Qi Gong, Qigong, Chi Kung, or Chi Gung is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training.
With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, Qi Gong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi) or what has been translated as "life energy". It is best carried out before tai chi practice to loosen and warm the muscles and joints.
There are many different forms and versions of Qi Gong, but all forms consist of slow moving or "resting" exercises with coordinated breathing.
Whether viewed from the perspective of exercise, health, philosophy, or martial arts training, there are several principles concerning the practice of Qi Gong:
- Intentional movement: careful, flowing balanced style
- Rhythmic breathing: slow, deep, coordinated with fluid movement
- Awareness: calm, focused meditative state
- Visualization: of qi flow, philosophical tenets, aesthetic
- Softness: soft gaze, expressionless face
- Solid Stance: firm footing, erect spine
- Relaxation: relaxed muscles, slightly bent joints
- Balance and Counterbalance: motion over the center of gravity
- Ba Duan Jin (Eight Silken Movements)
- Shi Ba Shi (Shibashi or 18 Movements)
- Luohan (18 Palms)
- Lotus Blossom
- Long Life 32
- Silk Reeling
The video below shows a modified version of Chen style Silk Reeling which is used as a cool-down and relaxation at the end of each class. If practicing this Qi Gong, remember:
- Keep both feet flat on the floor (bow stance)
- Breath in as you come back and breathe out as you go forward
- Let the body (shoulder) lead and let the hands follow, do not lead with the hands
- Relax and enjoy.