What is qi gong? This is the first question that I am often asked. Qi gong literally translates into qi cultivation. The next questions is “what is qi?” Simplistically, it is our life force but like the eskimos and their snow, qi has many ways of relating to it. Qigong, like tai qi is also from China and is based on the philosophy of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confusionism. When practicing qigong you use visualizations from nature to guide and cultivate qi. There are four universal forms from China and countless family forms.
Cultivating qi is important because we get a certain amount from our parents, this is called our pre-natal qi. This qi goes into our “qi bank account” but we only get so much and as we age we spend it. Hence, the gray hair, loose teeth etc... Our post-natal qi comes from our food and how we take care of ourselves. If we eat poorly and run around like chickens with our heads cut off we exhaust our post-natal qi. When this happens we start tapping into our deeper pre-natal qi. Life is short anyway so why age faster than we have to. Through qi gong we “cultivate” and supplement our post-natal qi strengthening our reserves.
Qigong is a moving meditative and is perfect for those people who “just can’t sit down and turn off their brain”. The movements are focused using your intention or yi and allow the inside to quiet. In other words you channel your mind so that it can’t ruminate. Once the mind is out of the way the body can heal itself and fall into more natural rhythms. You might even forget to pick up those worries again after practice.