Qigong exercises bring into harmony 3 things: Respiration, Movement of Muscles and Energy. R-M-E. This is very important as the harmony of RME results in harmony of life. More effectiveness and less stress in everything you do.
So how do these differ from yoga, or from the stuff you’d do in a gym?
Think of it this way. In the gym, you exercise your body. You may use your mind for will power and endurance, but basically you are working at the level of your body… to tone up your body. In yoga, you actively work with the mind. Many yogic postures wouldn’t be possible if you weren’t mentally prepared for them (!) You engage actively with respiration and yogic meditations have a significant impact on mental agility. In qigong, you focus the mind on respiration (R) in a meditative way… you focus the body on movements (M) and you move the energy (E). Striking the balance of RME gets you in a state of great balance of mind, body and spirit!
A cousin of Qigong from the Shaolin school is TaiChi, which has a greater leaning on M, the muscular movements, And at the other end of the spectrum is KungFu, where M is used to move Energy, making it a martial art form! However, it is recommended by ancient Chinese martial arts masters to practice qigong at the end of their daily routines. Why? To heal themselves and rest better for the next day!
By integrating simple qigong stances whenever you have a spare moment (as little as 5 to 10 minutes), you will notice a discernible improvement in your health, strength and energy, in addition to feeling more positive and calm. Use qigong to strengthen your mind and body, to prevent and even cure illness, and as a result, enjoy a fruitful, long and healthy life.
Don’t just take my word for it, try this exercise at the next office meeting.
a) Sit upright with your feet shoulder-width apart flat on the ground.
b) Rest your arms on the chair handles (if there are any) or place your hands on the table, fingers spread, palms downward – keep arms away from body.
c) Breathe deeply as advised in qigong breathing
You will soon find this exercise increases your mental alertness and prevents mental fatigue. Just try it and see the difference.
By the way, did you know that Chinese Emperors in the past used to sit in thrones in this particular position to make them more alert to their surroundings and their subjects?
Some things to remember when practicing qigong exercises:
- Practice proper breathing techniques first. Then incorporate exercises for maximum benefit.
- Avoid overeating just before exercise. Also, avoid exercising immediately after a meal. A full stomach interferes with chi circulation.
- Avoid drinking cold fluids during or immediately after practice for the same reason.
- Avoid taking a shower immediately after practice for the same reason.
- To realize full benefits of qigong exercise, you should practice regularly for a minimum of ten minutes each day. Try to practice the same time each day to establish a habit.
- Do not rush the lessons. Listen to your body: do only as much as your body feels comfortable. If you experience too much fatigue or physical pain due to weak muscles, stop and rest. Like all physical exercise, you should not overdo. It takes time to make improvements.
- Qigong exercises are low impact and low stress, but if you experience acute back pain, dizziness or nausea when you do them, seek immediate medical attention.
- Before you start any alternative medical technique, be aware that many have not been scientifically evaluated. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about how alternative medicine practitioners can be professionally licensed. If you decide to visit one, choose one licensed by a recognized national organization. Consult your primary health care provider about your decision first. Keep your doctor informed about the alternative medical technique you undertake.
Allow us to guide you on this personally. Check out our qigong workshops or let’s talk about doing a session for you!