You’ve in all probability heard of Tai Chi, however have you ever heard of Qi Gong? Tai Chi and Qi Gong share similarities, similar to each being a central follow rooted in Conventional Chinese language Drugs. Tai Chi really descended from Qi Gong in historical China, and each are practices that stability your physique’s vitality (or qi).
On this article you’ll be taught extra in regards to the similarities and variations between Tai Chi and Qi Gong. You’ll additionally find out how Qi Gong can help your therapeutic, enhance your stability and join you deeply with a way of wholeness.
I met this historical follow serendipitously, deciding someday to take a unique path to work than my common. As I approached the group park courtyard, I noticed a sea of individuals, every standing one arm’s distance aside, engaged in sluggish, mild, wave-like actions, their faces tranquil, with the faintest trace of a smile.
They have been working towards Qi Gong.
My physique wanted this. 4 years later, I grew to become an teacher of this therapeutic follow and now help girls to heal and reconnect with their our bodies, hearts and minds by historical knowledge of Yoga, Qi Gong and Chinese language Drugs philosophy.
What Is Qi Gong? How Is It Totally different From Tai Chi?
Based on a 2014 research, this vitality cultivation follow is believed to be a minimum of 4,000 years previous, and has its roots in Conventional Chinese language Drugs and Taoist philosophy.
Qi Gong is an umbrella time period for a set of inside vitality cultivation practices which embody shaking, tapping, stationary stances, fluid, flowing types, meditation, visualization and respiratory methods that has its roots in Taoist philosophy and Conventional Chinese language Drugs (TCM).
Qi Gong (气功) actually interprets to ‘Breath / Vitality – Cultivation’.
Similar to inside Yoga there are numerous varieties and lineages of Yoga similar to Ashtanga, Yin Yoga, and so forth, there are a number of sorts of Qi Gong together with Buddhist Qi Gong, Medical Qi Gong, Martial Qi Gong, and so forth.
Tai Chi is the the short-form of Taijiquan 太极拳, a Martial kind that entails extra advanced footwork with mounted sequences that usually take longer to grasp than Qi Gong. As talked about beforehand, each are historical practices rooted in TCM.
Need to know extra about historical practices? Learn: Qi, Meridians, Yin & Yang: An In-Depth Have a look at Acupuncture
Who Ought to Observe Qi Gong? What Are the Advantages?
The earliest kind, Dao Yin (导引), was practiced by Taoist monks as a part of their pursuit to achieve immortality, then later Shaolin monks and different martial arts practitioners.
Although it’s unlikely you’ll turn into immortal from sustaining a daily follow, medical research have proven this therapeutic follow affords a bunch of bodily and psychological well being advantages which embody an improved sense of stability, higher psychological focus, decrease ranges of stress and anxiousness, and decreased persistent illness danger.
Within the Fifties, medical docs began to formalize Qi Gong and put it up for sale as a health-boosting train for sufferers, calling it ‘Medical Qi Gong’. Since then, distinguished institutes together with Harvard Medical College have advocated the advantages of Qi Gong.
TCM philosophy sees pains, aches and well being issues as manifestations of underlying deficiencies, blockages or imbalances of qi in a single’s physique.
This vitality cultivation follow has been proven to assist heal with numerous situations, together with arthritis, as detailed in a 2017 medical research, breast most cancers, menopausal-related issues, menstrual problems, and a wide range of bodily and psychological diseases, as described in a 2015 research.
TCM philosophy sees pains, aches and well being issues as manifestations of underlying deficiencies, blockages or imbalances of Qi in a single’s physique. Qi Gong helps alleviate well being issues by selling clean stream of Qi (气), your very important life pressure, by the meridian channels, non-physical rivers that irrigate the land of your physique.
An concept that you simply as a person are a microcosm of the macrocosm that’s the universe, and that every part that may be present in nature will also be felt and skilled inside your inside panorama.
The key to a wholesome, completely satisfied and lengthy life is to align with nature, which could be skilled by searching for to embody the stability of YinYang, two equal, opposing and complementary forces that underpin every part.
And by flowing with the 5 Parts (五行), the 5 shifting forces that drive the unfolding of all phenomena such because the seasons.
Qi Gong or Yoga? Or Each?
Trendy Yoga, as taught within the West, and particularly in types like Energy Vinyasa Circulation, has typically turn into related to athleticism and is usually synonymous with being a ‘exercise’, attracting a powerful following of millennials starting from early 20s to late 40s.
Quite the opposite, most individuals flip to Qi Gong for therapeutic, with a core following of practitioners being these of their 60s and above, these recovering from damage or these with persistent well being situations like arthritis or coronary heart illness.
Qi Gong helps alleviate well being issues by selling clean stream of Qi by the meridian channels.
So which is best? In reality, it relies upon. Each instruments assist heal the physique and join one with a higher goal. Neither is best than the opposite, although relying in your particular person circumstances you may need a choice. Each are embodied mindfulness practices that empower practitioners to really feel good and dwell higher.
To know if both modality is appropriate for you, let’s study the variations.
Qi Gong Vs. Yoga: The Essential Variations Between the Two Practices
Firstly, most of Qi Gong is practiced in a standing place, and could be tailored for a seated place, whereas Yoga poses could be floor-based (supine, susceptible, arms and knees), chair-based or standing.
Second, Yoga types like Hatha, Restorative and Yin Yoga focus extra on static holds, whereas Qi Gong types similar to shaking, tapping and flowing types can typically feel and appear like shifting meditation.
Yoga poses are usually extra linear, whereas Qi Gong has a heavy emphasis on spiraling actions that minimize throughout completely different planes. As a result of each check with a variety of practices, nevertheless, there’s variety.
For instance, Ashtanga Yoga or Vinyasa Circulation yoga lessons can really feel extra like a fluid, flowing type of shifting meditation whereas some Qi Gong types are static; stances are held and there’s no bodily motion however your consciousness is drawn inwards to the fluctuation in your vitality and breath.
Lastly, Qi Gong stances are inclined to have a extra smooth, rounded feel and appear to them than Yoga poses.
Evaluating basic stances for instance, in Yoga, Tadasana Pose (Mountain) is historically taught with toes as shut collectively as potential, ideally massive toes touching and arms down by the perimeters.
The key to a wholesome, completely satisfied and lengthy life is to align with nature, which could be balancing on your YinYang vitality.
Whereas in Qi Gong, Wu Ji 无极 (Limitless stance) takes a extra rounded form, with one’s toes hip distance aside, joints spacious and smooth, knees bent barely and tailbone tucked underneath simply barely to permit spaciousness within the decrease again and kidney space, and a tiny hole between the arms and armpits.
One technique to examine these modalities is to position them alongside a spectrum of Yin-Yang (阴阳), the place Yin embodies stillness, ease and being, whereas Yang represents motion, effort and doing.
I see Scorching Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Energy Vinyasa as being on the furthest finish of the spectrum related to motion and energy, adopted by Martial Qi Gong.
On the other finish of the spectrum, related to stillness and ease are the practices of Yoga Nidra, Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga. Someplace in between these practices are Hatha Yoga, mild stream and normal Qi Gong.
The Takeaway (Plus a Distinctive Yoga Class to Attempt)
In closing, Qi Gong affords a bunch of advantages, from bodily to psychological, and is an excellent different or complement to your Yoga follow. This historical Chinese language follow will help your therapeutic, enhance your stability, and provide help to domesticate a deep sense of wholeness.
For me, including it to my motion repertoire has helped enhance my spatial consciousness, mobility and stability, and I’ve seen this trickle into my Yoga follow. Because of this I encourage all my college students and the Yoga lecturers I mentor to do that shifting artwork.
Attempt This Distinctive Yoga Class on YA Lessons
On this yoga class, you’ll discover the 5 Tibetan Rites, that are a 2,500 year-old type of Tibetan yoga with workouts (rites) which are designed to extend your longevity, identical to the opposite historical practices we explored on this article!
Do you follow Qi Gong? Does it stability and energize you? Please share with us within the feedback under – we love listening to from you!