Explore alternative routes to health and hapiness in "Getting Centered"

When one year ends and a new year begins people often pause and reflect.

For many, it’s a time to make a change and leave old habits behind. Others set goals and aim in a new direction.

The date on the calendar is arbitrary, but the human desire to move onward and upward comes from somewhere deep inside. People generally want to better themselves in some way, but there are many obstacles. It takes more than good intentions to follow through; it takes resolve. It requires getting centered.

This month, Inland 360 introduces Getting Centered, a series of stories exploring mind-body practices, ways of going deeper into the self to release stress, prevent disease and find better health, not only physically but mentally.

In the coming weeks, we’ll look at yoga, one of the best known but least understood mind-body practices (contrary to current trends it has nothing to do with special pants, goats, cats, beer or wine); and qigong (pronounced chee-gong), which is growing in popularity in the West. We’ll introduce you to some of the Quad-Cities’ most experienced teachers, starting with today’s feature on Meredith Robbins, a long-time Lewiston tai chi teacher.

Personally, I’ve experienced the benefits of yoga and qigong as both a student and teacher. In a culture where we are facing dependence on pharmaceuticals for health and social media for human interaction, these methods offer an alternative to the alienation many people feel from each other and themselves. Even if you have no plans to ever try any of these practices, maybe this series will give you a better understanding of why people do.

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