Results for category "Qigong"

Qigong-What should I focus on?

One possible definition for Qigong is an exercise which harmonizes the body, mind andbreath. The mind can only focus on one thing fully in one moment and so the practitioner should focus on just one of these three elements during practice and use either the breath, energy or the body (movement or posture) as the ‘anchor’.

Qigong

Qigong

What do you mean Anchor?

For example liu zi jue (six healing sounds) is a form of qigong which uses the breath as its focus. It is a breathing exercise where different sounds correspond to different organs in the body and the sound is said to have healing effects on that organ. This is not to say that there are not forms of liu zi jue do not use other elements. Liu zi jue may also use visualization techniques (mind) and at the same time using movements (body), however these visualizations and movements should come from the breath. In other words in a form of Qigong that uses the breath as its focus,  the breath leads and the movements and visualizations follow the breath, the movements and visualization are anchored in the breath.

But I know a type of Qigong that doesn’t use the mind or the breath?

Even when the breath, mind or body is not obviously focused on, these elements are always harmonized in Qigong.  In Baduanjin, an exercise which uses gentle meditative movements to open up the energy, the anchor or focus is movement and no obvious attention is paid to the mind or the breath. These peaceful Qigong movements will naturally have an effect on the mind and breath and so the mind and the breath will naturally be harmonized. After the Qigong you may notice that your breath has become smoother and more relaxed and your mind is more peaceful.

The hundreds and thousands of types of Qigong all come from an understanding that the body, mind (and spirit) and breath (and energy) all influence each other and so adjusting one will bring harmony and positive changes in the others.

Is Qigong like Taichi?

This question gets asked a lot and the simple answer is yes…and no.

Qigong

Qigong

The two Chinese characters for Qigong mean ‘Energy’ and ‘Hard work’ meaning that Qigong is the practice of energy which is mastered over time. There are literally thousands of different kinds of Qigong and these can be broadly categorized into Martial Qigong for the martial arts, Health or medical Qigong, Daoist Qigong and Buddhist Qigong.

Qigong can be as simple as a sitting posture where one focuses on the breath or a complicated set of movements which takes many hours to complete. Some of these forms of Qigong may have similar characteristics to Tai Chi, for example the soft flowing techniques of Yang style Tai Chi is similar to the relaxed movements of the Qigong form Baduanjin (8 Brocades). However, Qigong forms may also appear very different to Tai Chi, for example in Ying Qigong or ‘hard Qigong’ from the martial arts, the movements are often very tense and explosive.

Even though the outward appearance of a Qigong form may be very different than Tai Chi, both Tai Chi and Qigong work on the energy of the body and so one could even say that Tai Chi is a type of Qigong.