Chi Kung (Qigong)

Chi Kung is an ancient Chinese form of movement exercise that promotes the flow of Chi (vital energy/life force) through the body. It is the Chinese version of yoga, suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. Chi Kung literally means energy work/energy training. Chi Kung comprises of exercises for stretching and mobilising the body and joints, breathing techniques, slow movement exercises, static postures and meditation. It generally does not have complex forms. Movements are simple, each action aims to move Qi in a specific way, sometimes following energy channels in the body (meridians) or orientating around a specific organ. The aim is to increase the flow of Chi through the mind and body. This promotes a sense of well-being, balances emotions, increases self-esteem, concentration and confidence, clears the mind, tones, strengthens and generates physical flexibility. It is one of the most profound self help systems, creating change, personal growth, health and well being in a simple accessible way.

Chi Kung is a holistic system of coordinated body movement and posture including breathing and meditation used for health, spirituality and martial arts training. It has roots in traditional chinese medicine and philosophy and it is a method and practice to balance and harmonise qi (chi), which can be described and translated as ‘life force’. Chi Kung typically involves coordinating movements of the body in a slow, rhythmic pace with measured breathing whilst trying to maintain a calm meditative state of mind. It is now practised worldwide for recreation, exercise, relaxation and self healing.

Whilst Chi Kung practice typically coordinates slow stylized movement and deep diaphragmatic breathing, there are three different forms, which can be characterised as: dynamic, static and meditative.

Dynamic practice

This involves choreographed fluid movement and coordinated breathing. Examples include the slow stylised movements found in T’ai Chi and other examples include graceful movement that mimics the motion of animals (as in Five Animals Wu Qin Xi Qigong, White Crane and Wild Goose). As a form of gentle exercise, chi kung is composed of movements that are typically repeated in order to strengthen and stretch the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial, and lymph), helping to enhance balance and proprioception.

Static practice

This involves holding a posture for sustained periods of time.  This can bear resemblance to the practice of Yoga. This is particularly good for helping to strengthen certain muscles and posture.

Meditative practice

This focuses on breath awareness, visualisation, mantra, chanting, sound and also on philosophical concepts such as qi circulation, aesthetics, or moral values. In traditional Chinese medicine and Daoist practice, meditative focus is commonly used to cultivate qi in certain energy centres and balancing qi flow in the meridian pathways. In various Buddhist traditions, the aim is to still the mind, either through outward focus, for example on a place, or through inward focus on the breath, a mantra, emptiness, or the idea of the eternal.

Bella provides classes for groups or individuals, sessions usually last an hour. For further information on the classes or anything to do with Chi Kung please contact us.