An introduction to chi kung exercises

Chi Kung

Chi kung is the practise of a range of well-established Chinese exercises that are known to enhance and optimise the flow of chi (internal energy) within the body. Hundreds of styles of chi kung exist, varying from the simple, static exercises that are wonderful for calming the mind, to those that are dynamic and vibrant which are relaxing, yet simultaneously are re-energising.

This exercise system has been practised in China for over 2000 years, and is gaining popularity in the Western world. The basic premise is that through an awareness of the flow of chi, an individual can alter the flow of their internal energy to positively impact the individual.

Usually, prior to practising tai chi, it is common to open with a sequence of chi kung exercises as this warms up the body, internally and externally. Unlike tai chi, chi kung is not a martial art, although it too does comprise fluid and gentle movements. The most noticeable difference between the two is that chi kung exercises can be practised as discrete, individual exercises, following no particular order like that required in tai chi.

As chi is the life force that pervades everything within our universe, thus forming the essence of everything that is, the flow of chi within the body can greatly affect our physical and mental well-being. And so, the benefits of practising chi kung are manifold. Chi kung is an excellent system for calm the mind and reducing stress, as well as for improving various bodily functions.

The exercises themselves, when understood, target specific areas of the body as the exercises focus on increasing the flow of energy to certain organs. Mastering the range of exercises can be achieved quickly, although it is imperative to synchronise the coordination of the movements with the breathing techniques for real benefit. When practised mindfully, the benefits of the chi kung exercises can be felt almost immediately.

Performing some of the static exercises can lead to a meditative state. This involves standing statically for a period of time with the arms in various positions, being aware of your breathing and visualising streams of energy entering the body as you stand grounded. These postures create a powerful connection between you and the energies coming from the heavens and the earth.

Chi kung and tai chi complement each other beautifully. However, both can be carried out independently of the other.


January 31, 2010 - Posted by | Exercises | , , ,

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