Originating from Chinese medicine, Qigong has become a popular practice in the Western world. Offering numerous benefits and advantages, it can be a part of your spiritual journey which intensifies your experiences. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
What is Qigong?
To understand what Qigong is, we should first break down the word itself. Qi means either ‘vital energy’ or ‘subtle breath’ (depending on the translation) while gong means ‘skill cultivated through careful practice’. With that in mind, Qigong is a skillful practice that helps you to utilize the vital energy for health, wellness, and spiritual reasons.
The broad term is given to a wide variety of practices, including self-massage, breathing techniques, meditation, focusing the mind, and using postures. Since each person is on their own individual journey, the way in which they interpret this practice is unique. Experts theorize that there are thousands of different schools and techniques in the world.
Embarking on a Qigong experience can be revitalizing and refreshing. The secret to gaining from this practice is determining which pathway suits you as an individual. You may wish to try an array of Qigong styles before you decide which one is right for you. Remember, you should take this journey at your own pace and discover its power.
The Benefits of Qigong
Students come to the Qigong experience for their own reasons. However, there are many undeniable benefits of this practice. When you get started here, you will quickly reap the rewards of the practice and begin to see its advantages. Here are some of the key points:
1. Higher level of awareness
Through postures, exercises, and focused concentration, the Qigong practice helps us on our journey toward achieving a higher level of awareness. This practice may be combined with many different spiritual techniques that help elevate our minds. When you’re engaged in a Qigong activity or exercise, your sole focus is on the vital energy. Harnessing that power changes the way in which you connect to the universe. It is a wondrous transformation.
2. Managing illnesses
Coping with ongoing pain and illness can be a struggle. Some people find that through Qigong, they can overcome some of the hurdles presented by their condition. The practice has previously been used as a way of managing long-term health complaints. Needless to say, each person is unique and the way they deal with pain is too. While the practice may prove helpful for some people out there, this is a highly personal experience.
3. Supporting health
Supporting your everyday health and wellness is another benefit of Qigong. The healing aspect of this practice should not be overlooked. In Chinese medicine, this practice is used to help people maintain good health and keep them strong. For that reason, the power of the practice has to be taken into consideration. When starting out on a Qigong journey, students may wish to learn about the history and origin of the practice.
4. Building concentration
The modern world is fraught with endless distractions that stop our minds from focusing. One of the major benefits of Qigong is that it builds concentration. The fundamentals of this practice teach us to concentrate the mind on the Qi and build its power. Through doing so, we can become more in-tune with our own energy and that of the universe.
5. Encouraging longevity
One of the main beliefs when it comes to Qigong is that the energy can be used to strengthen the organs. According to Buddhist and Daoist philosophy, monks are able to use this practice to extend their lifespan. The monks used the sacred techniques of the Qi energy and incorporating them into their daily lives. It is thought that through this technique that they could become stronger than ever and live longer.
The main Qigong techniques
As we have already mentioned, there’s a variety of ways in which people can practice Qigong. However, the two foundational techniques remain the same. Whenever you’re engaging in this spiritual practice, recall one of these methods to your mind.
Concentration is at the heart of the Qigong experience. Through this powerful practice, students focus their mind on the Qi energy and all it has to offer. People who embark on this journey may expand their consciousness and become more mindful. It is a process of intense relaxation and one that grows stronger over time. Engaging in the practice on a regular basis can help students build their levels of concentration.
Accompanying concentration, there is breathing. This aspect of the Qigong plays an important role in the practice. Students learn to focus and control their breathing through a series of exercises. These activities help to connect the mind with the Qi energy and spark a period of enlightenment. There are two breathing techniques, known simply as Buddha’s Breath and Daoist’s Breath, which students can use in their sessions.
Choosing a Qigong path
Since Qigong is a personal journey, the path that you choose will be specific to your needs and lifestyle. While there may be thousands of techniques out there, each of them falls into one of two schools. You can choose either:
1. Clinical Qigong
Enlisting the guidance of a clinical Qigong practitioner means that you can have expert support and advice. The professional will take you through some of the most vital practice activities and exercises. You can also discuss what you hope to gain from the experience with them. They will help tailor a Qigong journey that suits you on an individual level.
2. Personal Qigong
Should you wish to walk this path alone, personal Qigong is the way to go. This is a journey of self-discovery in which you follow the techniques by yourself. You will need to read and learn about the practice activities to understand them. Using movement, concentration activities, and breath-work, you may connect with the Qi energy.
Have we sparked your interest in Qigong? If you’re intrigued by this ancient practice, why not research it further? Take the time to read up on Qigong techniques and try them.