After all Western studies have been completed on Qigong (chi kung) and its benefits for the autonomic nervous system, the vagus nerve, balance, strength, and even depression, there remains one unequivocal thing: Qigong is an Antiquity whose ancient roots are based in Shamanism.
Each indigenous culture be it from the Arctic Regions, Scandinavia, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands or North and South America, they all had some sort of Shaman or a medicine person relative to their particular culture and each Shaman had their own “repertoire” whose goals were to heal.
From the 2nd Century BC through the 18th Century the trade routes between Asian countries were a series of roads called the “Silk Road”. Once the spring/summer thaw occurred, these roads provided routes where not only goods were traded, but cultures, foods, medicines, and healing arts were shared. Each Shaman would take and share, as they saw fit, medicines, elixirs and healing arts back to their peoples and cultures. This is where Qigong and Yoga had their countless meetings over the centuries.
It really is not uncommon for Qigong to be referred to as Chinese Yoga. It certainly has become a bit of a catchphrase in the West particularly when someone is trying to explain Qigong to someone who has never heard of it. (Or “It’s like tai chi but you don’t move your feet”) In all honesty, you may do a Qigong move and feel it reminiscent of a particular Yoga move you may have used and conversely, a Yoga move may be reminiscent of a Qigong move. One main difference is that in Chinese Yoga you will be focused on the breathing, the slow movements are meditative and are meant to lengthen and stretch the body.
There is, I feel, a caveat to be included with the phrase “Chinese Yoga”. In Yoga, one might hold poses with the arms and/or the legs crossed. In Qigong and Tai Chi, the arms and legs are never held in a twisted position or crossed tightly. By twisting and tightly crossing our limbs it is considered that we are impeding the flow of Qi, energy, in our bodies.
Is there any reason to completely give up your Yoga routine? Absolutely not. I still use a few yoga moves that I find comforting for the little tweaks and oddities in my body. But by practicing Qigong for these past few years, I have found more strength in my lower body (Lower Dan Tian), my core (Middle Dan Tian) is more defined and solid and my attitude/outlook on life (Upper Dan Tian) is just beginning to achieve an inner calmness.
At any rate, take a moment to stop and breathe. Appreciate a flower. A cloud. The cat in the window. Incorporate a moment of Qigong in your daily life. And remember… It’s About The Qi.
Interested in Learning About Developing Your Qigong Practice?
Pam invites you to join her via an online Qigong Practice, sent to you twice a week. These warm-up movements, breathing exercises, and Qigong Practice will help you to focus on your day ahead, or help your body unwind from a stressful day; thus preparing you for sleep.
If you’d like to become a member and sign up for our video courses, visit our membership Registration page for more info.
Naturally, you can contact It’s About the Qi by visiting our Reach Out page, send us an email at ItsAboutTheQi@Gmail.com, or give us a call at 310-547-4939.