I provide a range of Qigong forms throughout my yearly schedule that range from challenging physical forms to quiet & more still forms. Each of these forms has an excellent role to play in the breadth of what one might practice over the course of time. The forms listed are not a ‘family’ or a true curriculum of forms, but rather the ones I’ve chosen to focus on because they provide a good range of practice.
Hands of the 18 Luohan:
The Luohan Gong originates around 520 AD, when a Buddhist monk from India, Bodhidharma or Da Mo, travelled throughout china finally settling at the Shaoling Temple in the Henan Province. He was the founder of Chan or Zen Buddhism. The Hands of the 18 Luohan is considered to be significant in the roots of Shaolin Kung Fu and many martial arts. It was designed along the another classic Qigong form, the ‘Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic’ to promote better health and strength for the monks of the temple. Luohan practice works on the body structurally & energetically; it affects bones, tendons, ligaments, joints, vessals and internal organs. It focuses on building energy in core areas for vitality and increases energy flow throughout the body. It is a stellar form for strength, flexibility & calm. It will take 1+ years to get comfortable with this form & it is so worth it. Think a great yoga class (well! it did originate in India after all) where you move steadily through postures to achieve suppleness in mind & body.
5 Phases Qigong & Meditation:
This is a meditation practice I’ve been cultivating based on ideas from Jan Parker & Art Baner as well as others. I’ve been adding to it as I grow in my own understanding of Qigong, inserting more detail & connections to the 5 elements or 5 phases. The response has been resounding so I’m adding it to my regular curriculum. Based on 5 Element Theory in Qigong & Chinese Medicine, we study the nature of the elements—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water—and how they relate to the cycles inherent in life–the change of the seasons, the fluctuations of Yin & Yang, the phases of energy in the body. It is mingled into classes as well as offered as a short workshop, so if this is speaking to you, just get in touch.
8 Treasures Qigong:
8 Treasures Qigong has been passed down through the generations as an exercise set to maintain good health and increase vitality. There are many variations of the form, each with slight differences, but the basic movements still maintain many similarities. The 8 Treasures has eight routines that serve to expand breathing capacity, increase energy and blood flow, strengthen the legs and torso, increase flexibility as well as calm the body and mind. It is a deceptively simple routine that yields great benefits to the conscientious practitioner. It can be learned within a session as is a great beginner’s practice!
Balancing the Heart Qigong:
Balancing the Heart Qigong is the practice of “cleansing the heart and balancing the blood.” It is considered a modern form of Qigong, to address the issues of modern illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stress. As a form of Medical Qigong it is designed to alleviate stress and its by-products that may manifest as heart disorders. The powerful energy of the Heart governs the blood & blood vessels as well as houses the Shen, our complex prism of emotions, mental thoughts & our sense of spirit. On a physical level, healthy Heart energy results in even warmth in the body & a well-regulated pulse. On a spiritual level, the Heart governs a steady, positive & productive personality, able to experience a balanced sense of Joy.
5 Word Qigong:
This qigong/meditation employs the words “Breath, Calm, Center, Root, Energy” to investigate basic meditation, breath and movement skills. This is a deeply relaxing form that revitalizes energy flow and creates a pervasive awarenesss of calm and center. Currently incorporated into regular classes, rather than on its own.
1000 Hands Buddha Qigong:
This nurturing Qigong form is an excellent way to center & calm. It is based on hand positions, called ‘mudras’ that help clarify one’s intent in the movement. While based on traditional Buddhist meditations, this form is not religious in its nature. Rather, it is about fostering healthy principles of the human experience like creating clarity, a sense of assurance, purity & truth in one’s internal experience. This form can be done seated & is easily learned in a session.
This very meditative form uses movement and intent in a gentle, slow-paced manner to help build a tremendous amount of energy & vitality throughout the body & the internal organs. So calming & nurturing it is a great form for deep self-care.
Jade Body Qigong:
An excellent form for bringing health & vitality to the whole length of the spine. Not currently teaching this form, but perhaps again someday. Let me know if you have questions about it.