about qi gong
Qi gong (chi kung) is an ancient Chinese system rapidly gaining popularity in the West for enhancing energy, mindfulness, relaxation and awareness. Qi gong literally means “working with energy” and has the same roots as traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and tai chi. It draws on the use of breath, gentle movement and mindfulness to cleanse, strengthen and circulate chi (qi or life force). Research at the Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine shows that qi gong extends life span, promotes healing and helps to cultivate a healthy body/mind.
Rachel offers private qi gong tuition for individuals or couples in Thorndon and Paekakariki:
WELLINGTON: Hobson Crescent, Thorndon $105 per hour session
KAPITI: Mirabai House, Ocean Road, Paekakariki $90 per hour session
Why practise qi gong?
Qi gong helps you to:
• Raise your energy levels
• Promote self-healing and overall health
• Reduce stress levels
• Improve sleep and digestion
• Develop strength
• Cultivate a calmer and more focused mind
• Enhance vitality
• Improve concentration, mindfulness and presence
There have been conferences hosted in China and the U.S. for discussion of academic research into qi gong. It has been shown to improve posture and respiration, induce the relaxation response, cause favorable changes in blood chemistry, and improve self-awareness and concentration. Research suggests that qi gong may be beneficial for asthma, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular illness, headaches, pain, chronic fatigue and a wide range of more simple illnesses.
What style of qi ong will I learn?
I teach a blend of Universal Tao qi gong, Zhineng (or chi lel) qi gong, breath work and movement practices drawn from medicine qi gong. Some specific practices include:
• 'Inner Smile' self-compassion meditation
• The six Taoist 'healing sounds'
• Qi gong stretches and warm ups
• Zhineng ‘lift chi up pour chi down’
• ‘Standing like a tree’ practice
• Qi or chi self-massage
• The microcosmic orbit
Qi gong looks pretty slow. Would it suit older people better?
Even though the practices look easy, you may be surprised that they do in fact require stamina. I’ve had children who have come to classes and really enjoy them. People who usually prefer a grunty workout have been surprised as to how good they feel after apparently doing less. One of my qi gong teachers suggests that to avoid energy depletion, no-one ever exercises for more than half the total time they are maximally capable of sustaining, and that to get fit, one simply increases that half.
Do I need to be fit to come to a class or workshop?
Qi gong builds strength over time. If you are a beginner, you may need to do less and take more frequent rests than more experienced students. You are encouraged to take responsibility for caring for yourself and you will certainly not feel any pressure in my classes to do more than is comfortable for you. Research has shown that imagining doing qi gong practice yields results equivalent to actually doing it!
Is there any meditation involved?
In a sense you could say that qi gong is a form of meditation in movement. I teach qi gong as a mindfulness practice and so always emphasise staying in the present moment during the movements and bringing the mind back to the present when it wanders. Some of the movements involve visualisation (e.g. colour, sound, images of various forms of chi). This potentizes the practice; energy always follows thought.
What are the different options for me to learn qi gong?
One option is for you to organise a group of people in one of your homes, and i can come and teach a series of 6 or 8 classes. The advantage is that one class builds on the previous ones and gives you the chance to practise in between. Private qi gong sessions for individuals or couples are available and you can e-mail or ring for more information about those. I regularly offer one-day mindfulness and qi gong retreats. And if you want to treat yourself, residential are a fantastic way to learn qi gong in a beautiful and natural location and in the context of time out for renewal and reflection.