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  Qi Gong

 

Qi (pronounced chee) is the Chinese character for air, breath, life force, or life-essence.

Gong is the character for effort, work, and labour.

Thus Qi Gong, sometimes spelled Chi Kung, essentially translates into `the work of strengthening one's life energy".

People often mistake Tai Chi and Qi Gong as one and the same thing, however Tai Chi is a Martial Art. The form, Pushing hands, the weapons forms etc, all relate to this aspect of the art. There are many types of Qi Gong , Daoist, Buddhist, Medical and Martial to name but a few of the major styles.

Qi Gong is a series of breathing and physical exercises that people of all ages and physical conditions can easily perform. Qi Gong requires no special equipment, time, or place.  It requires as much or as little time as you can dedicate daily, spent in a concentrated state of mind, performing a set of simple - yet powerful - mind/body/spirit exercises (static, moving and meditative) to bring the person together as a whole.

 
 

The goals of Qi Gong exercise are to promote self-healing, maintain good health, and to build internal strength, fitness, and balance.  By learning and practicing a set of concentrative techniques, controlled breathing techniques, and specific slow movements or postures, Qi Gong practitioners can circulate, control, and cultivate the Qi that flows through the energy meridians within the body.  This Qi then nourishes and strengthens the body and when property cultivated and stored, may be used in healing others.  People who practice Qi Gong feel calmer, more energized.  They also look remarkably "well".

When the body is relaxed, Qi starts to grow in the Tan tien (Dan Tien), then moves to the legs and the feet. When the legs are strong, the back will also become strong. More practice builds up the Qi in the tan tien, more Qi makes you stronger. However developing the Qi can take a little time. When the body movements are correct, the body is relaxed and the Qi can develop.

One of the goals of practicing qi gong is to make our qi circulate strongly through the meridians in our bodies. This helps us resist or overcome imbalances or blockages and their resulting disharmonies. That is also the goal of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Qigong therefore 'fits' into the regimen of Chinese medicine. The qi gong art thus plays a fully active role to prevent disease or permit recovery.

Chinese herbology, acupuncture, and qi gong are three parts of a single entity, as closely related as water, steam, and ice. They can be and often are used separately, and may be used together. With dietetics and massage they are considered to be the indispensable components of traditional Chinese health care. While acupuncture, herbal medicine and medical qi gong typically focus on curing sickness, normal qi gong focuses on maintaining good health.

 

We teach the basic 8 brocades, 5 animals at play, the steps of Yu and Wild Goose Qi Gong (Dayan Gong).

 
 

HIGH USAGE

 

MEDIUM USAGE

LOW USAGE

 

. Wild Goose (Dayan Gong) first 64
. Wild Goose (Dayan Gong) Second 64
. Tripod and Spiral (San Xia)
. Bagua Palm (Mian Zhang)
. Pai Du
. Yin Zhu Yan's Zhu JI form
.
8 pieces of brocade public and Yang family style

 
 

. Qi Gong exercises and meditation
. 5 animals frolics
. Shaolin Nei Gong
. Steps of Yu
. Meridian Qi Gong
. Iron shirt Qi Gong

 

 

Mark and Sandy with teacher Yin Zu Yan  (one of Gr Master Yang Mei Jun's Tudi)

 
 

Terminology

Jing

The character for jing carries the meaning of sperm or essences; it has to be translated according to its context. Jing is considered the source of life. It is sperm and vaginal moisture, ephemeral essence and the organic substance that forms the foundation for growth, reproduction, and development. Jing is responsible for bone growth in children, teeth, hair, normal mental development and sexual maturity. After puberty, jing engenders reproductive function and fertility. Jing moves us through the organic changes that punctuate our lives: birth, childhood, puberty, childbearing, maturity and adulthood. Jing has to do with time and changes. It can also be thought of as our foundation, as building blocks, like DNA. Deterioration of jing can be accelerated by prolonged illness or overwork, injury, abuse, stress, exhaustion, excessive sex, and poor nutrition. Evidences of jing waning are thinning and greying hair, decreasing moisture throughout the body, loss of sensory and mental acuity, and weakening of the bones, teeth, and connective tissue. Chinese believed that everyone is born with a finite amount of Jing. As we go through life, we lose or consume our Jing little by little. Once we lose Jing, it cannot be replaced. It is gone for ever. We lose Jing if we live a wrong or careless life. But Jing can be preserved if we live in moderation. The rate of deterioration can be slowed down by qigong practices, and techniques such as acupuncture, and herbs for enhancing the life force.

Qi

I like to think of qi as electrical current. Qi animates our being. Our meridians and organs are like the hardware: wires, transformers, power plants, through which the electrical current (qi) moves and get amped, stored, and routed. Every living being has qi, yet each of us is unique in our particular quality of qi. Qigong practices assist qi circulation and flow, storage, and regeneration. Our qi circulation and flow is dependent on how much and what kind of qi we received at birth from our ancestors, diet and nutrition, and overall lifestyle. Practices can transform qi into shen or jing and healing energy. In the old character for qi, there is an image of steam rising from a pot of rice on a fire. If the fire is continuous and appropriate to the proportion of rice to water, energy will show up as steam. If the fire gets too hot, the water dries up and not only the rice burns but eventually the container as well.

Shen

Diagnostically, in Chinese medicine the signs for the quality of the shen are observed in the eyes primarily and to a lesser extent skin and hair. When the shen is happy, we radiate and our eyes sparkle and mirror our souls. In serious mental illness, there is almost always shen disturbance. The sign for this is revealed by how the person looks out into the world, the gaze, how it connects (or doesn't) with the eyes of others, sometimes a wild look. In fact, one TCM diagnostic term for a type of mental imbalance is phlegm misting the soul. The soul becomes turbid and cloudy and is mirrored in the person's eyes.

Shen is not an automatic given to all who live and breathe like jing and qi are. It is achieved in the higher levels of taiji and qigong practice and through a lifestyle that is integral to these practices. Shen has to do with the hun, or Ethereal Soul, which I won't go into here. Shen is spirit and it is everywhere. It comes to us when we reach a higher level in our practices after much time and perseverance; it goes elsewhere when we neglect our practices, or live in an unvirtuous fashion. The shen is sparked and nurtured by music and dancing, participation in the arts and creative activities. The character for shen contains the idea of a bird. A bird is free to fly away. It is free to go when conditions aren't favourable and may choose to remain when they are. We all have the capability through cultivation to have the kind of roost that the shen will be attracted to.

Dantian 

Literally means "cinnabar or red field" and is loosely translated as "elixir field". It is described as an important focus point for internal meditative techniques, and refers specifically to the physical center of gravity located in the abdomen three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel.

The Dantian is important in qigong, neigong, tao yin and other breathing techniques, as well as for traditional Chinese medicine and is also widely used throughout East Asian meditation and martial arts theory, especially the neijia school of Chinese martial arts.

Wei Jia/Nei Jia

Wei Jia means external and Nei Jia means internal. The meaning of the two terms reflects the emphasis of philosophy by two different systems.

Simply put, we can say Wei Jia focuses only on the development of external, while Nei Jia cultivates internal and then expresses it externally.  "Externally" meaning physical movement of itself. Internal is made from two main ingredients: intention and Qi. From the dynamic nature of intention, Qi is born, which in turn transforms into physical expression.  In other words, intention and Qi help lead and formulate physical movement. Because Nei Jia movement is lead by intention and Qi from start to end, the integration of intention, Qi and expression is a whole complete entity from start to end. There is no pause or break between intentions during the time of the whole movement.  While in the external systems, if we examine them carefully in a microscopic sense, we can see the separation between intention of this movement with the next. The intention of Wei Jia is pure activated intention of the physical expression. The activated intention helps initiate the muscle contraction, and after completing its main purpose, it disappears.