Updated: Jan 26
Qigong is an ancient practice that dates back to 5000 years ago. It is officially known in China as the science of human potential and development. Qigong is a broad term and many people are more familiar with the name Tai Chi, which is just one of the 3000 kinds of documented Qigong.
What I have been practicing and teaching is White Tiger Qigong for health and longevity. In this style we focus on moving Qi or energy through our meridians releasing any blockages, trapped negative emotions from our organs and restoring natural balance of the whole body. Qigong is a very deep practice that works from the surface all the way into the core strengthening and toning everything in the body. If you are new to Qigong, I highly recommend you try it yourself. At Change Works, Abu Dhabi I offer Introduction to Qigong class every other month, as well as regular group classes that you are very welcome to join.
In the meantime, here are some tips you might find useful for leaning Qigong.
1. Do your homework
There are over 3000 kinds of documented Qigong and people learn it for different reasons. Before coming to class, ask yourself what is it that you are seeking to achieve? What benefits are you looking to get? Check the school that the instructor belongs to, does it resonate with you?
White Tiger Qigong’s main goal, for instance, is health and longevity. It focuses on the organs and meridians - body’s energy channels, releasing toxins and negative emotions trapped in your organs, removing stagnations and creating a free flow of energy.
If this resonates with you and you are looking for a physical practice to strengthen your body and mind, promote body’s energy circulation and go on the path to health and wellbeing, you are very welcome to join one of my classes or workshops at Change Works, Abu Dhabi.
2. Dress comfortably
This a popular question beginner practitioners ask me: “What shall we wear for a Qigong class?”. Wear what you feel comfortable in, the type of clothes that do not resist your movements, preferably natural fabrics. In Qigong we seek to maintain connection with the earth, that’s why it will be best to practice barefoot or wearing thin soled shoes.
3. Be patient
It takes time and effort to truly get Qigong and feel the energy flow. Be patient. Take it one step at a time. Before we even think about the energy, we first need to master the movement. Without the proper body posture, you won’t be able to open the proper channels. After you learn the form, you can add the breath. And only after you were able to combine the body and breath components, you can start thinking about intention or visualisation of guiding the Qi energy. This is a process that takes time. To achieve this level, you will need to stick with Qigong for a while. This leads us to the next tip.
4. Be consistent
If you make a decision that Qigong is something you want to incorporate into your life and get deep benefits from it, you will need to be consistent with your practice. Qigong should be something you practice weekly if not daily. It takes time to release negative emotions trapped in your organs, break through stagnation in your meridian channels, train your mind, reshape your fascia and return your body to its original alignment. Qigong is a journey. If you want this journey to lead you to health and longevity, and create long lasting changes in your body, make it your regular practice.
5. Focus on components
Some Qigong forms have a lot of little details. If you have never practiced it before, this might be a little overwhelming. Give your body time to get used to the new movements. Take it easy, component by component, rather than trying to do all the little adjustments at the same time. For example, you can practice separately the lower and the upper body. Once you get each of them in separation, then combine them into one united movement.
6. Quiet your mind
It’s easy to say let all your thoughts go, but trickier to do. We often think that the phrase “quiet your mind” means not having any single thought coming to your head. But thoughts will come, and here it is important how you deal with them. You need to just observe them as they come and go. Don’t get attached. Don’t let your thoughts grow. Set your intention to calm your mind. What distinguishes true Qigong masters is the ability to achieve high level of concentration. Focus is what we are seeking to maintain. Qigong practice should be a time when you connect to yourself, go deep within, a time when you stay calm and relaxed.
7. Know your limits
It’s important to remember, that you shouldn’t push too hard when you practice Qigong. Don’t go over your limit. Listen to your body. Explore your limits in a gentle way. Only you know how deep you can go, how far you can twist and turn. Save the energy for the next class or the next day.
These were the 7 tips for those who are starting their journey into Qigong. I hope you found them useful. If you would like to learn more about Qigong and experience this ancient practice yourself, you are very welcome to join my Qigong classes in Abu Dhabi. For more information about the schedule, you can send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: at www.changeworksad.com
Looking forward to meeting you.
Natalia Kolesnikova, White Tiger Qigong Instructor