What is Qigong (氣功)
Qigong (qìgōng 氣功)is an ancient Chinese method to promote health and vitality to our Internal organs and enhance the mood of our minds.
Qigong is simply a method of exercising to achieve a harmony between body and mind. It works to stretch and compress the organs, open the joints and to promote flexibility. The exercises are very gentle and involve slowly synchronising our breathing with our movement. Over time the exercises help us focus our attention inside the body and promote the opening of constrictions, tightness and binding.
The literal translation of Qigong is ‘to work with the breath’:
- 氣Qi: breath
- 功Gong: workout
We refer to these kinds of ancient exercises as the ‘internal arts’ because the work we do is focused on the inside of the body. The ‘internal arts’ are the foundation of many martial arts, of spiritual cultivation for Daoist’s and Buddhist’s alike and are closely tied into Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM). So, whether you are seeking a spiritual experience, learning meditation techniques, want to develop martial arts skills, or just want to be healthier. Then the regular practice of Qigong can be of benefit.
With its roots in ancient Chinese culture dating back more than 4,000 years, a wide variety of Qigong forms have developed within different geographical, cultural and social parts of Chinese society. The main methods of Qigong that we teach are Wu Xing Nei Gong (Five Animals & Elements play), Liu He Shen Gong (6 Inner & Outer Harmonies) Hui Chun Qigong (Back to Spring) but these are just a few of the practices that we will focus on in our classes.
Wu Xing Nei Gong (Five Animals & Elements play)
This style of Qigong is known in China as Nei Jia Quan (Internal health and Martial practices) is derived from the ancient Five Animals & Five Elements methods that the Taoist monks have been using for centuries in the monasteries of Wudang Shan (Wudang Mountain) China. The practice and emulation of the Five Animals is thought to bring good health to the mind and body through a harmonisation with the Five Elements which are key governing principles in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The system of movements is a kind of Feng Shui for the body promotes healthy internal organs. The practice of this unique Qigong method is rarely taught here in the west and it is an excellent way for students to learn balance, structure, breathing techniques along with a strong mind and body.
Liu He Shen Gong (6 Inner & Outer Harmonies)
Liu He Shen Gong, refers to the practices of calming the self by using both sitting and standing methods. These Inner techniques work methodologically towards calming the system and developing what is called Shen Gong (inner will, force, spirit workout). This method will develop a focused calmness and deepen the meditative qualities sought by its practitioners.
Hui Chun Qigong (Back to Spring)
This specific ancient method of Qigong is one of the most beautiful systems in the Xuan Wu practices of Wudang Shan (Wudang Mountain) China. Though it is easy to learn, and the method includes lots of repetitions it has a depth and complexity that means the more you practice the more you unravel the inner workings of the method. The breathing methods are unique in that they direct the student to focus their breath on different areas of the body. Students will learn to unify the mind and body from within, as the mind calms and is regulated by the needs of the body. As the student becomes more relaxed and grounded (Song) they are able to open themselves and embrace the Hun Yuan (Cosmic Circle) thereby returning to spring, or as the Chinese would say, returning to youth.