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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.
The question of how long to train Tao meditation and energy arts is one of the most frequestly asked questions.
I advise all students, but especially beginners to qi gong, tai chi, bagua or meditation, to mind their two-thirds of effort in mind-body-qi, and save 45-minute to hour-long practices for many months (or even years) down the line, once they have a solid foundation in nei gong. Otherwise, you may injure yourself or build up too much internal resistance and stop practising.
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 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.