Chi Gong and Flow Yoga (also known as Calligraphy Yoga) incorporates powerful principles of Tai Chi, Taoist Qi Gong and Yoga from Indian and Taoist influences to create a flowing practice of circular natural movements. It works on freeing the spine, joints, meridians and energy centres within the body, thus promoting blood, mental/nervous and digestive circulation. All Chi Gong and Flow Yoga movements originate from and are powered by your energy centres, called Dan Tien.
Happiness, Health and Wellbeing with Chi Gong and Flow Yoga Exercises
What is Chi Gong (Qigong)?
Chi (Qi) means: Energy, Vitality or Life.
Gong means: Working with, Developing or Cultivating.
Chi Gong (Qigong) does not have a singular exact meaning but it is generally accepted that it means working with energy or developing vitality.
It’s a collective name given to a vast array of practices that have been developed over 2,500 years. While the different styles of Chi Gong each have their own unique practices, all of the styles of Chi Gong have one thing in common: they are based on the human energy system.
Your Energy System
The energy system in Chi Gong is the same as used in Acupuncture. Acupuncture works with the energy systems which consists of pathways or lines of energy which are called meridians or channels
There are 20 major channels.
Twelve of these are related to specific internal organs or functions. Along each meridian are ‘points’ which have very specific functions.
Eight of these channels are known as the Extraordinary Meridians.
Goals of Chi Gong
- Maintain health, prevent illness, and extend longevity. Chi Gong is a powerful tool for maintaining and restoring harmony to the organ systems, essential substances and channels
- Core strength and soft power, fluid and integrated movements, improved balance and alignment, minimal risk of injury, mental and emotional development and prolonged mood-altering effects.
Chi Gong can be practiced at any age.
Chi Gong exercises help maintain health by creating a state of mental and physical calmness, which indicates that the Chi is balanced and harmonious. This allows the mind/body/spirit to function efficiently, with the least amount of stress.
Slow, deep, lower abdominal breathing is a powerful tool for healing and transformation. A wide range of emotional and physical problems can be helped by slow breathing
The Powerful Effects of Chi Gong (Qigong)
Chi Gong, which combines meditative and physically active elements, is the basic exercise system within Chinese medicine. Chi Gong exercises are designed to help you preserve, strengthen and balance the flow of your Chi. Its dynamic exercises and meditations have Yin (being) and Yang (doing) aspects.
Yin Chi Gong exercises are expressed through relaxed stretching, visualization, and breathing. The advantage of internal exercise includes healing development of core strength and soft power, fluid and integrated movements, improved balance and alignment, minimal risk of injury, mental and emotional development and prolonged mood-altering effects. It can also be practiced at any age.
Yang Chi Gong exercises are expressed in a more aerobic or dynamic way and prioritises aerobic fitness, muscular strength, speed and agility.
Both are particularly effective for supporting the immune system.
Chinese medicine uses Chi Gong exercises to maintain health, prevent illness, and extend longevity because it is a powerful tool for maintaining and restoring harmony to the organ systems, essential substances and channels. Chi Gong is also used for non-medical purposes such as for fighting and for pursuing enlightenment.
Chi Gong’s physical and spiritual routines move Chi through the Twelve Primary Channels and the Eight Extra Channels, balancing it, smoothing its flow, and strengthening it.
Anyone of any age or physical condition can do Chi Gong. You don’t have to be able to run a marathon or bench press weights to pursue healthfulness and enjoy the benefits. When you design your Chi Gong exercise practice, you (or your teacher) will pick what suits your individual constitution.
Benefits of Regular Practice
Chi Gong exercises help maintain health by creating a state of mental and physical calm, which indicates that the Chi is balanced and harmonious. This allows the mind/body/spirit to function most efficiently, with the least amount of stress.
Most of us are familiar with physical strength of muscles, and when we think about exercising, we think in terms of tensing muscles. Chi Gong practice is different. Chi strength is revealed by a smooth, calm, concentrated effort that is free of stress.
When you start practicing Chi Gong exercises, the primary goal is to concentrate on letting go, letting go, letting go. That is because most imbalance comes from holding on to too much for too long.
It is easier to prevent an illness than to remedy it. Chi Gong has powerful preventive effects. However, when disharmony becomes apparent, Chi Gong exercises can also play a crucial role in restoring harmony, even with serious illnesses such as cancer.
Chi Gong movement and postures are shaped by the complementary interrelationship of qualities such as fast and slow, hard and soft, excess or deficiency, and external and internal. Chi Gong exercises use these contrasting and complementary qualities to restore harmony to the essential substances, organ systems and channels.
The Foundational Techniques of Chi Gong
When practising Qi Gong, your concentration and breathing techniques lead you into your Chi energy awareness. It is a process of focusing in and letting go at the same time. Through deep relaxation and expanding your consciousness, you are able to create a frame of mind that is large enough to encompass your entire mind – body – spirit/s functions, yet focused enough to allow outside distractions, worries, and everyday hassles to drift away.
The Transformative Power of Deep Slow Breathing
Slow, deep, lower abdominal breathing is a powerful tool for healing and transformation. A wide range of emotional and physical problems can be helped by slow breathing which can be practiced both while lying down or sitting or standing. It is a tool to deepen into a calm, centred and intuitive state.
Body and Mind
‘Once set in motion, the whole body is unified and must be light and filled with spirit’ Tai Chi Ch’uan Classic, 12th – 14th centuries
The cultivation of the body and mind is designed to develop integrated movement and full body awareness, optimum alignment (top/bottom, left/right, forward/backward), balance and rootedness, fluid and relaxed lengthening and releasing, soft power and core strength. Practising under the guidance of a teacher will slowly restore channel elasticity and natural movement and promote healthy joints and pleasure in the body. As far as the mind is concerned, the aim is absorption in the present moment. The fully present mind can explore internally and dwell in the breath, the whole body or its particular parts. Alternatively, it can move out to connect with sky, earth, sun and moon, trees, birds, flowing water and so on – especially when we practise outdoors.
‘A day and a night of regular breathing can [reverse] twenty years of chronic illness’.
Yuan Hao, 15th century
Breathing is unique among autonomic functions such as cardiac, digestive and hormonal systems, in that it is both automatic (most of us breathe without conscious awareness or intervention) and at the same time can be consciously controlled. This ability to consciously control the breath is used as a powerful tool for emotional, mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Chi Gong teaches long, slow and deep breathing down into the lower abdomen – a method that helps manage anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Choose your workshops, public and private classes.
Marion has studied and practiced mainly under the guidance of Master Zhen Hua Yang.
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