What is Qigong?

Qigong is a Chinese practice that combines breathing techniques, meditation, and physical movements to cultivate and balance the body's vital energy, known as "qi" or "chi". Qi is considered to be the energy that flows through the body's meridian system, and it can be felt through various body sensations such as warmth, tingling, or even electric-like currents. Qigong is a holistic practice that integrates mind, body, and breath to enhance physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

What are the age restrictions for practicing Qigong?

There are no strict age restrictions for practicing Qigong, as people of all ages can benefit from this practice. In fact, older people may find that they do static and meditation exercises even better than younger practitioners due to their increased sensitivity. However, it is important to note that children under the age of 18 should approach Qigong with caution and practice under the guidance of a qualified teacher.

Will the exercises be too difficult for my fitness level?

ZY Qigong exercises are generally gentle and mild, and focus on the cultivation of internal energy and body-mind awareness. While some exercises may challenge your balance or flexibility, they are usually performed in a relaxed and gentle manner. For example, the Big Tree posture can be challenging at first, but with practice, it becomes more enjoyable and beneficial.

What are the contraindications for qigong practice?

Permanent contraindications: pregnancy for beginners, severe physical and mental conditions, not compensated heart diseases, blood disorders, infectious diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system, severe head injuries, neuroinfections. It is worth noting that even in these cases, Qigong practice may bring positive effects, but only under the guidance of a Master/Instructor.

Temporary contraindications: taking multiple medications, exacerbation of chronic diseases, postoperative period, severe physical fatigue, overheating or cooling, heavy physical work, and a very full stomach.

The following are not contraindications, but caution is required: Eye diseases such as hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, cataracts, retinal detachment, or eye fatigue, specific chronic respiratory diseases, malignant tumors, severe spinal diseases, significant low or high blood pressure any day of the menstrual cycle for women

What are the benefits of practicing Qigong?

Qigong has many potential benefits, both physical and mental. It can help to improve flexibility, strength, balance, and posture, as well as enhance overall physical health and vitality. Qigong is also known for its stress-reducing and anxiety-relieving properties, and it can be used to enhance mental clarity, focus, and concentration. Additionally, Qigong has been shown to have positive effects on the immune system and cardiovascular health, and may also help to reduce chronic pain and inflammation.

How often should I practice Qigong?

The frequency and duration of Qigong practice can vary depending on personal preference, availability, and health status. However, it is generally recommended to practice Qigong daily or at least a few times a week to experience its full benefits. Even just a few minutes of practice per day can be beneficial, and longer sessions can be especially helpful for more experienced practitioners.

Can anyone practice Qigong?

Qigong is generally considered to be a safe and accessible practice for people of all ages and fitness levels. However, people with severe health conditions or injuries should consult with their healthcare provider before starting a Qigong practice. Additionally, it is important to listen to your body and practice within your limits to prevent injury.

Do I need a teacher to learn Qigong?

While it is possible to learn Qigong from books, videos, or online resources, having a qualified teacher can be beneficial for proper technique, alignment, and safety. A teacher can also provide personalized instruction and guidance to help you develop your practice more effectively.

Can Qigong be practiced along with other forms of exercise?

Yes, Qigong can be practiced in conjunction with other forms of exercise. In fact, it can enhance the benefits of other physical activities by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving mental focus.

How long does it take to see results from practicing Qigong?

The time it takes to experience results from Qigong can vary from person to person. Some people may feel immediate benefits, while others may take weeks or months to notice a difference. Consistency and patience are key when practicing Qigong.

I already like it. What should I do to start practicing?

To begin your practice, enrollment in introductory classes is required.

When reaching out, please provide your availability to facilitate scheduling. Options include individual sessions or group classes, announced under 'New Events'. If opting for group classes, sharing your available times will assist in customizing the sessions to accommodate your schedule and allow for others to join.

Please monitor the 'New Events' section for the latest schedule of introductory classes, typically held at the 12 Merchant Yoga Studio. The beginner program, totaling 15 hours, is designed with flexibility to suit your routine. Missed sessions can be made up during regular classes.

Joining the one-hour morning qigong classes without beginner lessons is possible, but beginning with the introductory courses is strongly recommended. The first lesson is on a donation-based fee system, encouraging an exchange of energy, except for sessions at city yoga studios.  Contributions can be made via e-transfer to alex@qigongkw.com.

Why do I need to take an introductory course before proceeding to regular practice?

Zhong Yuan Qigong (ZYQ) is a profound and demanding discipline. It's essential that beginners are properly guided through the initial stages. The foundational practices, such as 'the Big Tree' standing and sitting meditations, which can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and more, may present a challenge for those new to ZYQ. Fortunately, it's possible to progressively extend the duration of these meditations over several introductory sessions. Serious practice yields significant benefits for both your health and spirit. While you may continue practicing on your own after completing the introductory course, attending regular classes is recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions about practicing Qigong