Qigong with Kamala Quale - Moon and Lotus LLC

QIGONG CLASSES WITH KAMALA

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ABOUT QIGONG

The Chinese word qi (chee) means life force energy. The word gong (gung) means practice or training. Qigong (chee-gung) refers to the practice of exercises and meditations which actively strengthen and regulate life energy.

Image of students doing qigong at the yurt.

There are thousands of forms or styles of qigong, which consist of specific movement sequences. Some are very free and others are more structured. These forms have been passed down through the centuries in China through families or lineages. Most employ fluid, meditative movement synchronized with the breath and the use of sound and color.. The external movement is joined with an inner poetry and focus, which engages the feelings of the heart and activates our awareness of the relationship we have with nature’s life giving energy.

In qigong practice we gather, guide and store nature’s energy within us for strength and healing. After practice, you may experience increased energy and well-being. Your sense of balance, flexibility and coordination feel more acute. The oxygen content of your blood increases and circulation and lymph drainage improve. Thus qigong is an integral part of what is becoming known as vibrational medicine.

Qigong began as the dances that early peoples did to imitate the activities of animals. These dances are common to many cultures in the world and are often found depicted on old stones and artifacts. Over the ages people discovered uses in healing, longevity, self-defense and spiritual development. People who consistently practice report an increased ability to handle stress and a growing capacity to be present in the moment. Regular practice improves health, increases flexibility and balance, and harmonizes emotions.

The written character for qi (shown in the heading of this web page) contains two component symbols, or radicals. The lines on the top and right indicate that the source of qi comes from above and below. Above refers to vibration that comes from celestial bodies like the sun, and also from the air we breathe. Below refers to the earth and to the food we eat. The symbol on the lower left means rice, and indicates that like rice, qi is a staple source of nourishment.

The Taoist philosophy of old China says that pulsating vibration, or qi, is the most fundamental constituent of all matter and activity. Our body and mind are made of and are energized by qi. When qi condenses it is matter and when it disperses it is space.

Our life force field is in constant flux and flow. Even though we do not see this field with the naked eye, we can learn to feel it through our senses. When the energy field is moving harmoniously within us, we become aware of global effects such as relaxation of muscles, warming of the body, an increased sense of well being, and a quiet mind.

Qigong practice focuses the mind on the sensations of the body. As the body and mind relax, we become aware of the subtle aspects of our experience. With increasing sensitivity we begin to “feel the qi”. This may feel like a flow of sensation in different parts of the body or an impulse to move spontaneously. Some people feel a warming or pulsing in or around their body. Physical symptoms and emotional states change, and we feel lighter and more expansive.

 

OUT OF THE ANCIENT PAST

From its shamanic roots in ancient times, energy practice has evolved over the centuries so that today there may be as many as thirty six thousand forms of qigong in China and other parts of Asia. Different uses for qigong emerged and can be categorized according to the goal of practice.

 

Nourishing Life – Qigong to Increase Health, Balance Emotions, Promote Vitality

When we practice qigong we synchronize our breath, movements and mind. In
“nourishing life” qigong our goal is to connect with vital life energy and use it to nourish our body, ease our mind and replenish our natural stores of energy. The movements stretch and strengthen the body, improve circulation, massage the internal organs and guide the harmonious flow of qi. We breathe in new oxygen and life energy, and we use our mind to focus internally, bringing awareness to the sensations and changes we notice in the moment. We can mentally direct energy and awareness to places in the body that need special attention and healing.

Most qigong practice falls in this category and is used as a healthcare practice. In some hospitals in China there are qigong departments. Here qigong is taught as one of the primary therapies for serious illnesses such as cancer, hepatitis, respiratory disorders and high blood pressure.

 

Medical Qigong – Energy for Healing

In many parts of Asia and the West, doctors and other healers practice qigong to keep their own energy strong, and to project or transfer healing qi to those who are sick. Hands on healing of various types has been practiced in many cultures for centuries. This type of practice is sometimes called Medical Qigong.

 

Martial Arts – Qigong for Self Defense

Martial arts forms are also rooted in qigong practice. Many practitioners do not realize that their art developed from soft, internal practices that were originally done by monks. Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) is a well known example. It is often practiced to soothe the mind and balance the body, but with advanced training it is very useful for self defense. Most martial art forms are designed to build internal strength and stamina. The vital force that the medical qigong doctor emits for healing is the same life energy that the advanced martial artist uses for self defense.

 

Monastic – Qigong as Spiritual Practice

When we practice qigong as a way to connect with our spiritual source and the deep sacredness of life, we move into the realm of qigong as spiritual practice. Classically, monastic practice in China, Tibet and India, has roots in Daoism (Taoism ), Buddhism, Tantra and Yoga. In these traditions, people use movement (qigong, yoga, spiritual dance), meditation, special breathing techniques, chanting and visualization to transform the body and mind making them subtle vehicles for increased awareness.

Internal alchemy and self cultivation are terms used in qigong to describe the process whereby a person refines his or her body, mind and spirit to the point of experiencing higher states of consciousness, spiritual bliss and identification with the subtle origin of life. In Chinese literature there are stories of
“immortals” or “winged ones” who sit for days in states of spiritual absorption. Immortals are known for their pursuit of longevity. A long life gives an extended opportunity to experience Dao (Tao), discover your purpose and follow your path.

 

© Kamala Quale 2009 ‐ 2014