In this article, we will look at the basic principles of effective and preventive Qi Gong practice. In order for it to be effective and for you to get the most out of it, your practice should be: simple, sincere and regular.
Principles : Be simple
Qi Gong is easy to practice, anywhere, anytime and by everyone, with techniques easily assimilated and adapted to each person.
Practicing in simplicity also means not looking for specific results or effects. Let yourself go and it will be given to you in addition.
Principles : Be sincere
For each technique, do what you can, according to your own possibilities. Never force your body or your breath, let alone energy.
With time, amplitude and ease will come gradually. Do not force, because you risk blocking your energy.
Your concentration should also be simple and relaxed. Just be present. If the flow of thoughts is too intense, let it pass and refocus on your breathing.
Don’t struggle, if you really can’t do it, stop and resume the practice at another time of the day.
Principles: Be regular
It is better to practice Qi Gong for about ten minutes every day rather than for a very long time one day and then stop.
Do you eat every day? It is the same for the practice of Qi Gong.
With few movements, extremely simple to perform, everyone should be able to practice and get good results.
Principles : Adopt the right attitude: relaxation
Starting to work on Qi is not limited to a few minutes of specific training every day, it is a constant work in front of the various events of life.
When you encounter a crisis situation, where you know you may lose your temper or risk losing your temper, try to become aware of your Qi.
If you are stiff it will be impossible, because tension and Qi are incompatible.
Tension lifts you off the ground and makes you feel like you are floating. Only relaxation favors the rooting necessary to capture the energy of the earth.
The key word of Qi Gong: appeasement
Qi Gong calms the heart and the breath. Adjust the postures: if your posture is not right, the mind (the heart) is not calm.
Thus, the breath gets carried away and creates new tensions, new imbalances and the posture is no longer correct.
Therefore, it is the posture that should be worked on first, whether you are standing, sitting or lying down.
A good posture provides relaxation, calms the mind and facilitates slow, deep breathing.
The posture we will use in these exercises will be the standing posture, known as the “Rider’s Posture”.
The Rider’s Pose
If you understand and execute this posture correctly, all the other postures (sitting, lying down) will be easy for you since they follow the same principles.
If I chose the standing posture, it is because it makes you work on your balance and become aware of the connection between the earth and the sky, with your feet anchored on the ground and your head pointed to the sky.
This detail is important, because we will use these two energies (earthly and celestial) within the mental work of breathing.
Description of the technique
- Feet parallel and on the same line, the weight of the body is well in the center.
- Your knees relaxed, slightly bent, are rather spread outwards.
- Relax your hips, it is essential for the relaxation of the lower limbs.
The lumbar vertebrae must be relaxed, the pelvis tilted forward (lumbar vertebrae and coccyx must not be subjected to any weight).
If your knees are rigid, the energy will not pass. In order for the energy to flow to your feet, you must relax your knees. Raise the pelvis and the anus.
Breathing should be neither noisy nor rapid, which would not allow to calm the thoughts, nor panting, which would disturb the breath.
The breath should be long, fine and peaceful. When inhaling, the air enters through the nose and descends to the belly (exactly three fingers below the navel). On the exhale, it rises and exits through the mouth.
In our daily unconscious breathing and when we practice “external” sports – that is to say, sports that require pure muscular strength – the air is brought to the lungs and expelled as if the man were cut in two under the ribs.
As a result, the Qi is “stuck” at the top, creating an imbalance due to lack of rooting, excessive fatigue of the lungs and heart.
Conversely, in Qi Gong, we use the entire respiratory capacity of the body. The inspired air first descends into the belly, where the center of gravity is located.
It then naturally inflates. Like a balloon, we fill up with air from the bottom to the top and finally exhale.
By breathing in this way, all the internal organs benefit and are massaged. This awareness of the breath also allows the mind to relax. In this way, Qi strengthens the body and improves health.
Breathing in is done through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. A first technique will be to think internally the sound “AAAA” on the exhale and the sound “HUMMM” on the inhale.
Next, think of your belly inflating on the inhale and deflating on the exhale.
Placing both hands flat on your belly, without pressing down, will help you feel this movement.
Also, inhale and exhale should be of equal length with no holding time in between.
To help you, work close to an alarm clock that emits a light “ticking” sound and count (for example: four sounds on the inhale and four sounds on the exhale).
Last point: place the tip of the tongue against the upper palate when you inhale and let it descend naturally on the exhale.
Close your eyes (rather half-closed to avoid relaxation) and you are ready to practice Qi Gong in the best conditions.
Where and when to practice?
Ideally, you should practice Qi Gong outside, in an open area, early in the morning. But this is difficult to do (except for a few lucky people).
In the morning, the energy is still new, the air pure. This is a great way to wake up gently: stretching, massage.
It will take you five minutes before your breakfast (hardly), because if you have to practice Qi Gong on an empty stomach in order not to disturb the energies, you have to have a breakfast afterwards.
After the long fast of the night, it is really the most important meal of the day.
Then, practice wherever you want and whenever you want, one minute in the subway, one minute at the office… While walking, while standing up, while sitting down…
Then, at the end of the day, do a last little session in the evening to sleep well.
Proposed like this, it is more a relaxation practice than a real Qi Gong practice. Then, your day will be perfectly filled… with Qi.
It is important to remember that practicing Qi Gong should never be a constraint. It is not an additional burden, on the contrary. Be regular, but don’t feel pressured.
Unlike “external” gymnastics and daily movements that we perform without really being present, Qi Gong requires a deep feeling, as well as a “letting go” (awareness of the body in space).
Finally, slowness is essential to :
unite the spirit and the gesture
get out of the daily stress;
refine the attention;
bring out internal tensions
bring out buried emotions.
Have you ever taken Qi Gong or do you intend to do so soon? Share with us your tips on this art of wellness in the comments.