A quick explanation of Qigong would probably be something like ‘a moving meditation practice that harmonises body and mind’, but to go a little deeper into what Qigong really is it’s useful to look at the two main components of the name:
Qi is generally translated as Energy or Life Force, but the concept goes far deeper than these rather oversimplified translations. If you consider Qi to be a categorisation for any invisible force that causes change you are probably slightly closer to the origins of the idea. This means that we can start to recognise Qi in familiar forces such as wind, electricity and even nutrition in food.
Within the human body the most significant invisible force can be considered to be the mind, indeed the Chinese have a saying ‘Yi Dao Qi Dao’ which can be translated as ‘where the mind goes the Qi follows’. This link to the mind is key in Qigong, externally it looks like the movement is doing the work, but it is ultimately leading the mind and allowing you to change your thought processes and patterns. This can manifest in a wide range of benefits ranging from deep relaxation to self healing and, with deeper immersion in the practice, what might be called spiritual awakening or enlightenment.
The usual translations of Gong includes ‘work’ or ‘achievement’, but as with most translations from Chinese it really only tells part of the story. If you consider Gong to be work, then it seems most apt to consider it to be the type of work that has become effortless… it’s the thing that happens when you master a skill, so maybe it’s better to consider it to be mastery.
Mastery is also quite a nebulous term so to be more specific, if you consider what happened when you mastered a life skill such as cycling, swimming or driving, you could say that you became skilled enough in it to get on with using the skill. This type of mastery does not make you the best cyclist, swimmer or driver, it just means that you are effective in using the tool.
So what is Qigong?
Using the ideas above, Qigong can be considered to be the ability to effectively direct the mind through movement and stillness. This rather loose definition is useful when you consider the huge range of applications for the practice of Qigong. Whether you choose to practice for health, self-development, body conditioning or any other reason, the practice of Qigong will provide you with a tool that helps you direct your mind, and thereby your Qi. So coming back full circle we can say that:
Qigong is a moving meditation practice that harmonises body and mind
If you want to find out more about Qigong and what it can do for you, get in contact and arrange to come along to a class, a workshop or a one to one session. Workshops and classes are detailed on the What’s on page, if you have more specific requirements then maybe the corporate or retreat links will also prove helpful.
To find out more about Qigong, and more specifically the form of Qigong that is practiced and taught by Energy Play, here are a few links to more information: