We do not start with qigong
Qigong is often associated with calm movements synchronised with the breath to relax the body. These type of mindful movements do wonder for our health. It brings us into the body, calms the nervous system and brings clarity to the mind. But it should not be equated with qigong. Most of the practices are actually preparations for qigong.
The mastery of qi
Qigong is the art of mastering the circulation and function of energy within the body. This is a quite advanced stage. It takes time to open the meridians and build enough qi to be able to perform qigong. When we first begin to practice, we are often not in touch with the subtle energy of the body. So we begin with various exercises to stretch and open the meridians in the body. We work with body awareness to calm the nervous system and mind. We practice attentive listening in order to become aware of more subtle layers of the breath (qì, 气, can be translated as both “energy” and “breath”). From this foundation, we build qi through internal work on specific energy centers in the body. Now we are ready for qigong.
Laying the foundation
If you want to build a house, you need to start with the foundation. Unless you have that in place, the house will not be able to stand. Rushing and taking shortcuts actually delays the whole project. Eventually, you will have to go back to the basics. The same is true for our qigong practice.
In this practice, we begin building a structure into the body through the standing posture. This structure will start a process of opening the main channels of the body. You will learn how to:
- Open the central channel by creating a natural stretch
- Open the feet so that the legs can begin to conduct qi
- Open the hands so that qi can travel through the arms into the central channel
Begin to lay the foundation of your qigong with the following guided practice:
Preparing for qigong – standing posture:
Enter the world of qi