It’s easier than tai chi and less physically strenuous than yoga. It builds a subtle strength and flexibility throughout the whole body and you feel great afterwards.
Entrenched in Chinese medicine and having stood the test of time (5000 years by some accounts), Qigong might just be the perfect activity for our time.
What yoga is to Ayurvedic medicine and India, qigong is to the traditional medical system of China.
It is a study which delves to the depths of the fabric of reality, yet the basics can be learnt in just a few minutes.
Several years ago I taught quite an active form of qigong to a 5year old boy, just before teaching seated qigong in a residential home to a group of ladies, of which the eldest was 105. It is the very definition of inclusive.
In a time when we are surrounded by and bombarded with the very Yang aggression of uncertainty, panic, and fear, qigong brings us back within, calming and grounding, building up our reserves of Yin energy, preserving, nurturing, and defending our very beings.
I believe that in the West we are increasingly awakening to the power of qigong. I train in a variety of different arts: tai chi, kung fu, kickboxing, meditation, kettlebells, clubbells, maces, and Persian meels, and occasionally some yoga classes here and there…yet I believe the fundamental thread that runs throughout all of my practice is qigong. It is qigong I practice the most, and it is the thing I miss the most when I don’t get to practice.
It is so fundamental to reducing my stress levels, anxiety and particularly for me if I don’t train or do exercise, a low level mild form depression. I believe it is qigong that keeps all of these things at bay.
It also makes me feel relaxed and loose in my body – especially the joints, releases tension after hard training, or warms me up in preparation.
Most importantly in our current climate, it offers almost immediate relief from stress and anxiety.
Or you can just stand or sit straight right where you are and take a few deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth, gently moving your arms up and around in a circle towards your forehead as you breathe in, and then push the hands down the centre line of your body towards the ground as your breathe out…. Then circle up and round to repeat…. Just 5 or 6 times will make you feel better already!
We need some reassuring simplicity in our lives right now, many of us need something new to learn and a focus and practice for the months ahead, something to train in at home that offers an amazing combination of stress reduction, a boost to our immune system, and being accessible to all through an online medium.
If you’d like to study tai chi online with me at White Crane Online please feel free to check our site and/or message me for details. If you’re a practitioner already, please share this post and we can spread some positivity amidst the troubled daily news at present.