina's attitude which is focused, but all the teaching is gentle, good humored, patient and so evident, motivated to help people find better health, inner and outer. ~ Katherine E.
I have been taking Qigong classes from Bina Bou for the last month at the Desert Foothills Library in Carefree. I absolutely love the classes and they definitely help me both physically and emotionally. I have some chronic back problems and the gentle stretching and breathing has beneficial for my back. When I arrive at class I am often stressed from the realities of life. When I leave I feel rejunvenized, calmer, more spiritual and more connected with the universe.
~ Diane F.
Before Qigong, I refused to take out an hour a week to flow, be, not do. After Qigong, a class-induced calmness lasted for several hours, and, over time, knees strengthened and balance and body awareness improved. YAY Qigong! Thanks, Bina. ~ Tom S.
My husband and I couldn’t be more thankful for the Qigong classes Bina has been leading us in for the last three weeks. We have waited such a long time for something like this that we can both participate in together. My husband is disabled and I have severe Arthritis but we both find the gentle, whole body motions very beneficial; strengthening, relaxing and stretching both body and mind. We find we are doing more, thinking and sleeping better because of the Qigong. Bina is so gracious and encouraging, along with being patient and genuinely kind and her knowledge base is amazing. ~ Dave and Tana B.
Here are my thoughts on Qigong: I have tried yoga several times and always felt like I was trying to do gymnastics. Trying to master the various positions was frustrating for me and I would need to concentrate so hard that I would forget to breathe. Therefore, it was not very relaxing and I would often experience joint pain afterwards. I am absolutely thrilled to now have discovered Qigong and look forward to class with you at the Anthem library every Wednesday and would love to see your class go beyond October! I find the flowing movement of Qigong to be very focusing and meditative and find it easy to "be in the moment" and really do feel the connection of "mind, body & spirit". And your reminders to "breathe" really help with that. You are a good teacher! While the flowing movements of Qigong are very relaxing for me, I do leave the class feeling energized and ready to take on the rest of the day. I am developing a love of Qigong and am very grateful to have your class available to me! ~ Jeannie C.
“Bina is a masterful instructor, and learning Qi Gong with her has been a wonderful experience for me. As an exercise, the movements of Qi are slow and gentle, and yet reach deep into the muscles to improve toning and strength. My joints – particularly my shoulders (which have arthritis) - are noticeably more flexible after Qi, and pain upon motion is reduced. Many of the exercises - such as those which involve lifting one foot or leg to hold or move into position - enhance coordination, while the rhythmic breathing focuses the mind. Most beneficial of all is the feeling of peacefulness and well-being I have at the end of a class. Bina’s instructions are clear and easy to follow, and she models every exercise for the class. She’s attentive to the individual needs of her students, adding exercises to address areas of concern for them. I highly recommend Qi as taught by Bina!” ~ Suzanne N.