Last year, my colleague Dan Kleiman of Qigong Radio interviewed me on my experiences as a life coach and teaching energy arts like tai chi since 1995. He wanted to find out if I had any insight into how to improve practice and teaching results of students and teachers alike. I shared with him four qualities of the mind I see crop up time and again in successful students. The New Year is a great time to reconsider these influential factors as many of us are naturally more open to creating positive changes.
Of the several thousand forms of qi gong, only a few are as simple yet penetrate the body and chi as deeply as the Marriage of Heaven and Earth Qi Gong. This single, repetitive exercise can contain a colossal amount of internal and energetic content with each thread amplifying and multiplying all others. The benefits from correct, integrated and fluid practice— along with the potential weaves, depth and range possible within each layer—lead those in-the-know to regard Heaven and Earth as nothing less than pure magic.
The sixth nei gong component of 16 that comprises the science of qi energy development underlying all Tao meditation and energy arts in the Water method is applied to bend and stretch the body in specific ways: namely, bending and stretching the body from the inside out and the outside in along the direction of the yin and yang acupuncture meridians. This class of techniques provides the methodology for working with the body’s soft tissues, including the muscles, tendons, fascia and ligaments. Loosening and releasing bound tension and restricted areas in the soft tissues though bend and stretch are absolute prerequisites for more advanced twisting, and eventually spiralling nei gong techniques, as well as introductory qi techniques.
My colleague Dan Kleiman recently launched a new podcast series, Qigong Radio, to cover a wide variety of qi gong and internal martial arts related topics.
Dan invited me to join him to discuss the fundamental levels of early qi energy (nei gong) training, and how it specifically provides the foundation for and links with long-term development in body and mind.
How to Activate + Develop
Your Soft Tissues, Fluids + Qi Energy
Although internal energy arts practice and the process of embodying ever-deeper layers of nei gong is a lifetime pursuit for the most dedicated practitioners, at each increment of advancement, the associated health benefits increase significantly. Many students will sacrifice content for form, but it is the internals that supercharge qi gong, tai chi and bagua forms—that which makes all the power-generating and health benefits possible.