I often think about how to get the most from Bagua (and other practices) for myself and when I teach.

Searchlight by Kevin - https://www.flickr.com/photos/magickevin/
Searchlight by Kevin - https://www.flickr.com/photos/magickevin/

We often hold high the ideal that in practice the mind is silent, the body turning in a infinite space of sublime zenitude.  

But be honest, how often does this happen?

Internal dialogue, thoughts judgments pop up predictably whether invited or not. Not only that, how we talk to ourselves has consequences.

One possibility is to harness our internal dialogue in the form of questions. Why questions? Because questions focus attention.

Why not commands. Why not tell yourself what to do? Well, commands do sometimes work, however they can often evoke rebellion. After all who do you think you are to tell yourself how to think?

Questions send attention to specific areas in the vast possibility that our nervous system provides. Importantly they can also nudge us out of the habitual loops our attention can move in. Learning demands that we go outside of habits. Use questions to move your awareness around, like a searchlight in a dark night.

Now for the questions. Here are a few that I like.

  • What is happening now?
  • What is different now?
  • Does this serve me?
  • What else can I be aware of?
  • What can I do now?
  • What needs to happen now?
  • What can I do differently now?

There is a theme here. These questions bring attention to the present, often to sensory awareness, hey do not judge, they lead to distinctions or action. You can make up more.

If you actively use these questions during practice they will bring new sensations and possibilities into awareness, including possibilities to improve your body use.

And the transfer?

Well ideally your movement practice leads to better movement patterns, and greater relaxation through the day. Your practice time overlaps into other areas. The same is true of the questions. They can also become a useful habit when stuck in a difficult situation.

Try it and tell me what you think.


  Want some more questions? How could you use some of these? Do you think you could make more?

  • What/Where/How can I relax more?
  • What happens just before X?
  • Where does the movement originate?
  • What is out of balance?
  • What can I improve here?