What is modern qigong

What Is Modern Qigong?

A Qigong class could take many formats depending on what the teacher wants to focus on and what their philosophy is and where they received their Qigong training, and what their cultural backgound is. If you have never been exposed to Qigong before and have mostly been surrounded by Western influences in your life, you would probably get most benefit out of attending a class that incorporates a modern approach, and explains why you do certain exercises throughout the class. So, what is modern Qigong and why should you start with it over any other type of Qigong?

Western belief systems can interfere with perception of value.

As Qigong originated in China and eastern culture is very different to the culture in the West, it can mean that many people who would otherwise benefit from Qigoing in the west might miss it completetely because they may not relate to to the way a certain Qigong master teaches. Qigong embraces Taoist principles and is therefore a different way of thinking than the west in relation to approaching not only specific exercsises, but also daily life.

What is modern qigongQigong teaches us to go with the flow.

Flowing with life rather than pushing against it is central to Taoist philosophy, but when starting out with Qigong, it is best not to get hung up on termininology. The goal when starting out is just to have an experience of what practicing Qigong feels like. The Tao teaches us to embrace nature and its cycles. Western culture for the most part ignores the cycles in nature when it comes to health. For example, it is not unusual for health clubs and gyms to schedule very hard core exercise classes at night time. This goes against the bodies natural cicadian rhythm as night is the time to enter into a more gentle way of being and let go of the days stress and get into a more receptive mode. If you are engaging in very physically strenuous exercise at night, you are actually adding to your bodies stress rather than taking it away.

The structure of a modern Qigong class.

A modern Qigong class is divided into three sections:

  • The class wiill start with exercises that are focussed around activating the energy in your body. This usually revolves around self massage techniques or slapping/tapping/thumping on specific areas of the body that are related to the acupressure points. Breathing exercises will be combined with this, or as a stand alone exercise to begin with.
  • The next exercises would focus on stretching specific lines of tension in the body-not only from a muscular point of view, but also stetching areas where specifc energy meridian flows are which correlate to the acupucture points that traditional Chinese medicine makes use of.
  • The final exercises of a modern Qigong class move into a flow series where breath and gentle flowing movements are combined to circulate the energy that was activated from the self massage techniques as well as the stretching exercises.

Mental imagery is highlighted to give the mind a specific point of attention which focuses on the way nature moves and behaves. The class may conclude with a centering exercise and then bring the energy back down by placing the hands one on top of the other over the lower part of the belly and staying in touch with the natural movement of the breath.

Want to try a quick one minute Qigong exercise now? Click Here.

What are your perceptions of what Qigong is and what it could do for you? Feel free to comment below and let me know!

  • ABOUT LIZ HENNESSY

    ABOUT LIZ HENNESSY

    Yoga Instructor, Fitness Coach
    and Qigong Teacher
    In Training

  • ABOUT LIZ'S TEACHER

    ABOUT LIZ'S TEACHER

    Lee Holden
    Is A Qigong Master
    Based In The US.

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Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    Jeannie Brickley

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    Hi Liz.

    Very interesting. I think this is something I might like. I am all for going with the flow of your life. Life is too short for all the drama we put ourselves through.

    I did the exercise, and it was wonderful. Very relaxing. I have a bad neck and as a result suffer with a lot of pain and tension in the neck and shoulder area. The exercise relieved some of that. It seemed like a good exercise to do before bed.

    Thank you for introducing me to Qigong.

    Jeannie

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hi Jeannie, Qigong has a a lot of specific exercises for releasing next and shoulder pain because they are the areas where we hold so much of our stress and tension from a physical and emotional sense.  This exercise is fairly general in nature and is just an introduction so I can certainly recommend finding some specific exercises for your neck pain. You could start with this one here. This is a routine you can do in the evening but there is a focus on releasing neck and shoulder tension.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Roy

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    I have never heard of Qigong exercises, but it sounds like a fascinating activity to build into our daily lives. The challenge would be to find a teacher, although I suppose one could learn from dvds and books.
    I have always had a warm feeling about the Far East. It feels mystical. The temples and the different culture. The East developed before the West and I think us Westerners could learn an enormous amount from the Eastern way of life. Love the idea of going with the flow of life instead of pushing against it. Would love to experience that. Witness and experience it through the people who practise the philosophy. This website is aimed at Beginners like me and let me tell you, you have grabbed my attention and made me feel that I need to know more.

    Roy

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hey Roy, glad you found my site interesting. If you are interested in how you can go with the flow more in life, Qigong is the perfect practice for bringing that philosophy in not only from an intellectual stance, but an emotional and physical stance. It really is a total mind body practice which not only helps you to have more energy, but to actually look at life differently which results in less stress and tension in your life and therefore enabling you to actually achieve more of what you are aiming to do.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Edgar

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    hey liz! great article out there. Qiqong exercises sound a lot interesting than gymming. I used to hit the gym regularly before and as time passed by, I didn’t get time and hence, eventually left the gym. These exercise sounds way better as it doesn’t require hard core training like gym. I will try your exercises right away. and thanks for this wonderful post

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hi Edgar, yes I do find it much more interesting than the gym. I  still like a hard core workout here and there,and Qigong gives me more energy in order to actually do that so it results in an even better work out. But, Qigong can be seen as a complete system for health too when you go into it deeply, so gym workouts are not really required in order to stay healthy.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Margaret

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    I have never heard of Qigong exercises before and I was very interested in your post. Qigong seems like it would be suitable for all ages and was wondering if it would benefit the elderly. All too often exercises are not suitable for older people or those who are not very fit. Is Qigong closely related to tai chi? Would it benefit older people who are trying to maintain their balance as they age more that get super fit?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hi Margaret, Qigong is perfect for the elderly. In fact many younger people don’t do it because they perceive it to be only for the elderly. It is actually perfect for everyone due to its ease to practice, but there has been a cluster of medical studies that focus on how it benefits the elderly related to maintaining good balance and youthful energy too. Try the exercise on this page (scroll down to the bottom once you go there) and you will see that it is very accessible.

      Reply

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