Alena Chemidova

When I was 1.5 years old, I was diagnosed ICP, spastic paraparesis of lower limbs. Doctors’ verdict (in my case) sounded like: “No, it can’t be cured. But we recommend you to take medicines from time to time, to take medical treatment, not to let it “get worse”.

I first learned about Qigong, when I was 14. The brother of my mom’s friend once gave me a paper with Qigong exercises printed on it. I got eager to know what Qigong was. I liked it, that you could do it slowly and you didn’t need to be physically fit. At that time I was taking these exercises as a game, that I was able to play to the utmost, and that I was succeeding in, unlike in other dynamic games for kids.

I was deeply depressed in autumn 2012. I realised, that if I didn’t change something, I would not see the light. I started thinking, what I could change. What I actually wanted.

And then I remembered about these exercises, and I started looking for Qigong classes close to the place where I lived.

​That’s how I started going to Pavel Ryabikov’s classes, and that’s when I started to practice Qigong for real. A serious, diligent and “soft” work began. The classes started with “standing still”, the aim of it is to calm one’s mind, to relax, to reach the state (as they say in a famous commercial) “let the world wait…”. At first it was very difficult to calm down the attention, but with the time I gradually succeeded to, and there I started realising the difference of the two states.

During the classes Pavel was paying attention to the fact that we need to practice not only when we are in class, but we need to develop the practice, and everything that we do, needs to be done “naturally”. If some situation knocks you out of this natural state, you take it into consideration, and return into the natural state. Pavel organises trips to a Master’s school in China once a year. 

It’s a precious experience, and it gives an amazing opportunity to look at “the way it is” there by yourself, these trips made me advance significantly in my practicing. The programme is very interesting and full of discoveries, at a slow pace. The school is located at the foot of a mountain in a little forest, far away from the civilisation. You train all day under the guidance of the best school’s teachers, as “other Chinese students do”. Wonderful hiking tours in the mountains, with great variety of trails, are organised on week-ends.

Later Pavel suggested that I should study the “Crocodile” exercises and recommended me to see Eduard Gatalskiy. I took my first class with Eduard in winter. Winter was a very dangerous period for me, in terms of moving around. The cold was immobilising my body, the back muscles were in the state of increased muscle tone.

After the first few classes I learned to manage the discomfort caused by the cold, I found balance while walking. I was not falling down any more (!) and I started to love winter the way it was.

Further to that, I started noticing some little pleasant moments, like when I’m in a train in the Metro, I realise how nice it is just to be sitting. The loins are breathing, are relaxed. That’s amazing. It was the first time I realised it. You are sitting and you are feeling fine. Just fine.

I do the Tree posture, “snake”, “crocodile” exercises and steps every morning. You tune yourself like you tune a guitar to make it sound better.

Our body – is the processor of information. We interact with the world through our body, and quality of our life depends on whether our body is in good or bad condition. If you are mentally and physically calm, then the information you are sending to the world will be correct, strong, and, the most important is, it will be full of love and joy towards the people surrounding you.

I would like to finish my little story with the words from an Apache prayer:

Looking behind, I am filled with gratitude,
Looking forward, I am filled with vision,
Looking upwards, I am filled with strength,
Looking within, I discover peace.