Have you ever seen a group of people, mainly Chinese people, moving in perfect sync down in the park? Maybe they were sitting cross-legged meditating, or standing completely still? They may have been practicing qigong.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice of slow, flowing exercise movements and meditation. It is said to strengthen the body’s internal energy, calm the mind, eliminate stress, and prevent illness. It is also an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, along with concepts of yin and yang and the theory of the 5 elements. As you can see, the way of viewing and understanding the world in traditional Chinese culture is truly holistic.
Most qigong practices are solely concerned with attaining physical health, while others aspire to reach higher states of mind. There are many forms of qigong, such as Medicine Qigong, Buddhist Qigong, Taoist Qigong, and Martial Arts Qigong, most originating in China.
When you practice qigong movements, your hands follow the energy meridians of the body to stimulate the flow of Qi (Chi), eventually cultivating a higher energy called Gong in the body.
Today, qigong is practiced all around the world by millions of people in parks, on the beach, or in people’s homes, which is surprising, as qigong has been severely suppressed in China since the Cultural Revolution demolished most traditional Chinese culture. The most popular practice in China, Falun Gong, is still the object of a crackdown by the Chinese Communist Party, and practitioners are suffering an unprecedented persecution today.
Why is qigong still so popular? Because it’s not hard to do, there is no intense stretching, or difficult poses to pull off. It is gentle, slow, and relaxing—even your grandmother can do it!
Qigong is the perfect way to center and energize oneself, and anyone, young or old, can easily learn some peaceful and relaxing moves.
Who doesn’t need to relax in this day and age? Qigong may be the way for you.