Qi Gong

"acorn" qi gong at Emigrant Lake, OR
Descended from Hatha Yoga, progenitor of the martial arts, Qi Gong (“chi gung”) practice leads to physical well-being, longevity, and expanded perception. There are hundreds of styles — moving to still, standing to sleeping.

The simplest form of qi gong is a sitting meditation. The preferred posture is seated on the edge of a chair, with the feet flat on the floor and knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Placing the two hands palms up, one inside the other in front of the belly (men place the left hand on top, women the right hand on top) directs qi to the lower dantien (hara), the root of qi for the body. The chin should be lowered just enough to straighten the curve at the back of the neck, and the low back should also be straight. With eyes closed or open and out of focus, breathe deeply in and out the nose, with the tongue tip touching the roof of the mouth. As you breathe, imagine that the breath descends to the lower dantien, where a small ball of light grows larger and brighter with each breath (for women, imagine that with the breath the small ball of light comes up from the lower dantien to the center of the chest at heart level). If saliva collects in the mouth during your meditation, swallow it just before you exhale—this saliva is considered a manifestation of kidney qi, and is a good sign. Conserving it is important, and swallowing achieves this. Start with a five minute meditation in this position, then gradually work up to 20 minutes. When finished, rub the face with both palms in a circular motion, tap the scalp with the finger tips, and thump the lower back with both fists; then slap the front of the body from shoulder down to toes three times. You will feel relaxed and invigorated!

Isabeau studied Qi Gong with Tan Quach during her studies at Samra University; and studied with Sifu Carl Totton at the Taoist Institute in Burbank in conjunction with tui na (oriental bodywork) training. She has attended workshops on Wu Dang style Qi Gong with Scott Stine, and the introductory course of Nei Kung Chi Liao with Jeff Nagel, L.Ac. Since 1999 she has been practicing Shui Long (Water Dragon) Internal Martial Art & Meditation techniques, culminating in a trip to Astrakhan, Russia to practice with other shuilongers in 2002.

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