The forms listed are not a ‘family’ or a true curriculum of forms, but rather the ones chosen because they provide a good range of practice.
Currently, the Qigong Forms are being taught privately or in a workshop format.
5 Phases “Qigong” for Taiji Form Study:
These drills are incorporated into all Taiji classes as preparation for form study. They provide basic drills that may be practiced immediately to support learning form as well as offer a unique meditation and Qigong flavored practice that may grow into full form study. 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, and the phases of energy in the body. In physical practice, we use the element names as shorthand for 5 distinct upper body positions that may then be applied directly into learning the upper body positions in seamless form. Additionally, we can add in the traditional ‘Wu Bu’ or 5 phases of the Taiji Stance to deepen our foundation as well as add to the specific drills.
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 Words of Self-Composure Meditation:
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.
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.