What is Qi?
Qi (also spelled chi) means "energy" or "life-force." It can also mean "breath" and "air", and by extension it also means "vitality". Qi is the basis of all traditional Chinese healing arts, frp, acupuncture to herbal medicine. It is the very breath of life that animates every function of our body and mind. When we are healthy, our qi flows smoothly through every part of our body. Qi gives our blood the energy to flow and nourish all our cells, and it powers our immune system, our digestion, and our nervous system. Further it is the power behind our mental energy: our ability to think clearly, to reason, to make decisions, and to maintain our will.
What is Qi Gong?
Qi, as stated above, means "energy" as well as "breath". Gong (also spelled kung) is a general term meaning "work" or "skill". Hence the term qi gong may be translated as "breathing exercise" or as "energy work". In terms of the practice of qi gong exercises, the term signifies "an expertise at working with life-force energy." Becoming an expert at working with our internal energy gives us the resources to make choices and manifest the kind of day and life that we want to have. Based on the primofial principles of classical Taoist philosophy, qi gong is a simple and practical approach to becoming skilled in matters of health, happiness, and spiritual attainment.
When viewing a qi gong session, it might seem as if it is just a bunch of graceful movments and simple stretches. People often ask, "How can that get you in shape or tain you to be a better martial artist?" There is a lot more to qi gong than meets the eye. What you can see and witness in a qi gong practice is only the surface of a much deeper and potent internal power. Qi gong is simple: it requires no equipment, little space, and can be practiced in a short amount of time.
Yet simple as it seems, qi gong has an incredible amount of healing power. The depth of qi gong is that it can be utilized to enhance your body's natural healing potential, and that it asks you to tap into your inner resources in order to bring forth whatever it is that is necessary for your body, mind, and spirit.
Styles of Qi Gong
There are thousands of styles of qi gong, but in general they all fall into three major categories: martial, medical, and spiritual. Most forms of qi gong involve various degrees of stretches, flowing movements, and standing postures that are all quietly harmonized by rhythmical breathing and a calm, unhurried, and focused mind. Soft, slow movement of the body prevents the stiffness and stagnation that lead to degeneration. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stagnation is seen as the cause of pain, sickness, fatigue, and disease. Tai chi, for example, is a flowing, nmartial arts form of qi gong that combines soft, gentle movments of the body with a calm, expanded state of mind.
What is Tai Chi?
The Chinese characters for Tai Chi Chuan can be translated as the 'Supreme Ultimate Force'. The notion of 'supreme ultimate' is often associated with the Chinese concept of yin-yang, the notion that one can see a dynamic duality (male/female, active/passive, dark/light, forceful/yielding, etc.) in all things. 'Force' (or, more literally, 'fist') can be thought of here as the means or way of achieving this ying-yang, or 'supreme-ultimate' discipline. Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that is primarily practiced for its health benefits, including a means for dealing with tension and stress. Among the martial arts, there are two basic types: the hard martial arts and the soft martial arts (internal arts). Tai chi emphasizes complete relaxation, and is essentially a form of meditation, or what has been called "meditation in motion." Unlike the hard martial arts, tai chi is characterized by soft, slow, flowing movements that emphasize force, rather than brute strength. Though it is soft, slow, and flowing, the movements are executed precisely. The tai chi form is meant to enable one to bring the principles of yin and yang back into their fundamental, natural harmony. The ultimate effect of this harmony, according to Taoism and Tai Chi, is one's physical and spiritual well-being.
It is believed that tai chi can delay aging and prolong life, increase flexibility and strengthen muscles and tendons, and aid in the treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, digestive disorders, skin diseases, depression, cancer, and many other illnesses. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a good deal of scientific evidence to support all of these claims.
What is the Six Healing Sounds?
There are six ways of expelling toxic energy from the internal organs, also known as the six sounds formula. In this practice, the silently spoken six sounds are coordinated with the breathing and movements of the body's extremeties to purge and cleanse the organ cavities and particular channels of stagnant qi. These exercises are excellent for treating muscular injuries and for tonifying the yin and yang organs. The impure qi produced by external pathogenic factors (from food, air, and drink) and internal patogenic factors (toxic emotions and negative mental attitudes) are expelled directly from each organ as a result of this practice.
The healing sounds bring healing energy into the internal organs by balancing the five elements in the body. Each sound resonates to a particular element and a particular organ. Sound is one of the most potent forms of energy in the universe, and therefore it's also a very effective way of working with energy in qi gong. Sound is a vibration, a form of energy that resonates and creates an effect through the mind and body.
According to Taoist thought, particular frequencies and wave patterns in sound produce particular pulses of electromagnetic current, each with its own natural affinity for particular glands, organs, and tissues in the body. Therefore, certain sounds may be used to heal the liver, stimulate the heart, balance the adrenals, activate digestion, and even lower blood pressure. When combined with deep, diaphragmatic breathing and slow, rhythmic movement of the body, their effects are even more powerful. This practice is ideal for closing a meditation practice, ecercise session, day's work, or whenever the energies need soothing and settling.
Qi Gong: Tao Yin Stretch and Flow
This class has two major phases:
In the first we focus on Breathing, Stretching and Opening movements from Taoist Yoga practices that are designed to clear the body of tension and stress.In the second phase we use the powerful fluid flowing motions of Qi Gong to Energize, Harmonize, and Balance ourselves. With this dynamic combination we can start off our week Stress Free, Energized, and Centered with an extra boost of Qi!
Qi Gong Flow
Qi Gong is the Art of Effortless Power, in this class we dive into the practices of Taoism, which is the root of Qi Gong. These transformational techniques give us more energy, vitality, inner strength, mental focus, and spiritual harmony while dissolving any imbalances within the body, mind or emotions.
Qi Gong Flow: Inner Alchemy & Deep Relaxation
In this class the focus is on Inner Alchemy, transforming stress into vitality, negative emotions into positive ones, and separation into Spiritual harmony and Integration. In this class we use the Inner Smile and the 6 Healing Sounds as well as many other Taoist practices to bring balance to every system of the body. This class ends with a deep full body relaxation, that facilitates healing on all levels.
Qi Gong: Fusion of the Five Elements
In this class we play with the different manifestations of energy and how they are expressed in the human body. Each element is related to a different organ system, emotion, sense, body part, energetic pathway and a different way of being in the world. After going through each element, we finish by fusing the elements together to create a pearl of refined energy and we use this to strengthen and focus the bodies energy creating a sense of integration, wholeness and well-being. In addition to generating superior health, this Qigong sequence enables the student to accurately feel and experience the internal organ systems and energy channels of the body. When you feel these energies inside your body you have an inner method of understanding Oriental medicine and ancient health practices. Once you have learned this system you have a powerful tool to maintain great health and energy, to generate substantial vitality, and to evolve yourself at the same time.
Tibetian Heart Yoga (THY)
THY brings together the 'outer' methods (physical postures and breath) with the traditional 'inner' methods (ethical living, meditation,philosophical training, and correct worldview) into a powerful synthesis the ancients called "Royal Yoga".We have a series of nine distinct yoga sessions. Ranging from compassion trainings and asanas to open our hearts, to emptiness and karma teachings (mahamudra), the infinite 4 thoughts maitri, karuna, mudita, upeksha, the kalachakra, partner yogas, and a lineage from a female yogini teaching how to identify and go after your worst mental afflictions. If I have a new student I tend to start with the foundation teaching which is series 1. The yogas give us inner maps to work with and how to do 24 hour yoga!!
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|"Lee's Qi Gong sparked my desire for all kinds of exercise and fitness. I now feel like I have the energy to enjoy my body."|