Let’s Slow It Down
Learn about the ancient Chinese practice Qi Gong
In an era where everything has to be done yesterday, people are choosing slower forms of exercise to relax instead of hitting the gym. With the popularity of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates ever increasing, the new celebrity exercise is Qi Gong.
Qi Gong (pronounced Chi Kung) is an ancient Chinese energy practice. It is a self-healing art that combines movement and meditation. Visualization is employed to enhance the mind/body connection and assist healing.
‘Qi’ literally means air which represents a kind of energy flowing through your body. ‘Gong’ means the great effort or work put into the Qi practice. Through working inside your body and mind, using the methodology of Qi Gong, you may achieve a perfect harmony in your body, mind, and spirit. So this may lead to a more energetic and healthier life. Therefore, this is the Chinese way of cultivating the human body and is the ancient Chinese methodology for health, therapy, and longevity.
Practicing Qi Gong
There are 460 movements to learn in the Qi Gong and related Tai Chi programs. Breathing techniques help the chi flow. It is extremely popular in China, where you can often see a lot of people practicing it in the morning. It is estimated that there are about 200 popular forms of Qi Gong and 100 million people practice it.
Qi Gong often has a strong bond with religions, particularly Taoist and Buddhist. One of the examples of this bond is The Shaolin Temple, which is well known for its martial arts (Qi Gong is considered the base of martial arts). Many different forms of this exercise were established over the long history of Qi Gong. The bond between it and religions is an important factor.
Yin and Yang
My Personal Experience With Qi Gong
I used to attend a spiritual healing centre after my heart operation. Here, I became friends with one of the healers who, after learning that I had very little energy, suggested that I enroll in his Qi Gong class. This took place every week in a beautiful, quaint park where he taught people of all ages, with ill health. He would never accept money for it. The youngest was David, a 20 year old Leukemia victim, while at the other end of the scale was Mavis, an 85 year old woman with Chronic Arthritis who had to walk with a stick. All of them swore that they benefited from this form of exercise.
At first I found it hard to get my co-ordination right, but I still enjoyed it immensely. It was like a slow form of martial arts but with meditation thrown in. I found it strange doing exercises called ‘fair maiden’ and ‘turning like a windmill in a calm breeze’. You were also taught to be aware of moon cycles and seasons.
As time went on I became physically stronger, improved my posture, reduced my stress levels and increased my energy levels. Even Mavis became able to walk without a stick. Sadly, David died, so please be aware that this isn’t a cure, but a tool for achieving good health.
Qi Gong is a gentle form of exercise which can be performed by people of any age group and any level of health. It stretches the muscles, the mind, and improves everyone’s quality of life.
Article Written By: Nicola McGeorge; Nicola was born in London, England and is a freelance writer and model. She covers a wide range of topics, and has been published worldwide.