Qigong is an ancient practice dating back thousands of years, described by the Chinese as “energy work” and is the art of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation, through cultivating and restoring QI (Chi) "life force or life energy".
The practice of Qigong enhances our ability to perceive the energy that is around us, and making it available. This increased energy promotes health, vitality, emotional balance, mental clarity, intuition, creativity, tranquility and spiritual awareness.
Through deep breathing and slow repetition of fluid movements, we can develop an awareness of the center of gravity know as " The lower Dantian" or the body's powerhouse of energy.
After cultivating energy in the lower "Dantian", Qigong exercises help promote the circulation of energy through the meridian lines and energy centers (also known as Chakras) within the body. When this life force flows freely, the body becomes full of vitality and free from pain and illness.
Qigong is now practiced throughout the world by more than 200 million people, as a method to help develop human potential, allow access to higher realms of awareness, and awaken one's "nature".
Some of the benefits of Qigong practice include:
Baduanjin: 8 Pieces Brocade
The Baduanjin qigong is one of the most common forms of Chinese Qigong, translated as Eight Pieces of Brocade, Eight Section Brocade, Eight Silken Movements and others, the name of the form generally refers to how the eight individual movements of the form characterize and impart a silken quality (like that of a piece of brocade) to the body and its energy.
Piece 1 - Two Hands Hold up the Heavens
This exercise pulls and stretches the waist, back, chest and abdomen to induce full circulation of Qi and spread natural bodily fluids so that the entire body receives their nourishment.
Piece 2 - Drawing the bow to shoot the Golden Eagle
This exercise spreads the shoulders and expands the chest. The warrior-like posture gives vent to emotions in the heart. It sorts out Qi in the liver and removes chest pain, side pain, and aches in the shoulder blades and across the upper back. This exercise also can increase lung capacity and oxygen absorption, as well as strengthen the will power and vigor.
Piece 3 - Separating Heaven And Earth
This exercise regulates the spleen and stomach. The spleen produces pure Qi. The stomach eliminates impure Qi and promotes digestion and increases nourishment.
Piece 4 - Wise Owl Gazes Backwards
This exercise gets rid of stiff muscles and pinched nerves, improves vitality, focus and energy levels. Turning the body and twisting the arms adjusts connection between the brain and inner organs. The cervical vertebra is called the "heavenly pillar". This exercise keeps it straight to stimulate the thymus, thereby improving the brain's ability to regulate the inner organs- strengthening immunity and the physique.
Piece 5 - Punching with Gazing Eyes
This exercise revitalizes the liver, which is the main contributor of energy and strength to the muscles. Ailments of the liver can be seen in the eyes. In this exercise, the eyes stare intensely at the fists to stimulate the liver system, increase blood in the liver and disperse unobstructed Qi from the liver, thus strengthening the body.
Piece 6 - Big Bear Turns from Side to Side
This exercise increases your life force and removes heartburn. The downward movement of the upper body makes heat in the heart decline and kidney fluid rise. This can reduce stress and worry, insomnia, excessive dreaming, constipation and other illnesses.
Posture 7 - Touching Toes then Bending Backwards
This exercise stretches the bladder, which has a nursing effect on the reproductive system and urinary system. It also strengthens the kidneys and muscles of the waist and lower back.
Posture 8 - Bouncing on the Toes
This exercise stimulates the lymph and immune system to flow through the bouncing.
Pronounced and also spelled Daoism in Chinese refers to a philosophy that emphasizes living in harmony with the “Tao”, the source and essence of everything that exists. The Chinese word Tao is usually translated as "way", "path" or "principle" in life, says Taoism, is one that works in harmony with reality, the essence of the natural universe.
The keystone work of literature in Taoist philosophy is the Tao Te Ching, a concise book containing teachings attributed to Laozi, or "the Old Teacher", in ancient China. The Tao Te Ching is, after the Bible, the book most often translated into English.
The concept of yin yang, is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only exist in relation to each other. The concept lies at the origins of many branches of classical Chinese science, Taoism and philosophy, as well as being a primary guideline of traditional Chinese medicine a central principle of different forms of Chinese martial arts and exercise, such as Baguazhang, Taijiquan (Tai chi), and Gigong and of I Ching divination. Many natural dualities—e.g. dark and light, female and male, low and high, cold and hot, water and fire, air and earth— are thought of as manifestations of yin and yang (respectively).
Yin yang are not opposing forces (dualities), but complementary opposites, unseen (hidden, feminine) and seen (manifest, masculine), that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system. Everything has both yin and yang aspects as light cannot exist without darkness and vice-versa, but either of these aspects may manifest more strongly in particular objects, and may ebb or flow over time.
According to Chinese medicine, a meridian is a path through which the life-energy known as "Qi" flows. There are about 400 acupuncture points and 20 meridians connecting most of the points, however by the 2nd Century CE, 649 acupuncture points were recognized in China. These 20 meridians include the "twelve regular channels" or "twelve regular meridians", with each meridian corresponding to each organ; nourishing it and extending to an extremity.
There are also "Eight Extraordinary Channels" or meridians, two of which have their own sets of points, and the remaining ones connecting points on other channels. Meridians are divided into Yin and Yang groups.
The concept of Chakra originates in Hindu texts and features in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning". The Chakras are believed to be a number of wheel-like vortices which, according to traditional Indian medicine, exist in the surface of the subtle body of living beings. Chakras are refered to as "force centers" or whorls of energy, they are considered focal points for the reception and transmission of energies.
A Chakra is the interface point between the physical and non-physical form, they lie along a linear pathway (along the spine) from the Crown Chakra to the Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine. The best-known system in the West has seven Chakras; (Crown, Third Eye, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Sacral, Root). Activation and balance of energy flow in Chakras allow the body system to be at optimal with the higher self.
1st Root Chakra (EARTH - Color: RED - Adrenal gland):
Located at the lower tip of the spine and relates to our sense of survival, earth, and security. When it is balanced, one feels grounded and stable. When it is out of alignment, one feels fearful, insecure and overly attached to material things -- ultimately disconnected from life.
2nd Sacral Chakra (WATER - Color: Orange - Gonad gland):
Located in the pelvis and sexual organs, coordinates the instincts, gives attuning with water energies and correspond to the moon-influences and to the magnetic forces. When it is balanced, one is creative and connects well with others. When it is out of alignment, lust tends to dominate.
3rd Solar Plexus Chakra (FIRE - Color: Yellow - Pancreas):
Located at the stomach and navel center and is our center of power, also known as "Hara" center of power in Far-eastern traditions (the adrenal glands). Corresponds to the Sun-influence and the electric power. Coordinates ambition, ego, will-power, dynamism and expansion.
4th Heart Chakra (AIR - Color: Green - Thymus gland):
Located in the middle of the chest, at the level of the heart (the thymus gland) of the body and is our seat of love and compassion. It is where our animal self meets our spirit self and also where we find our humanity. When it is balanced, one is capable of love, affection, compassion, forgiveness and selflessness.
5th Throat Chakra (Color: Blue - Thyroid gland):
Located in the neck and throat area (the thyroid gland) and is our center of communication. Corresponds to the very basic energy of the Universe. When it is balanced, creativity and deep intelligence are manifested.
6th Third Eye Chakra (Color: INDIGO - Pituitary gland) :
Located at the center of the forehead and just above the eyebrows (the pituitary gland) and is our center of deep insight and intuition. When it is balanced, one is keenly aware of surroundings and can pick up signals (telepathy, hypnosis, clairvoyance, etc) much like a radio receiver. When it is out of alignment, one's thinking is unclear.
7th Crown Chakra (Color: Violet - Pineal):
Located at the top of the head and is the center that synthesizes all the others, our connection to the Infinite (the pineal gland). Often called the 1000 petaled lotus, when balanced, one feels a strong connection with everything. When it is out of alignment, one feels disconnected and depressed, as if something is missing.
Sunlight and color energies
Sunlight is our main source and provider of light, heat and energy. Not only does sunlight sustain all life on Earth, but also it sustains the Earth itself. It provides plants with the energy for photosynthesis, which in turn sustains the lives of all animals and humans. Sunlight consists of energies in the form of the electromagnetic waves and part of this electromagnetic energy includes cosmic rays, gamma rays, x-rays, visible light rays, infrared rays, micro waves and short and long waves (radio waves). By holding a prism towards the sun, we can break down the visible spectrum of light rays into seven different beams of color. Light consists of the seven color energies: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. We can see these seven colors in a rainbow, drop of rain or dew and even in a snowflake.
Color and light are inseparable. Each color of the visible light rays has a different wavelength and vibrational frequency, which affects us differently. Red has the longest wavelength and the slowest vibrational frequency, which we innately recognize as warm and stimulating. Whereas, violet has the shortest wavelength and the fastest frequency that we recognize as a cool and calming energy.
Each Chakra acts a transformer within the body. The purpose is to bring into the system a higher frequency of vibration, from the subtle portions of the Matrix Grid, into the thicker frequencies for purification and healing of negative energies. There are seven endocrine glands, each with a vibration and color, and one is assigned to each of the seven primary Chakras.
Each color expresses a range of frequencies that fall within specific wavelengths of radiant information. The colors of the visible light system are just above Infrared and below Ultraviolet. The Chakras are specifically designed to act as one level of a tuning antenna, aligned with a note on the scale of seven. They intercept specific wavelengths of energy containing radiant information and bring that information down into the density of the body structure to utilize. Additionally, more refined tuning occurs at the molecular level, as genetic receptors receive information at an even greater level of vibration frequency.
It is through this interface that the reality of the human experience becomes apparent. The human being is not the individual and independent being as we perceive. The body is connected to one level of an interlocking series of grids. These grids, having seven sections or sets of vibrations, with seven levels of knowledge in each section, are ranges of experience referred to as Dimensions.
Only the Root, Solar Plexus and Crown Chakra are able to access and receive energies from the Higher Self. Any other Chakra can receive these energies only after they have been filtered through one of these three Chakras.
Through aging, illness, and absorption of negativity in your life, the Chakras begin to collapse into the body and slow their rate of spinning. the ancients knew of this and designed mantras and meditation techniques to maintain the vitality and spin-rate of the Chakras.