Qigong comes from the ancient Chinese medical practices, developed over centuries as a physical and mental exercise used to prevent and recover from illness. Integrating breath with movement and led by the mind, qigong practitioners use the art to build and balance energy within the body. Using the mind to focus, coordinating movements with our breath, the qigong forms promote relaxation of mind, body and spirit.

Qigong comes in many forms and styles, influenced progressively by the discoveries made in traditional Chinese medicine, but with the one root of bringing our physical and mental state into harmony with our natural environment. This means, that whatever form you choose to practice, the governing principles are the same. 

These principles include:

  1. Focused and intentional movement
  2. Rhythmic breathing
  3. Awareness
  4. Visualisation
  5. Softness
  6. Solid and grounded stances
  7. Relaxation
  8. Balance and counter-balance

The goals we aim to achieve are also the same:

  1. Equanimity: a calm and composed state of mind
  2. Tranquility: a clear and peaceful outlook
  3. Stillness: a gentility of movement

In western terms, the benefits gained from practicing qigong include:

  1. Preventing illness
  2. Improving the state of mind
  3. Improving the cardiovascular system
  4. Improving the respiratory system
  5. Improving the digestive system
  6. Reducing stress in mind and body

The Chinese Health Qigong Association has, over the years, officially recognised the following Qigong forms:

  1. Ba Duan Jin
    • Eight Piece Brocade
  2. Yi Jin Jing
    • Muscle Tendon Changing Classic
  3. Wu Qin Xi
    • Five Animals
  4. Lui Zi Jue
    • Six Healing Sounds
  5. Tai Chi Yang Sheng Zhang
    • a Tai Chi form
  6. Shi Er Duan Jin
    • seated, for neck, shoulders, waist and legs
  7. Dao Yin Yang Sheng Gong Shi Er Fa
    • 12 sets of guiding and pulling Qi
  8. Ma Wang Dui Dao Yin
    • guiding Qi along meridians
  9. Da Wa
    • lubricate joints and guide Qi

This list is given as a guide only and is by no means an exclusive list of Qigong practices. Other popular forms, widely practiced around the globe, include:

  1. Wild Goose Qigong
  2. Swimming Dragon Qigong
  3. Soaring Crane Qigong
  4. Pan Gu Mystical Qigong
  5. Dragon and Tiger Qigong
  6. Primordial Qigong

In recent years, the Chinese Health Qigong Association has developed criteria for Qigong in competition. WTQA has adopted these rules to introduce a Qigong component into our annual Festival. Come along to the Festival, held on the last Sunday of August, to see the beauty and variety offered in the practice of Qigong. More information on the festival can be found here.