TEST YOUR QI
STEP 1: TEST FOR HARMONIOUS QI
Review the following list of signs of a strong and balanced qi. Write down the qualities that you experience on a regular basis.
- Little or no pain
- Happy and peaceful
- Normal body temperature
- Pink tongue
- Good stamina
- Normal pulse rate and volume
If you exhibit at least six qualities above, you have ample Qi. Your Qigong practice will be less focused on PURGING and more focused on TONIFYING and CIRCULATION practices.
STEP 2: TEST FOR QI IMBALANCE
Review the following list of signs of deficient or stagnate qi. Write down the qualities that you experience on a regular basis.
- Chronic Fatigue
- Anger, fear, worry, anxiety, grief
- Stress, tension
- Frequent colds or flus
- Allergies (food, sinus or skin)
- Overly emotional states
- Too hot/too cold
- Red, pale, or coated white tongue
- Digestive, bowel or lung problems
- Sexual or menstrual difficulties
- Slow, fast, weak or erratic pulse
If you exhibit at least six qualities on the list you are showing signs of Qi stagnation or Qi deficiency. Your qigong practice will be focused on PURGING and TONIFYING and less on CIRCULATION. In qigong it is highly recommended to have ample healthy qi before circulating it. It is not beneficial to circulate weak or ill qi around your body and to others.
*do not purge an extremely qi deficient condition and do not tonify disease like cancer or flu. Always consult a TCM doctor for qigong prescriptions for a specific condition
STEP 3: CONCLUSION
If you exhibit less than six qualities from both step 1 or step 2, this signifies that you are relatively balanced. In this case you can focus on any kind of qigong routines including a complete qigong routine that involves PURGING, TONIFICATION and CIRCULATION. Even in average healthy people there can be some imbalances because we do not have control over the toxins in our environment, food sources, accidents and other external factors that put stress on the body. If we respond quickly, we can resolve minor health challenges before they become major illness- often by simply working with our energy and giving the body, mind and spirit what it needs.
Every YOQI video contains a colored spiral symbol to help guide you to find the practices that optimize the state of your energy right now. Actually there are no fixed rules about what kind of practice you should do - it’s up to you to decide how you want to be an active participant in the state of your energy.
Nourish and build Qi
Cleanse, nourish, circulate, refine and store Qi
CIRCULATE + REFINE
Raise your vibration, refine and maintain Qi
WHAT DO PURGE, TONIFY AND CIRCULATE MEAN?
There is a saying in Chinese that goes, "Don't put clean water in a dirty glass". In other words we don't want to circulate or mix clean qi in a dirty body. Purging exercises are used to cleanse the body of acquired qi and to release qi stagnation. We commonly acquire qi from toxins in food, medications, air pollution, negative emotions, trauma, low energy situations, electromagnetic radiation (especially if you fly a lot). The ultimate purge is to let go of all attachments, even the concept of a permanent self.
Nearly everyone can benefit from purging exercises. Choose purging practices when you feel chronic stress, tension, stagnation, heaviness, overheated, anxious, toxic, negative, or simply for preventive maintenance. Those who should not do purging qigong are those who have weak or deficient qi. When the qi is weak, the body is trying to heal so it's not a time to detox, its a time to tonify.
Examples of purging exercises: Body tapping/hitting (Pai Da), The Six Healing Sounds, Shaking, Drawing Down the Heavens to Cleanse, YOQI Qigong to Purge routines, yoga kriya, yang yoga, fasting
Another Chinese saying is, "Don't wait to dig a well after you are already thirsty". There are many enjoyable things we can do to prevent illness and create optimal health. Tonification is one of them. To tonify means to strengthen. Tonification qigong exercises nourish the organs, smooth the flow of qi through the meridians and fortify the qi in the lower dantian. It also means to activate or increase qi, especially in the energy centers and meridians, like the lower dantian. Most everyone can benefit from tonification qigong. Choose tonification routines when you feel tired, are recovering from surgery or illness, in teh winter, and as a general maintenance to increase your life force energy for longevity. Those who should be careful with tonification are those who are in an acute stage of a flu, virus or disease. There are specific tonification exercises for diseases such as cancer that focus in on specific organs and these should be prescribed through personal consultation with a medical qigong doctor.
Examples of tonification exercises: Inner Smile meditation, Yin Massage, Yang QI Fa nourishing qi, Spiral Flows, Iron Shirt, pulsing on a qi ball, yin yoga, YOQI Qigong to Tonify routines, herbs, nutrition, body conditioning
Once you have built up an ample amount of qi in the body it is time to spread this qi through the system in a balanced and skillful way. Circulation qigong exercises irrigate the meridian pathways, nourish the tissues, energize organs, recycle energy, build internal power and strength. Circulation qigong transforms one type of energy into another type. Like a water wheel generates electricity, when we circulate the qi, it charges up your organs and energy system, refines the qi and raises your vibration. Choose circulation routines when you want to calm down, or when you feel healthy and wish to increase your life force energy and raise your vibration.
Circulation qigong flows may be the most fun, but actually they are an advanced form of practice and require that our state of health be in a stable condition. Before circulating is important to cleanse the body and make sure that there is an ample amount of qi in the lower dantian. For most people doing a few purging and tonification exercises are a sufficient way to prepare the body for circulation.
Examples of circulation exercises: Progressive looping flows, the Microcosmic Orbit (Small circulation of light meditation), creating a qi ball, and YOQI Qigong to Circulate routines.