Munira Jiwa: connect to calm with Qigong
Munira Jiwa is on a mission to help people discover the transformative effects of qigong. Her goal is to make this ancient Chinese practice of balancing the body’s energy, a staple in our western health care system, such that doctors prescribe it along with other treatment and healing modalities.
“We all have an innate ability to help ourselves heal, and when you slow yourself down, slow down your breathing, tune into your body, activate that energy, you open yourself up to infinite possibilities to heal and experience wellness,” said Munira, adding, “I wish more people knew about this practice and the benefits.”
Munira discovered qigong when she was at a low point in her life, suffering with a number of ailments including fatigue, chronic pain, chronic bronchitis, and depression. A mother with two toddlers, immersed in a busy career as a physical therapist, she was physically and emotionally depleted, and says all she wanted to do was curl up and go to sleep.
“Qigong was kind of a last resort thing for me to try. I didn’t know anything about energy work but I was so tired of being so tired, and I knew there had to be some way to feel better,” she said, adding, “When you put your arms up in the air and surrender, the Universe conspires to support you, and it supported me by leading me on a qigong journey.”
Qigong, pronounced “chi gong,” is a simple practice of meditation and movement that trains the body and mind to balance energy (chi) using a combination of breathwork, visualization, simple movements, and sound. Developed in China thousands of years ago, qigong is an integral branch of traditional Chinese medicine and has helped improve and health and well-being of millions of people around the world.
“I started with a home-study program from Spring Forest Qigong on video, and just started practicing along with Master Lin (the creator of this style of qigong) for 30 minutes a day. I didn’t really understand the foundations of the practice, but I started to feel lighter, happier, my energy was improving. After a couple of months of practicing, my pain completely disappeared … the change was life altering for me,” she said.
Intrigued, Munira set out on a quest to learn more, practice more, keep feeling better, and help others. She took the training to become a Master and Certified Spring Forest Qigong instructor, and within five years of practicing, many of her health issues had significantly improved. She was so grateful and committed, she ended her career in physical therapy and made qigong her life’s work.
Today, seventeen years into this commitment, Munira has touched and transformed the lives of many with her infinite skills and boundless passion.
“I know this is my path – I’m where I’m meant to be,” she said.
Offering Qigong at Wellspring
Munira has been providing Spring Forest Qigong for cancer survivors and caregivers at Wellspring for 12 years. Participants in her class are eager to share how the practice has positively impacted their own lives.
“I had been suffering with chronic lower back pain as a result of being a high-performance luge athlete in my 20s. With Spring Forest Qigong I went from pain – to no pain! And a much more positive mental outlook!” said Julie Barker. “I was so taken with the practice of Spring Forest Qigong that I went on to train with Munira Jiwa. I got my first three levels in the healing modality and became certified as a Spring Forest Qigong Group Practise Leader.”
For Munira, helping to connect class participants to their life force energy, find calmness, balance their emotions, manage cancer side effects, and inspire hope in their healing journey brings her immense joy. She also finds it tremendously rewarding to witness the caregivers in her classes experience more energy and peace, as well as release any built up guilt, stress and sadness.
“It is such an honour to be on this journey with others and to offer hope and peace to those who are facing cancer. I really do love that Wellspring is a community where people have free access to tools that are so important for mental, emotional and physical well-being,” said Munira, adding. “Wellspring is such a blessing for so many people and I am so blessed to be at Wellspring.”
To learn more and find out about classes outside of Wellspring, visit Munira Jiwa.