What is Qigong?

Shaolin Cosmos Qigong (also called Chi Kung or Qi Gong) is a 1500 year old energy art tracing back to the Venerable Bodhidharma at the Shaolin Monastery in China.

“Chi” or “Qi” means energy and “Gong” means art, so literally it means “the art of energy”.  In practical terms, it is an integrated body-mind training system that develops energy skills used to generate, manage and apply energy to enhance our daily lives.

The Venerable Bodhidharma

Venerable Bodhidharma

What is Qigong?

Shaolin Cosmos Qigong (also called Chi Kung or Qi Gong) is a 1500 year old energy art tracing back to the Venerable Bodhidharma at the Shaolin Monastery in China.

“Chi” or “Qi” means energy and “Gong” means art, so literally it means “the art of energy”.  In practical terms, it is an integrated body-mind training system that develops energy skills used to generate, manage and apply energy to enhance our daily lives.

The Venerable Bodhidharma

Venerable Bodhidharma

How is it Practiced?

A typical qigong practice consists of performing some physical movements, or patterns, coordinated with the breathing, in a heightened state of mind we call a Chi Kung state of mind. This practice generates energy flow which, from a Traditional Chinese Medicine paradigm, clears energy blockages, whether they are physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. The chi is intelligent and knows what to do for our highest good. After some time in chi flow, there is a coming to stillness and a period of standing Zen. This is rounded out with a facial massage. The whole practice is around 10 to 15 minutes.

There are no special clothing requirements. There are no restrictions on age, race, or physical ability. Anyone can practice provided they can follow instructions. You can practice Qigong even if you are taking medication.

What are the Benefits?

A fifteen minute practice, ideally performed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening is enough to bring about a myriad of useful benefits.These include:

  • Overcoming Illness – and other poor health conditions
  • Health and Vitality – for a healthy, happy and active life
  • Longevity – enabling you to thrive into older age rather than suffer declining health
  • Peak Performance – enabling peak performance in work, sporting or leisure pursuits
  • Internal Force – which is the volume and quality of energy you have to provide sufficient energy for our busy daily lives
  • Mind Expansion – or expanded awareness, which is a catalyst for positive change
  • Spiritual Cultivation – developing your own sense of self and relationship to the world, regardless of race, creed, religion – or equally the absence of it

 

Sifu Wong performing Lifting the Sky

Sifu Wong performing the Shaolin Qigong pattern “Lifting the Sky”

Am I a Good Fit for Shaolin Qigong?

Another amazing aspect of this art is that there are no restrictions on who can participate. Literally anyone can practice it!  The only requirement to realise the benefits the art provides is a regular and consistent correct practice.  

It may sound obvious, but for some this is a difficult commitment.  If you are prepared to commit to improving your own health and wellbeing, you will start to realise benefits very quickly.

If you fall in to any of the following groups, you may find Shaolin Qigong of particular interest to you:

  • Sickness and Ill Health – if you are sick, ill or suffering from dis-ease, Shaolin Qigong may assist in alleviating the situation, or even better
  • Stress and Overwhelm – if you are suffering from stress or overwhelm, Qigong is a wonderful practice that helps to manage stress and bring about calm and emotional resilience
  • Therapists – being a therapist can result in energy drain and transference, and Qigong can assist in managing ones energy better and providing greater levels of energy useful for therapeutic practice
  • Spiritual Journey – for those on a spiritual journey the triple cultivation of body, mind and spirit can assist in expanding the mind and providing the foundation for higher levels of spiritual attainment
  • Martial Artists – if you are practicing a martial art and feel there is something missing, practicing an authentic energy art such as Shaolin Qigong can provide a dimension that will support your martial arts practice

How do I Choose a Qigong School?

Shaolin Qigong is a lot less known than other energy practices like Yoga or Meditation, and it’s fair to say that not all Qigong training is equal, just as not all Yoga or Taijiquan (Tai Chi) training is equal.

Unfortunately, over time – and particularly due to the changing political systems in China – some Chi Kung schools have lost the essence of the art, focusing mainly on the form (the physical Qigong patterns) and losing the “triple cultivation” aspects that include energy and mind. Triple Cultivation is the training of body, mind and spirit in one system. If an energy art omits the aspect of energy it is like going on a healthy diet and leaving out the healthy food! In such cases, students are likely to realise merely 10% of the potential benefit Qigong can provide, if that.

In our school, we focus on triple cultivation from the very first lesson.

We also distinguish between techniques and skills.  One can perform a technique, but it is only when the application of that technique develops a skill that the magic happens. Techniques can be copied from books and videos, but it is unlikely the relevant skills will be developed.

If Shaolin Qigong is of interest to you and you want to find out more or attend a class, go ahead and get in touch via the contact page.

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