Introduction to Qigong

Qigong and tai chi have a connection, both are heavily influenced by Daoism. The practice of qigong can be traced back to ancient China, some say its origins go back five thousand years but more likely 2 or 3 thousand years.

Qigong exercises can be moving and fixed. The moving exercises are where parts of body such as the arms or waist is moving. Fixed is holding a position or posture.

Qigong when learnt correctly can be very beneficial for health. If incorrectly taught can cause physical and mental health problems. Always seek a trained and experienced practitioner. If you have problems, STOP.

There are many resources for qigong exercises the internet and books to buy showing qigong. This is no substitute for a teacher as they can spot things that aren’t correct such as incorrect posture or breathing.

I practice a qigong set called Baduanjin (Eight brocades of the immortal family) as taught by my Teacher and their teacher before them. The exercises are based on those taught by General Yue Fei. Legend states he taught these exercises to his troops to keep them fit and healthy. Ready for battle.

There are many versions of baduanjin and is a subject in itself.

Qigong can be practiced sitting or lying in bed. This makes it practical for those who are recovering from illness, have difficulty standing and elderly people.

Many of the qigong exercises have many benefits such as improving balance and breathing.

You can find more information on the NHS website and TCUGB in the UK.

Three amigos go training

Three of us were able to meet up in a suitable location while adhering to social distancing rules. It was nice to meet up for a couple of hours. Having a catch up and remembering to keep our distance. We had plenty to do practicing our forms and having a brief discussion to see what we’ve forgotten, what we have discovered while training alone and sharing these ideas and giving feedback on how each of us can improve. We went through our short and long form a few times while a storm was brewing in the distance. With a rumble of thunder we thought we leave the running thunder hands till next week.

Big stone hands in Lake District

Single whip

Single whip as demonstrated by jon
Single whip

Single whip is common in most styles of tai chi. It appears several times in the forms and is a good posture to hold for qigong practice. Single whip appears early in the form and repeated throughout.

Single whip is a useful self defence move and has multiple variations. Defending from a punch, grabbing the arm and striking their head can be quite effective.

The arms being raised and standing in a horse riding stance can provide health benefits to the heart and groin area.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner and you should always consult your doctor before undertaking any exercises.