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Qigong – is it a fitness program or lifestyle?

February 18, 2020

I won’t have to rant long about this. The answer is fairly simple

As a teacher, at the start of classes I normally ask:  “who practiced anything of what we work on this past week”.

Only occasionally am I surprised by the response.  The students make is pretty clear how they feel about what we do by their approach in class and their past responses.

If you are looking for my answer to the question, here it is.

Qigong is a way of life, a method of being that you integrate into you daily living.  I differ from most teachers who say you have to choose a time and do your practice each day at that time, and if you can, twice a day.

To me, that is a fitness program.  Of course you get the benefits of Qigong.  The energy work, the blood flow, the mobility,  and the mental aspects.  It’s all good!

However for me, there are times I wonder if I will do any Qigong on a certain day when all of a sudden, I find myself doing a movement or two, spontaneously.  My body or mind needed it right then.

Most days I teach so I get a lot of the work in during classes.  Then I practice at home of course.  Yet the most benefits I feel is when, during the course of the day, I stop everything I am doing and do some Qigong that I feel I need at that moment.

It could be holding up the heavens to open the body from sitting.

It could be some lifting hand or pushing mountains or pushing clouds to calm my mind.

Or it could be the whole or portions of Gods Playing in the Clouds, The 8 Brocades or 5 Earth Elements set just because I feel like doing those particular movements at that time.

It is the benefit of how I feel from the practice when needed that motivates me to practice, not the routine of having to practice.

For me, Qigong is about incorporating the mindset of calmness, the playfulness and spontaneity and fun of Qigong and softness of being as a way of life and not just a mindful movement done in a daily rigid routine.

Perhaps when first learning, set times and practices are good.  But think about this. Could that also turn some off from the practice?

What are you ideas on this?


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