In its simplest form and understanding, QiGong is a collective term for a large and varied body of exercises that aim to build and maintain – or regain after illness – the physical, mental and emotional strength, subtlety, flexibility and resilience needed to live a healthy and happy life.
The word QiGong is of Chinese origin, but owes its creation and increasing usage over the last 40 years to the westernisation of the practice. The older name for the discipline is DaoYin.
Quite a number of European and American teachers of QiGong or DaoYin have studied with Chinese masters or their disciples. Many Chinese masters now teach in the west. But experience shows that tradition can get lost in migration and translation. It is therefore worthwhile to have a closer look at how the discipline and art of DaoYin QiGong may be understood as what it is and can be. A good way is to look at the language first.
Written Chinese does not use letters to make syllables and words, but pictograms and ideograms, which leave a lot of room for interpretation, because they don’t tell us what something is, but rather how it comes into being.
The ideogram for QiGong combines the character for Qi, which – in this context – mean “breath” but in the widest sense stands for “life energy”, with the character for Gong, which- in this context – could be translated as “continuous, dedicated and skilful effort”. When such effort is applied, the nature of Qi will be understood in more and more depth, and so will the many forms of distortion of Qi that manifest as imbalance, pain and disease of body, mind and soul.
Those who cultivate their Qi also learn to direct it – internally and externally. Therefore, the cultivation of Qi can be seen as a foundation for all martial arts, spiritual practices and skills in healing oneself and others. >>>
Since China opened up to the West politically, economically and culturally, QiGong has become increasingly popular all around the world and quite some research is being done to establish the health benefits of QiGong exercises and treatment within the paradigm of Western Science.
For further exploration, I highly recommend the 3 youtube clips by Chinese teacher and practitioner Dr Yang, which give an excellent and authoritative introduction to QiGong.
For my QiGong classes and workshops see >>>