Chi Kung (also spelled qigong) is the practice of generating or working with chi, the vital internal energy of the body. To remain healthy, we want this energy flowing and circulating smoothly around the body. As we make our bodies more tight and constricted, energy can't flow and becomes like stagnant water, causing a local build-up of ailments. Chi Kung is composed of different ways of maintaining proper body alignment, relaxation, and breath for mental and physical health.
Types of Chi Kung
Chi generation and flow can be improved using several different types of techniques. Loosely categorized, there are methods that are either external or internal to the body.
Some external methods of generating chi would be muscular tension (like our I Ching Ching exercises), stretching, acupuncture, or massage.
Internal methods are meditation, breathing, and sensing our own body through the mind's eye.
Sometimes, any or all of these internal practices are combined with movement to compound the effect and generate more energy. Shaolin-Do's 5-animal chi kung imitates the movement and spirit of the crane, tiger, bear, deer, and monkey to build strength and agility. Finally, Tai Chi Ch'uan is the art of using these chi principles to create efficient and powerful self-defense techniques.
Chi Kung at Shaolin-Do
The chi kung principles of mental and physical focus are foundational to both Shaolin kung fu and Tai Chi and are thus sprinkled throughout our entire curriculum. No matter what class it is at Shaolin-Do, there will be some chi kung involved. To practice some of the more relaxed and meditative aspects of chi kung, try our Tai Chi Foundations class. However, if you're looking for chi kung along with fitness and self-defense, the kung fu program would be the way to go. Contact us now to try a free trial class in either of these programs!