Guest Post: Ben Rosen
Qigong being my all time passion/hobby/career/purpose/destiny here in this life. I thought I would compose a list of what I consider to be the top fun reasons that make Qigong a superbly awesome and amazing art to practice. For those reading this asking themselves, “What is Qigong?”, well Qigong is a meditation practice originating as far back as 5000 years ago in ancient China. The world was quite a different place back then, but Qigong has withstood the test of time and proven itself as a powerful tool for self healing and personal growth. If you have read the rest of my website, you’ll already know that Qigong is an energy practice, helping to strengthen one’s internal life energy or Qi.
By improving one’s Qi, Qigong helps to bring balance and harmony to every level of ourselves. The practice of Qigong results in better physical health, mental clarity and spiritual awareness. I will spend this blog thoroughly discussing all aspects of Qigong from my own personal experiences and understanding as a practitioner, teacher and healer of Gift of the Tao Qigong from the Stillness Movement Lineage. Let us begin!
I could spend an eternity writing out the infinite reasons that exist to practice Qigong, but then of course I wouldn’t have time to actually practice Qigong…so instead I will choose what I consider to be some of the best and most rewarding reasons that make this art such an amazing practice.
1. Health: Qigong improves ones health. I could stop writing this list right here as this alone is by far enough of a reason to practice Qigong. Endless personal accounts exist describing the self healing powers of Qigong. Western medicine is now beginning to validate this through its own studies and research. Qigong is being shown to benefit everything from pain, arthritis, circulation, blood pressure, digestion issues, reproductive issues, cancer, auto-immune disorders, improves bone density…this list could go on and on. In one short word, Qigong helps the body achieve homeostasis, total balance of health and wellbeing. In my own life, Qigong has been an immense help in all aspects of my personal health. Since practicing over 5 years ago, I have had far less sick days, I no longer seem to experience headaches like I used to, I have found injuries to heal at a faster rate, greater physical stamina, and perhaps the greatest benefit of all that Qigong has offered me is calmness and the ability to handle stress in my daily life. In my eyes, all of this makes Qigong worth its weight in gold. So how you ask does Qigong work? Well I’ll have to save that for a later post…
2. Awareness: In my website I write, “Qigong: Increasing Health and Awareness”. So just what is this awareness that is being increased? Awareness in this sense is the totality of one’s perception. Perhaps most importantly Qigong raises one’s awareness to Qi, both internal Qi inside of ourselves and external
Qi in the world around us. The practice of Qigong truly opens us up to a whole new world of energetic awareness. How much one’s awareness grows depends upon a multitude of factors such as how naturally sensitive one is to energy before going into Qigong, how much Qigong they regularly practice, who they are as a person, ect. What can be said for certain though is that as long as one is dedicated and patient, Qigong will in time increase one’s awareness to Qi. Energy awareness is really a hard thing to talk about as our spoken language has very few words to describe many of the experiences and sensations that come up through Qigong. To truly understand what is meant when I say energy awareness, one must simply practice Qigong and experience it for themselves. So come to class and see for yourself what Qi is like!
3. Experience of Qigong Changes: This is a very cool aspect of Qigong. As one progresses in Qigong, the experience of it changes. That one move that you learned 2 months ago now feels different after having been practicing this whole time. What’s happening here is that as your energetic awareness grows with the practice, you can now “feel” more of what is really happening with that movement. From my own personal experience, back when I first learned Gift of the Tao Qigong there were some movements that I enjoyed more than others. Though in time I have since fallen in love with all those movements as my own energetic awareness has grown through the practice and my experience of those moves feels quite differently now then back when I had first learned them. If at the moment you don’t like that one particular movement, just wait, see how it feels for you a month from now…
4. Every Session is Unique: No two qigong sessions are the same. An almost infinite number of factors can alter and affect the way your Qigong experience will be for any given session. Your mindset or mood going into the session, the location of your Qigong session, even weather and astrological events can alter one’s practice for the day. A session will be much more powerful if one can practice in a calm and relaxed state of being. Location wise, every place has its own unique energetic feel to it. Practicing Qigong at the beach or by a mountain lake will feel different than practicing at home or in the studio. Practicing Qigong during a lightening storm or during the full moon are two examples that can make your Qigong feel extra powerful. The point being here is that there are SO many factors that can energetically influence one’s practice session, truly making each Qigong experience unique upon itself. To me this adds to the enjoyment and excitement of Qigong, no reason to be bored when theres so many different Qi “flavors” to experience.
5. More Fun with Friends: Although Qigong is certainly enjoyable when practiced alone, it is exponentially more powerful the more people you do it with! Practicing with even just one more person always significantly boosts my own practice. Imagine how powerful it gets at my teacher’s workshops with 30 or more people all practicing together! What a good reason to go tell your friends about Qigong. Qigong is the perfect community healing exercise as the more people that join in the stronger it gets!
6. Qigong is Free Fun: Well of course Qigong usually costs money to initially learn, and the previously stated benefit is more than enough reason to keep coming back to class to share in all the group energy together. However my point is once you know the movements, Qigong doesn’t cost you a thing. An incredibly fun and powerful set of healing exercises that you can take with you anywhere. At home, at a park, on the beach, during lunch break at work, ect. Wherever you need a boost of calmness and energy in your life, Qigong is there and doesn’t cost a thing to practice at your own leisure.
7. So Many Forms to Practice: Qigong is not a one note practice. The Stillness Movement Lineage that I am a part of is a complete system. It has Qigong for every aspect of life. In fact there are so many different forms to choose from within this system that my biggest question is always which type of Qigong will I practice! Will I choose to practice Gift of the Tao 1, 2 or 3. Yes there are three complete sets of Gift of the Tao movements, each one more powerful than the last! Perhaps I will choose sitting Stillness Movement where I go deeply into the energy, or standing Stillness Movement that offers more range of motion with the energetic flow. There’s tree Qigong, where one learns to interact with the energy of trees, very powerful! Or Spiral Rejuvenation Qigong, which is basically a super Qigong power nap where 40min of practice is roughly equal to 4 hours rest; this form has saved my life on many a sleepless night. Theres walking Qigong, running Qigong, eating Qigong, sleeping Qigong, dreaming Qigong. I think you get the point. Each form offers its own unique benefit, and ultimately all these forms together help one to achieve something called 24/7 Qigong where one is simply always doing Qigong; however I will speak more about this in a later post. For now simply know that Qigong offers so much fun variety with its practice! I currently am a teacher of Gift of the Tao 1 and 2. To experience more of these other fun forms I mentioned, I recommend checking out a Qigong Workshop with my teacher Qigong Master Michael Lomax who teaches the complete Stillness Movement system at these events.
8. Beginner Moves are Always Valid: In some practices, you learn the basics and then you move onto more advanced material, and then you graduate that and move onto even further advanced material, ect. But in Qigong this is not so. No matter how advanced in Qigong you get, the beginning moves are always valid. Qigong is a dynamic practice, meaning the movements grow with you as you advance in Qigong ability. The very first move from Gift of the Tao 1 is literally just as valid for the beginner as it is for the Master, it will benefit both alike. This to me is a truly amazing aspect of Qigong, almost magical, it goes beyond my ability to comprehend.
9. Always Higher Levels: In Qigong, there are always higher levels. There is no “ultimate” Qigong level that can be reached. That statement might sound daunting to you, but to me this is exciting! As referenced earlier in this blog post, the experience of Qigong changes as you grow with it. What this means is there will always be higher levels of energy awareness that can be reached through Qigong. My teacher who has been practicing for close to four decades now is still growing and learning through the practice just as I am. There are always higher levels and to me, this means there will always be fun new adventures and experience to grow from within the world of Qigong!
So there you have it, 9 reasons to practice Qigong. If you are even the slightest bit interested in this practice after having read all that, I recommend checking out a local Qigong class by where you live, you may just fall in love with it as much as I have.
Get more info about Ben and his clinical Qigong practice here: www.qiclinicpdx.com