What is Qigong?
Qigong (also transliterated as Chi Kung) is the art of cultivating internal energy. "Qi" here refers to yuan qi, that is, your original energy inherited from your parents, and "gong" simply means the work involved in the cultivation of energy.
Traditional Chinese medicine talks about the smooth flow of qi or life force energy throughout our bodies. The unimpeded flow of qi helps to develop a calm mind and a healthy body. This energy can be enhanced by various methods. The practice of Qigong is one such method. It employs relaxation, visualisation and various postures to create harmony and balance in our mind and body. This state of calm is conducive to cultivating energy (qi) in our bodies. The use of the mind is the main ingredient in the cultivation of qi. The regular practice of Qigong has a very beneficial effect on our health and well being.
There are three types of Qigong:
- static (sitting, standing - similar to meditation),
- semi-dynamic (little or no stepping but with upper body movements) and,
- dynamic (every part of the body is moving, such as Tai Chi)
In our Tai Chi classes, students learn all three forms of Qigong. All three share the same characteristics: calmness of the mind and relaxation of the body which are conducive to the cultivation of qi. In all three forms, correct posture is emphasised as it is essential to the development of one’s Qigong. However, we gain many more benefits from practising Tai Chi (a dynamic Qigong) than from practising the static forms and almost all of the semi-dynamic Qigong sets. In Tai Chi, the body is also being developed holistically. This results in freedom of movement, greater flexibility and strength, and the ability to relax in motion.