Taiji qigong, also known as taichi chi kung or chi gung, is a breathing discipline that supports taijiquan, a movement form that combines elements of gentle exercise, meditation, healing, and self defense.
History of Taiji Qigong
These Chinese practices date back thousands of years and many variations exist. The spellings of the words vary because they are transliterations into English from different Chinese languages and dialects. The originators of taiji qigong considered physical development as part of a unified physical, mental, and spiritual process. Well-known teacher Mantak Chia compares the power of chi to “a rocket to boost the spirit…into orbit.”*
Benefits of Taiji Qigong
Most contemporary students are attracted to taiji qigong’s physical benefits, such as improved balance and flexibility, and reduced pain and stiffness. Research studies are currently investigating its effects on conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, and arthritis.
Definitions of Taiji Qigong
Qi, or chi, means breath, energy or life force. Chi is believed to be stored in the abdomen, the center of the body.
Gong, gung or kung means practice, discipline or work.
Qigong or chigung is a discipline of breathing exercises intended to develop qi or chi, providing more power to the body and the spirit.
Taiji or Taichi is a shortened form of taijiquan or t’ai chi chuan, meaning “supreme ultimate fist.” Traditional styles include quick fighting movements as well as slow, meditative movements. During the twentieth century, styles featuring the slow movement sequences became popular around the world for their perceived health benefits.
* From “Iron Shirt Chi Kung”