In Part 1 we discussed a basic overview of what Qigong is and what it is meant to do, or how it can help us. In this discussion we would like to address what makes qigong unique and why it is so effective.
The beauty of most Qigong training is in its simplicity. The majority of movements are gentle and easy to do. There are virtually no complicated motions in the beginning levels, making it easy for anyone to take part. Unlike the pretzel positions of yoga, or some of the complicated sequences of Tai Chi, Qigong is simple, almost too simple. What does this mean? Well, when something looks as easy as Qigong beginner programs do, people often ask, “How can this be effective. I mean really, can just moving your arms around or turning your waist really be that beneficial? Other than getting a mild bit of exercise?” Valid question. If all one does is body movements, then yes, it is a mild form of physical exercise and nothing more. But that is not Qigong.
Qigong uses not only the movements of the body, but incorporates specific breathing along with the movements and a form of awareness. The awareness principle is similar to that achieved through meditation, a quieting of the thinking mind. More on that in Part 3.
When we utilize these three principles then we have the essence of Qigong. Therefore, Qigong can almost be considered a moving meditation, which heals the mind and body. One does not have to have a deep understanding of such aspects as the five elements, yin/yang etc to receive the benefits. This is one of the reasons why Qigong is becoming more and more popular. A simple, yet effective practice that calms the mind, heals the body through the opening of blocked energy, and allows one to return to a natural state of balance.
In Part 3 we will discuss the specifics with respect to the breath, and the mind during your practice.