You are probably familiar with Tai Chi, and Qigong (pronounced Chee Gong) is similar, but even if you’ve never practiced Tai Chi, Qigong beginning practice is fairly easy. The basics for beginners starts with deep breathing and then progresses to other forms of this martial art, all aimed at developing the body mind spirit connection and cultivating the vital Qi (pronounced Chee) energy that Qigong is know for.
An easy way to get going in your Qigong exercise program is to start with the basics of good breathing technique. Today many of us don’t breathe deeply enough to use our full lung capacity. This shorts our body and doesn’t allow us to use our oxygen efficiently and adds stress to our vital organs. Qigong breathing techniques, if nothing else, promote deep steady diaphragmatic breathing. This basically means that you breathe in deeply enough to see your stomach rise and fall with each breath. By doing this for a few minutes you begin to notice yourself start to calm.
Once you have mastered the basics of Qigong breathing techniques it is time to learn two of the basic stances involved with Qigong. The two most basic stances are called horse stance and bow stance.
The horse stance promotes proper posture and has been shown to relieve back pain in many who practice it. Your feet are together, back straight, and you start to sit back like you were going to sit on a chair. The key is to keep your muscles relaxed.
The bow stance is the other basic stance, and it too is said to relieve back pain if you practice the stance daily for about ten minutes. Start with your feet apart (like you would place them if you were going to draw an arrow back on a bow, thus the name), and then bend your knees slightly while making sure your back is straight. Then after a few minutes, switch feet so you opposite foot are leading.
After mastering the basic breathing and the two beginning stances, you should be able to look into starting with some of the basic Qigong healing exercises. All of the techniques in Qigong promote relaxation and have health benefits.
It is important to remember that proper warm up and cool down methods should be followed so that your muscles have the proper blood flow. This will help you avoid injury and will also help you to notice the benefits of Qigong more quickly.