What experience do I need to take a Qigong class?
None at all. We welcome beginners as well as people who have practiced Qigong for years. Each person brings their unique life experiences to the practice of Qigong, and enriches the Ling Gui School, its instructors, staff and fellow students. Regardless of the level or years of experience with Qigong, we ask that you come to the practice of Qigong as a beginner with the freshness of a beginner’s mind where all the possibilities remain.
How do I know which form is good for me?
While most Qigong methods will provide benefit to a regular practitioner, certain methods have been developed to address specific imbalances in the body and mind. Depending on the reasons for your practicing Qigong, certain forms will address that reason more directly then others. To see a list and descriptions of the various forms taught at the Ling Gui International Healing Qigong School, click here.
Consulting with a qualified and experienced Qigong teacher is always helpful. However, you are the best judge of how you are responding to a Qigong method, and whether that method is helpful to you. The best form for you is the form that you feel a deep connection with and you want to learn and practice. Often, students find that for some period of time they loved one form, only to find that at a later time they want to be practicing a different form. As we go through life changes, and as blockages in the body and mind are experienced and released at various times, our own deep wisdom will let us know which form is the best one to practice during that time.
Can children learn Qigong?
Yes. While Five Animals is a beloved form practiced in China for generations by children of all ages, other general methods of Qigong such as One Thousand Hands Buddha, Eight Treasures, and Six Sounds Therapy are appropriate for children as well. For children with specific health concerns, please consult a qualified and experienced Qigong teacher.
Can elderly people learn Qigong?
Yes. Qigong is in fact a wonderful form of exercise, relaxation and energy building for elderly people. The gentle yet powerful movements of Qigong can be practiced by all people, including elderly people with limited mobility. By cleansing the body of blockages, and by nourishing the energy of the body and mind, Qigong is a great way to prevent injuries and chronic illnesses. Qigong has been used in Asia in rehabilitation after surgeries to help the body and mind return to health.
What’s the difference between Tai-ji-quan and Qigong?
Defined broadly as “energy practice,” Qigong includes Tai-ji-quan. The exploration of energy work in China is thousands of years old, and forms the early basis for Chinese medicine as well as Chinese martial arts. As the ancient philosophers considered the factors that affect human health and longevity, they understood that humans are part of nature and participate in the energy patterns of the universe. In studying the workings of the universe, they came to understand the repetitive patterns of the universe, and related those patterns to the workings of the human body. They developed methods of keeping the body and mind strong and available to receive revitalizing energy from the world.
Tai-ji-quan is a part of this energy work tradition. The difference between Tai-ji-quan and medical Qigong methods is that while Tai-ji-quan springs from the martial arts elements, medical Qigong is rooted in Chinese medicine elements of this tradition.
What’s the difference between Yoga and Qigong?
Yoga, as ancient practice of enlightenment which includes practicing physical postures, is similar to Qigong. The philosophy and practice of Yoga originates from India, and is steeped in the tradition and culture of India. Qigong, on the other hand, is an ancient practice that originates from China that retains understandings about life rooted in Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian philosophies. In comparing the physical practice of Yoga and Qigong you will find that, while both Yoga and Qigong include breathing practices and meditation, Yoga tends focus on alignment, muscles and holding of postures, while Qigong concentrates more on energy and flow of movements.
Can I practice Qigong if I’m pregnant?
The general answer is yes. However, each woman’s pregnancy is different, and we recommend that the expectant mother consult her primary care provider as well as a qualified and experienced Qigong teacher. Two Qigong methods included in Liu Dong’s Methods that focus on women’s physiology are especially beneficial for a woman to practice before, during and after pregnancy. Jade Woman and Nourishing Woman are complementary forms that are wonderful to practice in preparation for becoming pregnant. Depending on your energy level and health, Jade Woman is wonderful to practice during the first two trimesters. Nourishing Woman provides very effective support for the expectant mother and the fetus throughout the pregnancy, as well as providing excellent care for the mother after delivery. Practicing Nourishing Woman after delivery also supports abundant and nutritious breast milk for the baby.
Can I practice Qigong if I have limited mobility?
Yes. For a person with very little mobility and/or energy, she/he may begin practicing by visualizing the movements in the mind. Then slowly, as mobility and/or energy returns, movements can be added to the visualizations. Often students find that practice of Qigong gives them more energy as well as flexibility and mobility.
Is Qigong a religion?
No. Qigong is a philosophy of life that fosters wisdom, well-being and harmonious living. It is not a religion or a cult. While individual Qigong teachers may discuss Taoist, Buddhist or other Chinese religions and philosophies, Qigong itself is not a religion. If you have any doubts about a Qigong teacher and his or her integrity, we recommend that you trust your reaction and re-evaluate your involvement with that teacher.