In my 2011 Five Element Qi Gong retreat in Crete, I discussed ways to restore balance in and revitalise the body. One method for fretting out imbalances and getting real about your practice is training with a partner, which accomplishes three important goals:
New to Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Bagua or Meditation?
First and foremost, you are welcome to attend just about any public course I offer–unless prerequisites are expressly stated, which is rarely the case. All of my weekend seminars in London, Manchester and Stuttgart, as well as my retreats in Spain, include a parallel curriculum for new and beginning students. So we’re ready when you’re ready!
Attending a Class
Although it may sound counterintuitive, beginners learn almost exactly the same material as experienced practitioners because energy arts training is more about what is being emphasised and at what depth than the exercise per se (e.g., a
qi gong set, tai chi style, bagua palm change or breathing technique). So most courses start out with everyone together in one group—whether you are learning or reviewing the theory and fundamental practices that underlie the more in-depth material to come.
The primary difference is that whereas beginners learn body mechanics that develop qi, experienced practitioners learn energetic techniques that develop the body. It’s two different angles on the same game.
Tai chi is a yin art, which is why it often gets disregarded as useless or only being good for the elderly and young girls. But in fact, the soft nature of tai chi is exactly why it is so effective as a means for developing qi power—whether for health, healing, meditation or martial prowess.
First and foremost, exercise done in a soft way can prevent you from embedding existing, superficial tension deeper within the body. Tai chi is a superior exercise system for releasing the nerves, which in turn releases all soft tissues. This process allows the body to unfurl effortlessly and further paves the way for amplified blood and chi circulation through unbroken motion. Practise daily and you have a concrete means for manifesting real health benefits, but tai chi’s magic doesn’t stop there!
(Part 2 of 2, see Part 1)
Re-educating Your Body
The first step to living pain-free or improving your health is re-educating your body about how to move and perform even minor daily tasks, such as typing on a keyboard. In fact, most people have never received health or physical education that includes information about correct and sustainable body alignments and movements.
Human beings, with all our complexity and potential, have diversified, populated and thrived around the globe. Since the breakthroughs of the Industrial Revolution, we have spent 200 years becoming specialists in manipulating our environment and making radical changes to the way in which we experience the material world. The wonders that have resulted from man’s triumph over nature will only be surpassed by those of the Information Age, capable of producing yet more dramatic and astounding changes than witnessed in its infantile 30 years, such as the ability to decode the human genome and influence the genetics of various life forms—science that seeks to uncover the mysteries of our very existence.