by Jay Baker
Qigong has a history of over 7000 years in China. For the most part it is not nearly as well-known as some related practices, for example acupuncture or traditional Chinese medicine. In truth however, these wouldn't be what they are today without Qigong's valuable contribution.
Qigong exercises are mostly slow, flowing movements that work over the whole body. They are easy to learn, and work to improve the health of the body and the strength of the mind. Practice can be done more or less intensively according to the individual's needs and wants. Used well they are a valuable practice with obvious benefits.
Qi can be thought of as our vitality. Having a good qi condition means your health is in a good state and you feel naturally relaxed and joyful inside. By contrast, if a person's qi or vitality is low then it can be said that they are qi-depleted. Many things can contribute to this, overwork or stress for example.
In fact, there is a connection between our mind and our qi; where our mind goes, qi will also go. So if we lead a busy life with the mind always outwardly focused then over time our energy levels can also become low and we can feel tired and worn out. The value of Qigong is that it teaches the mind to return inward, improving our vitality and our health, and helping us become more relaxed in our day-to-day living.
Qigong is a practical method of improving one's life. I personally swear by my daily practice and feel I have benefitted greatly from it. As well as teaching the exercises, I also try help people to learn to feel qi and understand the importance of looking after their qi and themselves.
If you are interested in improving the quality of your life then Qigong is a tool that can help a lot on this path. It looks at life from a holistic perspective working to strengthen health though work on the body, mind and, of course, qi. Come along and give it a go. Classes are on Tuesdays, 6:30pm in the Waitati Hall. No experience is needed and beginners are most welcome.
Also, if you have any questions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.