Qigong is an ancient system of health, meditation, and wellness. "Qi" is the Chinese character for "life-energy" and "gong" means "work" or "skill". Therefore, one could say, qigong means working with the life-energy in a skillful way.
The practice of qigong includes various different postures, movements, breath and energy awareness, self-massage, and meditation. One could say, qigong in its highest expression, is for mind, energy, and form, to become more fully aligned and integrated with the wholeness of Spirit. Taijiquan is a form of martial qigong, which can be practiced solely for it's health and meditative benefits, and/or as an internal martial art.
Chan Si Gong - "Silk-Reeling Exercises"
Relaxed circular and spiraling movements from the Chen Taiji tradition. These exercises work to energetically lubricate and coordinate the root, waist, spine, and upper torso, and integrate all parts with the body's physical and energetic center, helping to release tension and promote harmonious energy flow through the different energy centers and meridians in the body.
"Long-Life Exercises" (from Guang-Ping Yang Taiji)
A sequence of warm-up exercises and gentle stretching to help the body to develop increased flexibility, strength, and range of motion. They also help to strengthen the internal organs, circulate the qi, and calm the mind.
Laojia Yilu Form
"This form (1st form of Chen Taiji) is used as a tool to help develop a practitioner's strength, balance, coordination, and understanding of basic Taiji principles. The strength of the form is based on the basic "Chan Si Jing" (spiral energy/force). Because of these characteristics, the first form is essential for beginners to learn. It is also beneficial for those who want to practice Taijiquan for health reasons." - (From the Chen Family Taiji website)
Chen 48 Form
"The Chen-Style 48 Taijiquan Form is derived from the Xin Jia Chen Taijiquan First Form (the 83-posture Yi Lu) compiled by Feng Zhiqiang, the 18th generation master of Chen-style Taijiquan. The 48 Form contains approximately 95% of the First Form combined with a few postures from the Second Form (the 71-posture Er Lu or "Cannon Fist"). This combination gives a more yin and yang balance to the form. Within this form are influences from Feng Zhiqiang's martial arts background prior to his study of Chen Taijiquan." - (From the Chen Family Taiji website)
Tui Shou - "Push Hands"
Push hands exercises are done with a partner and are an essential aspect of taijiquan, for those wanting to become more skilled and proficient martially. Even if one is not martially oriented, the practice of push hands can help cultivate one's ability to listen and to be in relationship with another more skillfully. We practice to more fully know and move from our center, and to also more fully know the center of the other, while in relationship.
Hunyuan Qigong - "Primordial Origin" Qigong
Hunyuan is sometimes translated as meaning 'all mixed together' or the 'Original Unity'. Hunyuan Qigong is a form of qigong for health and meditation from the ancient Taoist tradition. It consists of a specific set of soft, flowing, and circular movements integrated with breath, and intention, to help nurture and direct the qi throughout the body... mixing the qi from nature, the heavens, and the earth, with the qi of the physical body. The regular practice of these exercises naturally circulates the qi through the different energy centers along the spine, and the 8 primary meridians of the body, bringing increased health and vitality to the physical and energetic body, and a deeper quietude to the mind. The session always concludes with standing (or seated) meditation.
Wuji Qigong - Seated & Standing Meditation
Wuji is sometimes translated as "Eternal Nothingness", though it is also true fullness as It contains and gives form to all things. The term Wuji is synonymous with the Tao... one could also perhaps call it Infinite Presence and Being, though truly it has no name. It is prior to all name and form, while at the same time all form and expression arise in and as a part of It. Wuji Qigong (standing / or seated meditation) naturally supports the health, strength, relaxation, and energetic integration of the physical body, and also offers the opportunity for the mind and all sense of doership to dissolve, revealing the effortless and non-dual Being / Awareness / Self.
Other Misc. Exercises:
Chen Taiji 8 Energies - Drills / Exercises (The 8 Energies are... peng - "to expand, maintain", lu - "redirect, deflect to the side", ji - "press forward", an - "press downward", cai - "pluck and pull down", lie - "split", zhou - "elbow strike", and kao - "leaning strike")
Chen Taiji "Standing Post" Exercise (Zhan Zhuang) (To cultivate strength and rootedness through lower body)
Chen Taiji 'Lubricating the Waist' Exercise (To coordinate root, waist, and upper body)
"Taiji Walking" (To develop balance and strength in legs, in stepping and in transitional movements)
Clearing the 8 Primary Meridians Exercise (Done standing, using coordination of breath, intention, and physical movements to guide and stimulate the energy flow through the meridians in the body)
Microcosmic Orbit Meditation, & Clearing the 8 Primary Meridians Meditation (Done with eyes closed, and can be done seated, standing, or lying down, using just breath and intention to guide and stimulate the energy flow through the meridians in the body)
To view Taiji & Qigong videos with Ben, please visit the Yoga and Qigong with Ben - YouTube Channel.
- Practicing Taiji is like enjoying a peaceful rest;
- Practicing Taiji is like experiencing the sensation of qi flowing smoothly and without obstruction through all the meridians;
- Practicing Taiji is like the harmonious balancing of yin and yang;
- Practicing Taiji feels like swimming in air;
- Practicing Taiji is like a moving form of "standing" skill;
- Practicing Taiji is like using the body to draw beautiful Taiji diagrams;
- Practicing Taiji is like drawing in the new (fresh qi) and expelling the old (stale or turbid qi);
- Practicing Taiji is like the total relaxation of body and mind;
- Practicing Taiji is like repairing and healing the mind, body, and spirit;
- Practicing Taiji is like nourishing the body with the vast, upright qi of the Universe;
- Practicing Taiji is achieving the ultimate unification of Heaven, Earth, and Man.
~ Master Feng Zhiqiang ~
- Tao Te Ching (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
- The Secret of the Golden Flower (translated by Thomas Cleary)
“The Tao is infinite, eternal.
Why is It eternal?
It was never born;
Thus It can never die.
Why is It infinite?
It has no desires for Itself;
Thus It is present for all beings.
The Master stays behind;
That is why He is ahead.
He is detached from all things;
That is why He is one with them.
Because He has let go of himself,
He is perfectly fulfilled.”
~ Lao-tzu ~