Qi Gong

The Practice of Qi Gong

A practioner since 2009, Heidi leads classes in Qi Gong as a spiritual element complimenting the mind and body healing principles of The Sacred Body. The integrating postures, movements, breathing techniques, self-massage, and focused intent improve both mental state and physical health. To convey interest in upcoming classes and member packages, CLICK HERE .



Overview

The literal translation of Qi Gong is “energy work”, an Asian form of yoga that has been around for thousands of years. While much of Qi Gong is performed standing, there are a number of seated sets as well. Qi Gong has hundreds of systems that have come from various lineages, and many of them focus on different fields. Many are health oriented, while other groups come from the martial arts lineages.

These systems act to harness willpower, to focus, and to help practitioners channel their energy through their palms. There are also a number of systems from the temples and monasteries that are more focused on spiritual cultivation and depth of meditation. Some involve moving and others are visualization based. Almost all of them involve specialized breathing, which is coordinated with the activity at hand. The guiding principle of all these practices, however, is the coordination of the eyes with the body movements, the focus of the mind, and the breath—especially for the moving practices. For the more passive, non- movement exercises, the vision is focused inwards to explore the inner realms as the breath is guided to various inner chambers.


Body Movements

When practicing the sequenced movements of the Qi Gong exercises, many follow the pathways of the energy meridians running through the various regions of the body. These movements often trace the outer edges of our energy fields, smoothing and caressing the potency of the energy flow in our Light Body. These movements often involve various degrees of exertion, and depending on the system you are training in, can actually be quite rigorous.


Mental Focus

This critical aspect of the practice is one most overlooked by students. Staying present and paying attention is a critical component of all energy work as it engages the fire energy of the heart and ties the spirit in with the actions at hand. The linking of attention and intention creates mastery in life. Here, we are asked to focus on the action at hand and to stay engaged in the body movements while tracking them with the eyes. Doing so demands mental focus and presence as the reward is immense. This aspect also draws on the yi, or shen, of the earth element.


Breath

It is the vital breath that is said to circulate through the various meridians. It is the energy from the air that mixes with the food qi to create the functional energy of our body. The coordination of breath with body movements and attention drives energy through the designated pathways and opens blockages. We use breath not only to open these pathways but also to gather and store the breath and energy in specific reservoirs (called dantiens) in the body. An adept student learns to extract vital energy from the air through breathwork.


The Eyes

In the West, the eyes are considered the gateway to the soul. In Taoist theory, the eyes are believed to guide the spirit or shen. It is said that the qi (energy) follows the shen (spirit), with the blood and body fluids, in turn, then following the qi. The eyes therefore become the “command center” for the spirit to control and guide the movement of the energy in the body. The same system is used for directing energies outside of our body to effectuate healing and exert our influence on the environment around us.