Qigong is the art of breathing, posture and movement to circulate your Qi.
What is Qigong?
Qi is a Chinese term used to refer to all types of energy. It is the intrinsic substance or the “vital force” behind all things in the universe. Gong refers to the power to produce an effect, an attainment of, or accomplishment that is achieved with steady practice. Loosely, Qigong can be translated as the Study of Qi.
Today, Qigong most often refers to the art and science of using breath, posture, movement, and/or sound to cleanse, refine, accumulate and circulate Qi in the body. This leads to improved health, transformation of consciousness, and greater power for martial arts. Through the cultivation and regulation of body, mind, breathing, and vocalization, our resistance to disease, adaptability to the external environment, and immunity to pathogenic influences is strengthened. With a strong immune system, diseases are prevented, creating a state of super health, vitality, and youthfulness for the practitioner.
Why learn Qigong?
Qigong is an ancient and powerful exercise that can improve our body’s overall health and also enhance our martial arts ability. In internal martial arts, the source of internal power is from the cultivation of our body’s Qi. Learning the ability to cultivate, accumulate and circulate our body’s Qi increases our strength and internal power. The practice of Qigong focuses on circulating our body’s Qi to nourish and strengthen the functions of all of our internal organs, thus improving our body’s ability to regulate our biological systems. The practice of Qigong is an effective way to naturally heal and strengthen our internal organs and regulate and maintain the proper function of our body’s internal systems, minimizing the need for pharmaceutical drugs. Qigong is also practiced for spiritual awakening, connecting our body’s Qi to the Qi in the universe.
There are many different Qigong systems, styles, and exercises taught around the world. Our school teaches the Health Qigong systems developed by the Chinese Health Qigong Association. The Chinese Health Qigong Association is the only official governing body for Qigong in China. As part of a government initiative, China’s elite sports universities conducted scientific research on Qigong’s effectiveness and developed a series of Qigong movements to most optimize health and fitness.
Wu Qin Xi (Five Animal Play)
Wu Qin Xi was developed by Hua Tuo from the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25-220), known as the father of Chinese Medicine. It imitates the actions of five animals: tiger, deer, bear, monkey and bird, each series of movements focused on strengthening different internal organs. It simulates the power of tiger, the ease and comfort of deer, the steadiness and calmness of bear, the dexterity of monkey, and the agility of bird. Wu Qin Xi concentrates on balancing the internal organs to strengthen and conditions the body.
Ba Duan Jin (Eight Section Brocade)
Ba Duan Jin emerged before the Song dynasty (960-1279) and developed into a formal exercise in Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). It is one of the most popular forms of Qigong practiced today. Ba Duan Jing movements couple tension with relaxation and activeness with quietness. Ba Duan Jin concentrates on the strong and healthy functioning of the internal organs, especially helpful for those suffering from chronic illness.
Daoyin Yang Sheng Gong Shi Er Fa (12-Step Dao Yin Health Preservation Exercises)
The first depictions of Daoyin exercises were found in the Mawangdui tomb, dated to 143 BC, showing 44 figures doing Daoyin exercises. It is the earliest exercise chart in the world. Daoyin Yang Sheng Gong Shi Er Fa (12-Step Daoyin Health Preservation Exercises) was created by Beijing Sports University to improve the function of the body’s organs and to enhance cardio-pulmonary function, body shape, flexibility, balance, coordination, and nervous system regulation.
Yi Jin Jing (Tendon – Muscle Strengthening)
Yi Jin Jing is one of the oldest and most popular Qigong exercises practiced in China. Legend goes that Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen in China (circa 5th century), advanced Yi Jin Jing. The practice of Yi Jin Jing was considered by ancient martial arts masters as the secret to long lasting youth. Yi Jin Jing focuses on turning and flexing the spine with soft, extended, even movements that invigorate the limbs and internal organs. Yi Jin Jing concentrates on improving flexibility, balance, muscular strength, and the respiratory system.
Liu Zi Jue (Six Sounds Approach)
The earliest record of Liu Zi Jue can be found in the documents of Northern and Southern Dynasty (420-581). Liu Zi Jue focuses on breath control, regulating and controlling the rise and fall of Qi through the inhalation and exhalation of six sounds. The routine strengthens the liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidneys, thus helping to balance the energy and functions of the internal organs, and has also been shown to have a calming effect and to alleviate stress.