Chi Kung (pronounced ‘chee goong’) is a form of moving meditation and a way of harnessing and releasing the body’s own vital energy, or chi. It can have an extraordinarily beneficial effect on both physical and mental health and it is one of the most energizing forms of exercise.
There are many chi kung exercises. Some of them are for specific aliments, but the ones described below increase strength and energy, or chi. Given all of this, it is clearly a profound technique and one that cannot be covered in any depth in such a small amount of space.
|There are many wonderful benefits derived from practising chi kung, and they may be generalized into the following five categories:
Best way to learn
- Find a good teacher,
- Go to at least one class a week and
- Practice at home in between.
- Dress in loose, comfortable clothing and soft shoes, socks or bare feet.
CAUTION: Do not do these exercises if you are pregnant.
- Begin in a relaxed standing position. Make sure there is no tension in your spine. Tilt your pelvis slightly forwards to iron out your back and neck, and let your hands hang loosely at your sides. Your neck should follow the line of your spine, so your gaze is straight ahead. Relax your knees.
Lifting the Sky
- From the Starting position, bring your arms in front of your body, fingertips touching and palms facing the floor.
- Start to raise your arms out to the sides in a wide circle.
- When your arms are level with the top of your head, turn the palms to face the ceiling and bring then directly overhead. As far as you can, straighten your arms, with your hands at right angles to your arms, fingertips slightly apart. Hold the stretch for a moment and then lower your arms until your hands are just above your head. Raise and lower in a continuous arc up to 20 times
Embrace the tree
- Stand in the Starting position. Let your knees bend and feel your body’s centre of gravity lower, but keep your spine straight. Slowly raise your arms so that they make a wide open circle in front of you, with your palms facing your chest. Stand in this position for one minute and try to relax into it. With practice, you should be able to lengthen this to five minutes.
Low knee bend
- Begin in the Starting position and open your arms to your sides at shoulder height, palms facing upwards.
- Breathe in and turn your palms so that they face downwards. Bring your arms round so they stretch straight out in front of you. Start to bend your knees.
- Breathe out and bend your knees as if you were squatting or sitting on a beach ball. Breath in and return to standing, with your arms still stretched in front of you.
- Lower your arms to your sides, palms facing backwards. If you feel strong enough, repeat the sequence at least four more times.
- Stand in the starting position. Bend your arms at the elbows, palms facing forward, drawing your arms back.
- Push forwards from the heels of the hands. Draw the arms back again and then repeat up to 20 times.
- Stand in the starting position. Hold your arms out in front of you, elbows bent, your left arm level with your abdomen, and your right at chest level, as if your were gently holding a large beach ball.
- Lift the left hand upwards, so the two hands pass by each other. When your left hand is level with your face, twist your arm round to allow the palm of your hand to continue to push towards the sky. The right hand should push simultaneously down towards the floor.
- Push hard enough so that both arms straighten, fingers pointing inwards.
- Reverse the arms to hold the ball again, this time with your left hand uppermost.
- Lift the right hand upwards, turning your wrist up. Meanwhile bring your left hand down, to push towards the ground. This is the same position as Step2, but using the opposite arms.
- Straighten both arms as in Step 3. Repeat up to 10 times.
According to Chinese medical thought, practicing chi kung can cure as well as prevent all kinds of illness, including diseases like asthma, diabetes, hypertension and cancer which are generally considered “incurable” by conventional medicine. Practicing chi kung is also very effective for overcoming psychological problems.