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Alternative Therapy

The Corporate Hippie Guide to Qigong

Practices you have always wanted to learn more about but never had the time? Our Corporate Hippie Guides will take you step by step through some of the top ancient practices, how they work and what you can implement. Pick up new tools to add to your practice within the corporate world today!

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Introduction to QiGong

Qigong, also spelled as Chi Kung, is an ancient Chinese practice that combines physical movements, breath control, and meditation to cultivate and balance the body's vital energy, known as "qi" or "chi." The word "Qigong" is composed of two Chinese characters: "Qi," which means life force or energy, and "Gong," which translates to work or cultivation. Qigong is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, and Daoist and Buddhist philosophies. Qigong is often practiced for self-healing, increasing longevity, and enhancing the connection between the individual and the natural world.

Qigong: What is it?

Key things to know about Qigong

Application: How to use Qigong

Qigong: What is it?

The practice of Qigong dates back thousands of years and is considered a holistic approach to health and well-being. It involves gentle and flowing movements, breathwork, and mental focus to promote physical health, mental clarity, emotional balance, and spiritual growth. Qigong is often practiced for self-healing, increasing longevity, and enhancing the connection between the individual and the natural world.

 

Various styles and forms of Qigong exist, each emphasizing different aspects of the practice, such as medical Qigong, martial Qigong, and spiritual Qigong. The common thread among all Qigong practices is the intention to cultivate and harness the flow of qi for the betterment of the practitioner's life.

Key Things to Know about Qigong

Qi and Meridians: In traditional Chinese medicine, qi is considered the life force that flows through the body along specific pathways called meridians. The practice of Qigong seeks to balance and enhance the flow of qi through these meridians, promoting health and vitality.

 

Breathwork (Pranayama): Qigong places significant emphasis on breathwork to regulate the flow of qi and calm the mind. Specific breathing techniques, often referred to as pranayama, coordinate with movements to facilitate the smooth circulation of energy.

 

Mindful Movements: Qigong movements are slow, gentle, and deliberate, promoting a state of mindfulness and presence. The practitioner remains fully engaged in the movements, fostering a deeper mind-body connection.

 

Posture and Alignment: Proper posture and alignment are essential in Qigong to ensure the smooth flow of qi and prevent physical strain. The practice encourages a relaxed and grounded stance, with the body in a state of balance and openness.

 

Health Benefits: Regular practice of Qigong offers a range of health benefits. It improves flexibility, balance, and coordination. Qigong also reduces stress, boosts the immune system, enhances circulation, and supports overall well-being.

 

Internal and External Qigong: Qigong can be classified as internal or external. Internal Qigong focuses on the cultivation and circulation of qi within the body. External Qigong involves the transmission of qi from a Qigong practitioner to another individual for healing purposes.

 

Five Elements and Organ Systems: Some forms of Qigong are based on the principles of the Five Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water) and their connection to specific organ systems. The practice of Qigong can be tailored to support the balance and health of these organ systems

How to use Qigong

  • Morning Practice: Start your day with a short Qigong practice to awaken and energize the body. Even a few minutes of gentle movements and deep breathing can set a positive and centered tone for the day ahead.

  • Breath Awareness: Incorporate breath awareness throughout your daily activities. During moments of stress or tension, take a few conscious breaths to ground yourself and find inner calm.

  • Mindful Walking: Practice Qigong-inspired walking by paying attention to your breath, posture, and steps. Walk with a relaxed and mindful awareness, connecting with the rhythm of your movements.

  • Work Breaks: Take short breaks during work or study to perform Qigong exercises. Stretch your body, practice deep breathing, or engage in standing meditation to refresh your mind and increase productivity.

  • Nature Connection: Practice Qigong outdoors, if possible, to connect with the natural world and harmonize with the environment. Performing Qigong amidst nature adds an extra dimension of tranquility and grounding.

  • Evening Relaxation: Wind down in the evening with a Qigong practice focused on relaxation and breathwork. This can help release tension from the day and prepare your mind and body for restful sleep.

  • Group Practice: Consider joining a Qigong class or forming a practice group with friends or family. Practicing in a group setting can be motivating and foster a sense of community.

  • Emotional Regulation: Use Qigong's focus on breath and mindfulness to regulate emotions. When feeling overwhelmed or anxious, take a few moments to breathe deeply and practice Qigong movements to find inner balance.

  • Energy Cultivation: Set aside dedicated time for internal Qigong practice, focusing on cultivating and balancing your internal energy. This can involve seated or standing meditation, energy visualization, and mindful breathing.

  • Gratitude Practice: Combine Qigong with a gratitude practice. As you engage in the movements, reflect on the blessings and positive aspects of your life, cultivating a sense of appreciation and contentment.

Qigong offers a profound and holistic approach to health and well-being, fostering a deeper connection between the body, mind, and spirit. The practice's gentle movements, breathwork, and mindfulness promote physical vitality, mental clarity, emotional balance, and spiritual growth. By incorporating Qigong into your daily life and integrating its principles into everyday activities, you can experience the transformative effects of this ancient art. Whether you have a dedicated Qigong practice or a few moments each day for mindful breathing and movement, Qigong provides a pathway to self-cultivation, inner peace, and a harmonious connection with the flow of life.

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