Qigong For Beginners: Meditation Techniques, Benefits, How To Practice & More!
An ancient Chinese healing technique, Qigong or Chi Kung meditation is when you combine controlled breathing, deliberate and gentle movements with meditation to improve your physical, spiritual, and mental health.
You must’ve heard of Tai Chi, another Chinese movement meditation technique, and if you practice Tai Chi then you must be able to connect Qigong with it. Similar to Tai Chi, Qigong movements can also help heal conditions such as fatigue, joint pain, high blood pressure among others.
In this article, I’ll help you understand what Qigong meditation technique is, how it can benefit you, and how you can practice this technique.
What Is Qigong Meditation?
Qigong meditation, pronounced as “Chi gong” or also known as Chi Kung, is a traditional Chinese meditation and healing technique that utilizes controlled breathing and meditation with gentle and slow movements, akin to Tai Chi.
Qi translates as “life force” and Gong as “cultivation”. Qigong means “cultivation of one’s life energy”.
With this practice, you learn how to cultivate your life energy and strength to heal your overall health and promote wellness.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, your poor health can be a result of blocked energy in the twelve meridians of the body. Qigong helps to unblock the meridians by allowing your natural energy to flow through.
There are two main types of qigong meditation:
- Active Qigong: Controlled and deliberate movements are used to help energy flow through the body.
- Passive Qigong: Uses stillness and gentle breathing to cultivate the energy in the body.
What Are The Benefits Of Practicing Qigong?
Backed by many studies, Qigong meditation has many benefits including reduced anxiety, lower stress, improve balance, lower chronic health risks, and many more:
1. Increases Balance
Qigong uses controlled and slow movements to improve your posture and awareness of your body. This can help improve your balance, muscle strength, flexibility, and also increase the mind-body-spirit connection.
2. Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Anxiety and stress naturally increase breathing and heart rate and as said before, qigong uses slow and gentle breathing and movements. By incorporating breathwork and meditation, you can calm your nerves and reduce stress or anxiety.
3. Lowers Risk Of Chronic Illness
This gentle exercise can help increase your blood flow, decrease blood pressure, and regulate your heart rate which in turn, can help decrease the risk of you developing chronic heart or physical conditions.
4. Improves Focus
Qigong requires you to focus on breathwork and mindfulness. Even a few minutes of Qigong daily can help you improve your concentration skills and focus. When your body is clear with its movements, your mind is clear with its intention.
Again, qigong requires your mind and body to work together to unblock the blocked energy or “qi”. When you practice qigong regularly, your energy flows better, which can leave you feeling relaxed and detoxed.
How To Practice Qigong?
It’s always more helpful to begin with a guided class but if you’d like to practice this technique at home, all you need to do is follow these steps:
A. For Passive Qigong:
Step 1: Lie down on your back and place your hands on your lower abdomen (it where your qi is)
Step 2: Visualize a ball inside that puffs up with air as you inhale and deflates as you exhale. When you inhale, direct your breath toward the abdomen and expand your belly. Contract it on your exhale.
Step 3: After a few breaths, slip your hands under your lower back and begin the breathwork again.
Step 4: Now, feel your back (and abdomen too) expand as you inhale but this time feel the lower energy field expanding.
Step 5: Repeat the process with your hands by the sides of your belly.
Step 6: Keep practicing this process for a few minutes, then pause and take a break.
B. For Active Qigong:
Active qigong aims to keep your body moving through various Tai Chi-like sequences. Since this qigong involves movements, it’s best to start with a guided class or a guided online video.
Typically, active qigong is practiced among groups as it is said to promote connection and improve community relationships which, in traditional Chinese medicine, is important for overall well being.
How Long Should You Practice Qigong?
Qigong meditation doesn’t take long for you to feel the benefits. Immediately after your first session you can begin to feel relaxed, feel the clear flow of the energy in your body, and have an enhanced mind-body-spirit connection.
The more you practice, the more you’ll feel the benefits. Giving five minutes every day to practice Qigong can help.
Qigong meditation is a type of moving meditation that uses gentle Tai Chi-like movements, controlled breathwork, and meditation techniques to improve health, reduce stress, and increase focus.
While it’s a form of traditional Chinese medicine, there is more research needed to study the additional benefits of Qigong.
Qigong meditation can be practiced by all regardless of their age and health. However, if you’re struggling with a chronic illness or physical injury, please consult with your doctor before practicing qigong meditation.
Whichever qigong you decide to practice, remember to have fun!
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