In our Kundalini Yoga and Meditation class for seniors, I often incorporate Qigong practices. Qi is living energy. All living things have that energy. Qigong or alternative spelling of Chi Kung has been practiced and their ancient art of self-healing has been taught by masters in
for centuries. Qigong is the powerful
art and science that combines breathing, awareness, gentle, slow and fluid
movement in meditation and healing. China
In typical qigong practice, you will coordinate the breathing with slow and fluid repetitious movements to calm your mind. This often includes visualizing the qi or energy going from the crown of your head throughout the entire body.
There are primarily four major classifications of Qigong:
· Healing Qigong (Yi Gong). Healing Qigong (sometimes translated "Medical Qigong") is the preventive and self-healing aspect of Chinese medicine. .
· External Qi Healing (Wai Qi Zhi Liao). Qigong includes a sophisticated system of health assessment and non-contact treatment called External Qi Healing (EQH). The healer learns to tap into a well of healing energy in nature and "funnel" it through his or her body. Unlike some purely intuitive systems, EQH includes exercises that increase sensitivity to energy fields and efficacy of treatment.
· Sports Qigong (Wu Gong). In sports and martial arts, Qigong is the key to strength, stamina, coordination, speed, flexibility, balance, and resistance to injury. Qigong exercises can improve performance in any sport, improving the golf drive, tackling ability in football, accuracy in tennis, and stamina in swimming.
· Spiritual Qigong (Fo Gong, Tao Gong). As a spiritual discipline, Qigong leads to self-awareness, tranquility, and harmony with nature. The spiritual aspect of Qigong evolved from Taoism and Buddhism.
BENEFITS OF QIGONG and T’ai Chi
Decreased stress and anxiety
Increased aerobic capacity
Increased energy and stamina
Increased flexibility, balance and agility thus reduce risk of falls in seniors
Increased muscle strength
Enhance the immune system
Lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure
Improve joint pain
QIGONG OR T-AI CHI CLASSES
Although you could rent or purchase videos and books or find numerous postings on YouTube, consider seeking guidance from a qualified instructor to gain the full benefits and learn proper techniques. Many community centers offer classes. To find a class near you, contact local fitness centers, health clubs, hospitals and senior centers. Tai Chi and Qigong instructors do not have to be licensed or attend a standard training program. Therefore be sure to ask about the instructor's training and experience, and get recommendations if you feel more comfortable.
Tai Chi or Qigong instructor can teach you specific positions and how to regulate your breathing. The instructor can also teach you how to practice safely taking notes of your past or present injuries, chronic conditions, or balance or coordination problems. One normally practices T'ai chi or Qigong with a group in outdoor setting like a park. This also provides important social aspect and support system especially for seniors.
Enjoy and good health to you all.
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