Qi (“chee”) is our Life Force, or energy. Gong means “skill.”
Qi Gong is a practice of developing sensitivity to Qi and building an ability to manage or use Qi. The practice comes from China where it was developed thousands of years ago. Qi Gong exercises are part of Chinese Medicine, and can be used to improve and maintain health.
Styles of Qi Gong
There are many different styles of Qi Gong. Some forms include gentle movements while others have less physical movement, and more internal awareness and movement of Qi – almost like meditation. Like most Chinese medical arts, Qi Gong has been developed over thousands of years and handed down primarily through apprenticeship.
In the west, Qi Gong is emerging as a popular form of contemplative exercise.
There are many different teachers offering classes in various forms of Qi Gong. I have found these gentle exercises to be very helpful for feeling my own energy, to connect to my inner world, to calm my mind, enliven my spirit, not to mention increasing my physical and mental stamina.
Although the physical benefits are a powerful draw for many people, Qi Gong is a practice with the potential to develop one’s consciousness. Many practitioners utilize Qi Gong as their spiritual practice to expand the possibilities of human potential beyond the limits of current societal expectations.
Try a Qi Gong Class
Tina Zhang is an accomplished martial artist and Qi Gong teacher living in New York City. Visit Tina Zhang’s website.