I have had very many Qigong questions asked of me over the years and I wish that I had kept a note of all of them. That way I could follow my own progress as my answers must have changed over the years in line with my own understanding. These are the Qigong questions and answers that I do have on record and I will add to them as more questions are asked.
If you have a question, or can add to an answer, please use the comments box.
General Qigong Questions & Answers
What’s the different doing Tai Chi or Qigong ?
The Taiji forms can, in one respect, be likened to Qigong as they use posture, movement, breath and focus to align and direct Qi. They are like long, complex, Qigong.
However, there are a number of differences too:- Taiji is a martial art, Qigong isn’t. Taiji forms can take years to learn but many Qigong exercises may only take a few hours to learn the movements. The benefits from practicing Qigong are quicker to attain.
This isn’t a comprehensive list but these are the main differences.
I’ve got a question regarding the horse stance. I was told that the knees need to be over the feet to prevent knee injury as they are not weight bearing but weight transferring joints. It doesn’t look like that from your demonstration. Could you please explain a bit more? Thanks a lot.
When doing/learning most Kung Fu it is correct that if you are in a low horse stance the knees should be above the feet. But the emphasis there is on building physical strength in the legs as well as stretching the Adductor muscles. In most cases, people tend to push too far and there is a fair bit of discomfort……….. The term “No pain, no gain” seems to be the anthem.
In Qigong, in the Taoist Qigong that I was taught, the emphasis is on quiet stability that allows you to be aware of the Qi flow rather than on the pain of a stretch. Even so, if you stand with your feet double shoulder width apart and let your body sink through relaxation and have an outward intention for the knees (thinking outwards continually realigns the knees) you will find that when you finally achive a low horse stance (if this is your goal) your knees will be over your feet.
As a teacher I am fully aware that students will try to follow my breathing pattern, my stances, etc. so I am careful to start at the most comfortable for them and then watch them progress.
Thank you so much for your quick answer. It all makes sense now. I like the outward intention when practicing horse stance so that the knees don’t knock together.
I guess it will be like the 70/30 rule (or rule of thirds). Don’t push it! A deep horse stance will develop with time and practice.
How do you “Listen” to the Qi?
Not getting stuck just not sure how you listen to Qi. I can feel the Qi but I certainly can’t hear it or I am not sure how to listen to it?
Listening Jing (Listening to Qi) involves passive awareness. By that, I mean that you are, tangibly, aware of the Qi and paying attention to what it is doing……………. what you are experiencing.
One method that I use to help students understand what this means is that I get them to imagine that they are standing in the middle of a forest, Standing silently and still…………… That is when the forest becomes alive with sounds, with smells, with observation of the flora and fauna. If you go tramping about, making lots of noise, you trample the flora and scare off the fauna.
During Qigong there are two processes being used with Qi.
- One is to direct the Qi (using the movements, focus, etc.).
- The other is being quiet, having no input, not tramping about and reaching out to “feel” it. Initially this is done after performing an exercise but with experience you can “listen” to the effect as you do any Qigong.
The Active (moving) Qigong exercise is the cause……………. Take time, in stillness, to be aware of but not disturbing the effect. The quieter your body/mind the more you will experience.
If you always feel Qi in the same way it is probably because your mind is moulding it in that fashion. In that case you are not “listening” you are reaching out, having input,and shaping the result.
I hope that this goes some way to explain what “listening” means.
Is it helpful to use your dominant hand as the ‘receiving’ hand, or vice versa?
Most people usually use their dominant hand for transmitting Qi. However this is not really necessary and you can use both hands for both tasks. It is, actually, only the Yi that gets in the way……….. the brain, and old thought patterns, making things difficult.
Many years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a lady who was a healer who worked with Qi on a daily basis, and who had real control over its transmission. She never called it Qi, but Qi is only a word. Anyway, her lineage taught that women transmitted with the left hand and received with the right. Men were the opposite. My martial arts background had taught me to transmit and receive with both…………… so we just kept working that way.
It’s a case of whatever floats your boat 🙂 ………….. Dogmatically following rules closes the mind and restricts your growth.
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