DESIGNING YOUR PERSONAL QIGONG PRACTICE

HOW TO USE THE YOQI VIDEO ON DEMAND LIBRARY

 

“Health and well-being can be achieved only by remaining centered in spirit, guarding against the leakage of energy, promoting the constant flow of qi and blood, maintaining harmonious balance of yin and yang, adapting to the changing of the seasonal and yearly macrocosmic influences and nourishing one’s self preventively. This is the way to a long and happy life.” -The Neijing Suwen, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine.

 

The first time you open the YOQI Video on Demand Library it may seem a bit overwhelming. You might say to yourself, “There are so many different practices to choose in here, where do I begin?” In the blog post titled FOUR KEYS TO A POWERFUL QIGONG PRACTICE we talked about what kind of qigong practice will give you the most benefit. In this post we are going to dive deeper and look at specific ways to choose a daily, weekly or monthly practice that will actualize your health and spiritual goals.

Over the last 20 years, I have learned hundreds of qigong and yoga exercises that include warm ups, stretches, flows, self-massage, breathing methods, external qigong movements, internal energy moving meditations, visualizations, chants, and mudras. Even within one qigong form, for example the famous Ba Duan Jin, there can be twenty different variations. With thousands of options, there is not enough time for even the most skilled qigong masters to practice so many exercises in one week or even a year, and there is no need to.

A useful way to view yoga and qigong practices is to imagine having different tools in your energetic tool box. The key is to know which tool to use at the appropriate time to create the energetic outcome you wish to achieve. Life is a frequency match. Our beliefs and life experiences hold a charge that we carry in our body. The core philosophy of YOQI is whatever energy and beliefs we carry within us will attract and manifest that kind of energy around us. Things like optimal health, vitality, abundance, wisdom and love are not things that we acquire, they are a state of being. Your individual goals will determine what level you need to immerse yourself in a practice. For example, if your goal is health and longevity, then the practices you choose will be different from if you wish to move deeper towards stages of awakening the energy system. Therefore, the first question to ask yourself is, “What kind of energy do I want to create in my life today?” The way to answer this question is as an affirmation:

THE KIND OF ENERGY I WANT TO CREATE IN MY LIFE IS __________________________

Some examples of answers are: self-healing, optimal health, anti-aging longevity, more energy, a pain free and mobile body, a deeper connection to people and nature, sexual intimacy, freedom, abundance, trust, inner peace, balance, unconditional love, happiness that is not dependent on external conditions, intuitive wisdom, internal alchemy or complete awakening. While there are so many beautiful answers, choose the one that resonates with your heart the most.

Once you have indulged in what you would like to manifest in your life, it’s time to come back to the present moment and feel where you are at right now. Therefore, the next question is to ask, “What is the state of my energy right now?”

For thousands of years Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine have developed systems of diagnosis to answer this question. The baseline of measurement in Eastern Energy Medicine is a state of balance, called homeostasis in the west. Health is a state of integration and harmony with things around us. When we are tuned to our body, mind and spirit we know how to bring ourselves into a state of balance quickly rather than waiting until it is too late. A fast way to self-diagnose the state of your energy today is to take the YOQI Qi Test. Is your qi strong and balanced, excessive, deficient or stagnant? Take the test and find out here.

After you take the test, fill in the blank below:

THE STATE OF MY ENERGY RIGHT NOW IS __________________________ (stagnant, deficient, excessive or balanced)

Now that you have decided the kind of energy you want to create and the state of your energy today, it is time to choose a practice schedule for the day, week, month or season. There are three ways to choose practices from the library:

1. ALIGN YOUR ENERGY WITH THE SEASONS
2. ADDRESS A SPECIFIC PHYSICAL OR PSYCHO-EMOTIONAL IMBALANCE
3. DESIGN AN INTENSIVE YOQI TRAINING PROGRAM


ALIGN YOUR ENERGY WITH THE SEASONS

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The simplest and natural way to practice qigong is to align your energy with the seasons. The good news is that this is how the YOQI library is designed. If it is Spring, then do the videos in the Spring Series. When it is Summer, do the Summer Series etc. These videos are organized to appear first every season (according to the western hemisphere).

Every YOQI Seasonal Series is made up of a routine that addresses the state of your energy: Qigong Flow to Purge, Qigong Flow to tonify, Qigong Flow to Circulate, a Complete Seasonal Routine, a Yin Yoga routine and a Seated Meditation. This way you can choose routines based on the state of your energy while aligning your energy with each season.

Another cool thing about the seasonal selection of YOQI practices is that every routine within one seasonal series works with a key principle for that season and element. For example, a key principle of Spring is spirals. All the routines in the Spring Series feature spiral movements to purge, tonify or circulate. Summer practices focus on internal alchemy, Late-Summer practices focus on holding postures, Autumn focuses on going with the flow, and Winter focuses on nourishing qi. This focus helps fine tune your qigong practice and makes all the routines within the season complement each other.

If you have taken the qi test, you will have a good idea of the state of your energy and what kind of qigong practice in each Seasonal Series will help you achieve balance: Purge, Tonify, Circulate or a Complete Routine:

  1. PURGE: There is a saying in Chinese that goes, “Don’t put clean water in a dirty glass.” In otherwords, 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 that doesn’t serve us 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. 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, it’s 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. Key words: Letting go, purify, cleanse, release.


  2. TONIFY: 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 the 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 on specific organs and these should be prescribed through personal consultation with a medical qigong doctor.

    Examples of tonification exercises: YOQI Qigong to Tonify routines, Inner Smile meditation, Yin Massage, Yang Qi Fa nourishing qi, Spiral Flows, Iron Shirt, color visualization, yin yoga, herbs, nutrition, body conditioning. Key words: Strengthen, recharge, rejuvenate, nourish.


  3. CIRCULATE: 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 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), working with a qi ball, and YOQI Qigong to Circulate routines. Key words: regulate, refine, transform.

    Every YOQI video contains a colored spiral symbol to help guide you to find the practices the correspond to Purge, Tonify Circulate or Complete Routine.

 

PURGE

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Cleanse Qi

TONIFY

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Nourish and build Qi

CIRCULATE + REFINE

COMPLETE ROUTINE

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Raise your vibration, refine and maintain Qi

Cleanse, nourish, circulate, refine and store Qi

 

DESIGNING YOUR PERSONAL PRACTICE TO ALIGN YOUR ENERGY WITH THE SEASONS

Now we can put all this together and design a training schedule. In general, a weekly or monthly program can be designed with:

  • 1 Purging Routine (yellow spiral)

  • 1 Dynamic Qigong Flow (blue, purple or green spiral)

  • 1 Yin Yoga routine

  • 1 Seated Meditation or Essential Practice.

This diversity of yin and yang, standing and sitting, creates a well-balanced personal practice.

Next, out of these four videos, choose which video will be your main practice. If the test shows that you need to focus on purging, then purging would be the main practice. If you are balanced, you can choose a dynamic flow or you may want to focus on developing your qigong skills by using an Essential Practice or a special feature form like the Yi Jin Jing or The Three Forces Standing Meditation. Then depending on how many days you have to practice in a week, you can spread out the videos through the week. For some it may only be three days a week. For others who have more time, more. Stick to the same 4 videos for at least 3 weeks. Three months (one seasonal cycle) is a great time period to practice the seasonal routines consistently for optimal benefit. You don’t need to do every routine offered in one season.

Here is a sample of a weekly program for someone who chooses purging as their main practice in the Spring:

 
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*Note that all newcomers to the library should start with the 3- Part Dantian Activation Series as basic training.


ADDRESS A SPECIFIC PHYSICAL OR PSYCHO-EMOTIONAL IMBALANCE

 
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Some of you may be going through a specific growth period, challenge or health condition. In this case you can choose practices that work specifically on the imbalance. The key is not to address too many things at one time. Choose the most dominant or current condition you would like to transform. Some examples are lower back pain, allergies, digestive issues, menstrual pain, adrenal burnout, depression, anxiety, insomnia, loss or death, or a broken heart.

The library is organized by season because this is the most natural way to align your practices to the rhythm of nature throughout the year. It is beneficial to focus on the quality of energy of your current season because that is what nature is supporting most. But this does not mean that you cannot practice the Autumn Series in Spring or the Winter Series in Summer. In qigong and Chinese medicine, each season corresponds to an organ pair and emotional state. For example, Autumn rules the lungs and large intestine while Spring rules the liver and gall bladder. (see chart below) All five elements work together to balance each other. So it is not going to do harm to do seasonal routines in other seasons, for example Autumn in Spring, especially when focusing on organ health. In Spring if you feel that your lung qi is weak, or you feel sadness and depression, the Autumn practices can be beneficial because the metal element is weak and needs balance. In winter if your kidneys feel cold and sluggish, then you can add fire practices of Summer. In Summer if you feel hyperactive or too excited, you can add the water of winter to cool and balance. Qigong Flow for a Happy Spleen is the most popular video in the library because so many people have chronic digestive issues!

This table of correspondences chart is a simple guide to choose practices based on the seasonal organs, emotional states and quality of energy you that you would like to address.

 
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DESIGNING YOUR PERSONAL PRACTICE TO ADDRESS A SPECIFIC PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL IMBALANCE

Here is an example of a weekly practice for someone who is suffering from a double dose of depression and anxiety (fear):

 
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DESIGNING AN INTENSIVE YOQI TRAINING PROGRAM

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The last way to choose practices from the library is to design an intensive training program. Your individual goals will determine what level you need to immerse yourself in a practice. For example, if your goal is health and longevity, then the practices you choose will be quite different from if you wish to move deeper towards stages of awakening the energy system.

Let’s go back to the first affirmation.

THE KIND OF ENERGY I WANT TO CREATE IN MY LIFE IS __________________________

Based on the energy you would like to create, if your answer is related to self-healing, emotional balance, mental calm, boosting the immune system, and preventing disease then refer back to the first two ways to choose practices from the library (Align your Energy with the Seasons or Address a Specific Physical or Psycho-emotional State). If your answer is related to Spiritual Awakening, and you wish to explore the Taoist alchemy practices then you can design a training program that focuses on refining your internal energy. These practices are often called Spiritual Qigong or Neigong. Neigong training initially begins by working with the physical body to create a strong and healthy container. So in that way it follows similar principles as above. Once the physical body is prepared, one moves into the energy body, and then the consciousness body. Classically this is called transforming jing to qi to shen, or working with the Three Treasures. A key pathway to refine jing to qi to shen is the Microcosmic Orbit.

Here is an example of a weekly practice for beginner’s internal energy training:

 
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CONCLUSION

In conclusion there are three ways to design your personal practice:

  1. ALIGN YOUR ENERGY WITH THE SEASONS

  2. ADDRESS A SPECIFIC PHYSICAL OR PSYCHO-EMOTIONAL IMBALANCE

  3. DESIGN AN INTENSIVE YOQI TRAINING PROGRAM

#1 and #2 both promote and maintain optimal health and vitality through self-healing, emotional balance, mental calm, boosting the immune system, and preventing disease. #3 focuses on Spiritual Awakening of the energy system through the process of integrating all aspects of the self by refining jing into qi into shen. Although the exercises, techniques and practices may differ, often the effects of one promote the other; self-healing practices lead to spiritual insights, while spiritual practices generate healing and full body transformation. As the sages say, all paths lead to the same goal; awakening your true nature. It’s my pleasure to be your guide to health and happiness through the path of light that is qigong.


List of videos titles in the YOQI Video on Demand Library according to Category

There are three categories of practices in the YOQI Video Library. These key words are tagged inside the description of each video.

  • Qigong for Health and Longevity

  • Qigong for Spiritual Awakening (Neigong)

  • Essential Practices

QIGONG FOR HEALTH AND LONGEVITY

Spring Series Anxiety Relief Long form
Spring Series Anxiety Relief short form
Spring Series Qigong Flow to Purge
Spring Series Qigong Flow to Tonify
Spring Series Qigong Flow to Circulate
Spring Series New Perspectives
Spring Series 6 Healing Sounds
Spring Series 6 Healing sounds EMDR
Spring Series Energy System Reboot
Spring Series Happy Liver
Spring Series Yi Jin Jing Long form
Spring Series Yi Jin Jing Short form
Summer Series Qigong Flow to Purge
Summer Series Qigong Flow to Tonify
Summer Series Qigong Flow to Circulate
Summer Series: Qigong Flow for a Happy Heart
Late Summer Series Happy Spleen and Stomach
Winter Series Qigong Flow to Purge
Winter Series Qigong Flow to Tonify
Winter Series Qigong Flow to Circulate
Winter Series Confidence Flow
Winter Series Vitality Flow
Autumn Series Qigong Flow to Purge
Autumn Series Qigong Flow to Tonify
Autumn Series Qigong Flow to Circulate
Autumn Series Meditation to Let Go
Qigong Flow for Happy Lungs
YOQI Morning Energize Routine
Qigong + Yoga Morning Energize

QIGONG FOR SPIRITUAL AWAKENING (NEIGONG)

Dantian Activation 1
Dantian Activation 2
Dantian Activation 3
Three Treasures Qigong Flow
Yin Yoga & The Microcosmic Orbit
3 Fires and Six Directions
Standing Qigong Flow for Meditation

ESSENTIAL PRACTICES

Dantian Activation 1
Dantian Activation 2
Dantian Activation 3
Energy System Reboot
Three Forces Standing Meditation
Yin Yoga & The Microcosmic Orbit

The Three Treasures

 
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How does your connection to Source influence your life? How do you nourish your life force to optimize your vitality? How can you expand this energy to experience the full potential of your heart? And what if you could raise this energy up and illuminate your brain?

The latest YOQI Qigong Flow in the Video on Demand Library is a spiritual qigong method designed to activate your most precious treasures from within: Vitality Qi, Love Qi and Wisdom Qi.

 

THE THREE TREASURES:
JING, QI & SHEN

The Three Treasures are the essence of who you are.

The Taoists believe that the Universe is a great conduit of energy. The source of this energy is called the Primordial Force (Yuan Qi). This boundless source of energy pervades all things and continuously nourishes the Universe. Since we are part of the Universe, this force also exists within us as distinct energies called The Three Treasures: Jing, Qi and Shen.
 

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JING- THE TREASURE OF VITALITY

Jing is life essence. It is the source of your precious Vitality Qi that nourishes the body. The more Jing you have, the longer and healthier life you live. The Original Jing (Yuan Jing) is passed down from your parents, through sperm and egg, at the time of conception. The amount and quality of Original Jing varies from person to person, directly influencing your health, hormones and stamina throughout life. Although you cannot increase the amount of Jing you were born with, the good news is you can conserve its quantity and improve its quality. Vitality Qi gives you the power to act in the world and maintain a high level of productivity without burning out. When Vitality Qi is activated and balanced the body is healthy, energetic, and self-confident,

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QI- THE TREASURE OF LOVE

Qi is life force energy that animates the whole Universe.The amount and quality of Qi we have derives from two sources: Prenatal Qi and Postnatal Qi. Prenatal Qi is a highly concentrated universal energy that is dormant unless it is cultivated. It is stored in the kidneys. Like Jing, we cannot increase the amount of Prenatal Qi we are born with, but we can enhance its quality through breath, movement, and conservation. Post-natal Qi is the life force energy that is acquired through food, air and love. 

In the body, Qi creates movement and releases blockages. It's flow affects your mood state and is related to emotions. Because Qi is the link between Jing and Shen, it is the source of human potential: Love Qi. When Love Qi is activated and balanced the emotions are calm, you feel generous and have plenty of energy to care for yourself and others. Love Qi gives you the power to connect meaningfully to the world; to give love and be loved.

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SHEN- THE TREASURE OF WISDOM

Shen is spirit, the most subtle and pure form of awareness and is related to the brain. It is the source of Wisdom Qi. Shen is the cosmic GPS that guides your sense of what serves your highest good. It is also the control tower of Qi, that regulates the five spirits of the vital organs. Shen can be cultivated in the body (through meditation and mind training) and channeled directly from from the Universe. When the Wisdom Qi is activated and balanced you feel nourished and connected to the Universe. Wisdom Qi gives you the power to be guided with insight and intuition.


In summary, if we use the metaphor of a car, Jing is the vehicle. It is the essence of our body's growth and physical structure. Qi is the gasoline, it is the energy that fuels our body. Shen is the GPS, it is the wisdom that guides us to make decisions based on our highest good and the good of all beings. In order to move on our journey through life, we need all three aspects of our car to run efficiently and work together. Not only that, the higher octane the fuel and the more efficient the GPS routing, the more potential we have on our journey of awakening.


HOW TO ACCESS THE THREE TREASURES

 

Jing, Qi and Shen are stored in special areas of the body called Dantian. Dantian means elixir field. An elixir is the essence of a substance and a field is a place where things take root and grow for nourishment. So dantian are the fertile fields of your inner landscape where the essence of your being is rooted and grows. Through the Three Treasures practice you will be able to boost the energy levels of your dantian and access the full expression of your Three Treasure’s potential.

There are three dantian:

  1. The Upper Dantian at the mid eyebrow center in the brain; it is the elixir field of Shen.

  2. The Middle Dantian at the heart center; it is the elixir field of Qi.

  3. The Lower Dantian located below the naval in front of the spine; it is the elixir field of Jing.

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ACTIVATING THE THREE TREASURES

The method of the Three Treasures Qigong Flow is to first activate the Three Treasures in each dantian so that they are strong and spinning. Once the Three Treasures are awakened and in a healthy state of flow, the surplus energy stored within each dantian can flow up and down the Central Meridian channel to begin the process of integration and transformation. The integration of the Three Treasures is the fruit of a qigong practice. When they are integrated, the essences of Vitality Qi, Love Qi and Wisdom Qi are available to embody your greatest potential in any situation, on any level.

 It takes some training to tame the body, emotions and mind, but the qi is within you, waiting to be cultivated. Even one moment of awareness can tap into a wellspring of Source energy. Why? Because you were born with it. The whole Universe is within you. So now, let’s move some qi!


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Video On Demand Summer Practice Guide

 

“The three months of Summer denote opulence and blossoming. Qi interacts with heaven and earth and the myriad of beings bloom and bear fruit.”
-The Great Treatise on Regulating the Spirit with the Four Seasons (四氣調神大論)

 
 
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Happy Summer Qi Friends!

Everything in the Universe is energy, and energy takes two fundamental forms: Yin and Yang. The five seasons shift between these two states throughout the year. This month those of us in the Northern Hemisphere will experience the Summer Solstice, when the Yang energy is strongest. For our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the Winter Solstice, when Yin energy is strongest. Wherever you are in the world, it is a powerful time to attune your energy and flow with nature. This season the YOQI Video Library contains a variety of fun and spiritually charged routines that will activate, balance and attune you to summer’s vibration.


THE ENERGY OF SUMMER: EXPANSION

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The Chinese character for the word summer, xia , is an image of a man standing under the scorching sun. Summer is the Great Yang (Tai Yang 太陽) when the days are longest, and the nights are shortest. The consistent heat of summer ripens the fruits of our hearts, creating the sweetest and juiciest energy of the year: joy and love.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, summer is the peak of nature’s expansion, so it is the best time for us to express the most yang aspect of ourselves. It's the time to live life to the fullest, nourish our spirit and dare to go places we have not gone before. Summer's sunshine invites us to go outside and to be more active through movement and play. While in winter we should sleep more to nourish yin, in summer we can get away with less sleep (still remembering to always tend to the needs of our individual state of health). Dynamic relaxation, joyful flow and laughing qigong are beautiful characteristics of summer qigong practices.
 
Energetically, summer is also a powerful time for transforming energy. The element of summer is Fire. In our body, Fire connects to the Heart Fire, or Imperial Fire, that resonates the human force of unconditional love and acceptance. Therefore, many qigong practices for summer come from Spiritual Qigong traditions that focus on internal alchemy; the process of transforming and refining our vibration to its highest potential.


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A QIGONG PRACTICE FOR SUMMER

Physically, summer qigong practices focus on the organs of the fire element: the heart and small intestine.

The heart is a miraculous pump that ensures a constant circulation of oxygen rich blood to all parts of the body. The average heart beats 100,000 times per day and pumps about 7,200 liters (1,900 gallons) of blood! Every cell must relax and contract in a precise rhythm for the heart to keep us alive. One tiny hiccup can disrupt the electrical signals, causing a heart attack or stroke. The relaxation, rhythmic movement, and patience cultivated through qigong are all beneficial to regulate the physical aspects of the heart.

Although the element of the heart is Fire, too much Fire or Heat disturbs the heart. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, when heat collects in one area of the body this is called “fire poison", otherwise known as inflammation. Summer, being the hottest time of the year, has its own two pathologies called Summer Heat and Summer Damp Heat. The symptoms of Summer Heat are dizziness, confusion, lack of sweating after profuse sweating, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle cramps, and fainting. Summer Damp Heat symptoms include nausea or vomiting, poor appetite, stuffy chest, heavy or fatigued limbs, and diarrhea. In extremely hot summer weather it is important to dress lightly, drink lots of fluids and take care not to physically overexert yourself. Practice qigong early in the morning or later in the evening.

The YOQI Summer Qigong Flow to Purge video focuses on specific exercises that clear summer heat, calm emotional heat and move the qi in the blood. The Qigong Flow to Tonify and Qigong Flow to Circulate are both designed to activate the heart fire, nourish the blood, balance yin and yang and cultivate patience. The complete routines that balance the heart fire are Qigong Flow for a Happy Heart and Qigong Flow to Activate the Three Treasures.


Emotionally our practice will focus on the emotions of summer: transforming impatience or hatred into acceptance and compassion.

The heart is the emperor and rules the kingdom of our emotions. While each organ in the body resonates with a particular emotion, the heart is always affected first. In Chinese language, the heart is such a powerful aspect of our being that it is recognized as having it’s own consciousness called the heart mind (xin nian). The heart mind perceives situations based on feeling and emotion (in contrast to the conscious mind, yi nian, that perceives based on logic and wisdom). As we have learned in The Six Healing Soundspractice video, the five primary emotions are anger, hatred, worry, grief, and fear. Hatred is the most volatile emotion that resonates in the heart. Hatred and impatience create heat and a violent movement that causes energy to rise and leak out. Qigong flows that balance the heart transform anger or impatience into love and joy. For this the Six Healing Sounds Seated Meditation, Yin Yoga for Emotional Balance, Yin Yoga for a High Vibrationand Guided Inner Smile Audio Meditation are all practices designed to regulate the heart consciousness.

When negative emotions are transformed into positive virtues, the heart becomes a cauldron of spiritual light that can bring joy to the whole kingdom. As the positive virtues combine in the heart center they are further refined into the ultimate spiritual energy, compassion. Compassion is a vibration that exudes a quality of magnetism: it touches others and is reflected to the person expressing the emotion. Qigong Flow for a Happy Heart and Qigong Flow to Circulate are dynamic routines that cultivate the virtues of the heart.


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Energetically, summer supports your ability to connect meaningfully to the world around you.

The heart is located in a very auspicious part of the body: the chest. The heart center is the energy center of love, called the middle dantian, while the physical heart organ is the home of the small spirit, called the shen. The spiritual goal of the heart spirit is Eternal Happiness through meaningful and intimate connections with the world.

The word spirit has many meanings in Chinese, as it does in English. In this context we can describe two aspects of Shen (神): the large Shen that resides at the upper dantian and guides our higher Self, and the small shen that resides in the heart organ. The large Shen and the small shen are intimately connected. The Large Shen is the all-knowing and unconditionally loving self. It is the connection to the source, which is limitless and formless. The small shen is conscious awareness and has the responsibility to make sure that the Large Spirit connects properly with the world of time and space. It’s like a bridge between our formless self and the world around us. When the heart spirit is balanced we express appropriate behavior, respect and care for others, are helpful and thoughtful at the right moment.When heart spirit disturbed there can be symptoms of insomnia, lack of enthusiasm, disconnection, lonliness, situational anxiety, and inappropriate behavior.

Surrounding the heart at the center of the chest is a vast resovoir of love, called the middle dantian. A dantian is an area in the body where qi gathers, is refined, exchanged and stored. Complimentary to the heart shen, when the middle dantian is strong we feel loving compassionate, generous, patient, understanding and we have the ability to love and be loved. When it is weak we feel unfulfilled, rejected, hypersensitive, shy, disturbed, lonely miserable, misunderstood.

The energy of summer supports full expression and expansion of the heart spirit and middle dantian. This season’s program introduces spiritual qigong practices that focus on internal alchemy. They are Qigong Flow to Activate the Three TreasuresThree Three Fires, Six Directions and Microcosmic Orbit, Yin yoga and the Microcosmic Orbit and Expanding the Central Meridian. To complement our yang practices, there is a new MP3 guided audio meditation for summer called the Guided Three Treasures Meditationdesigned to integrate and harmonize the three dantian.


 
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FEATURED VIDEO FOR SPRING: QIGONG FLOW FOR HAPPY HEART

The suggested complete routine for your practice this month is Qigong Flow for Happy Heart. This qigong flow routine is designed to purify, nourish and balance the heart and small intestine. The exercises work with the fire element to detoxify impurities and ignite our internal power and move through a process of internal alchemy by uniting fire and water, ultimately invoking our sense of compassion and wisdom. Enjoy the scenery of the ancient Buddhist temple ruins in Ayuthaya, Thailand.

 

VIDEO LIBRARY PROGRAM FOR SUMMER

Qigong Flow for Happy Happy Heart
Summer Qigong to Purge and Detoxify
Summer Qigong to Tonify
Summer Qigong to Tonify special edition
Summer Qigong to Circulate
Three Fires and Six Directions & Opening the Microcosmic Orbit
The Three Treasures Activation Flow
Central Meridian Expansion
Yin Yoga and The Microcosmic Orbit 

Note: These videos will appear at the top of the library status throughout the summer season.

 

DESIGNING YOUR SUMMER PRACTICE

This seasons QiBLOG post features the four keys to a powerful qigong practice.

1. Harmonize your routine with the season
2. Emphasize practices that address your state of qi
3. Practice quality over quantity
4. Practice consistently over time

Read the full blog post here.

 

You will find that all the videos added to the library this season address these four keys. So, I suggest that you focus on mastering the exercises in these specific routines this season, practicing quality over quantity. With consistent dedication and skillful effort, your qi and inner light shall blossom….
 
May the life force be with you!
Marisa

Video On Demand Spring Practice Guide

 

“The three months of Spring denote breaking open the old to create the new.
Heaven and Earth together generate life and the Ten Thousand things begin to flourish.”
-The Great Treatise on Regulating the Spirit with the Four Seasons (四氣調神大論)

 
 
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Happy Spring Qi Friends! 快乐的春天

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The Chinese character for the word spring, chūn 春, is an image of the sun underneath a tree with grass on top. (See ancient pictograph on the right.)

The character speaks clearly: Spring is yang (the sun), it's the element of growth (wood), and it brings life (grass).

In Traditional Chinese Medicine and qigong, spring is considered the beginning of the cycle of the seasons. We welcome this time of year when nature is born again after the dark yin phase of winter. Days become longer and Mother Earth gives birth to the fragrant aromas of fresh grasses and flowers.

Spring's rising yang energy supports expansion and growth, so its a good time for us to assume the movement of yang within ourselves. While in winter we should sleep more, in spring we should be more active, focus on goals, start new projects, and encourage other people on their journeys. Physically, spring is a great time to renew the body through detoxification and to strengthening the tendons and connective tissues. Energetically, it's a time to reboot our energy system so that we can restart the seasonal cycle with a clear mind. Spiritually, spring is a special time to expand our vision, shift into new perspectives and focus on manifesting our highest potential. 

Many qigong practices for spring come from dragon forms that use spirals to stretch the tendons and detoxify the liver. Most of these forms were developed through martial arts lineages that focused on creating a firm and flexible body. This season the YOQI Video Library contains a super charged variety of seasonal practices that will detoxify, spiral, reboot and attune you to spring's generous energy.


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A QIGONG PRACTICE FOR SPRING

Physically, spring qigong practices focus on the organs of the wood element: the liver and gall bladder.

The liver is the main organ responsible for processing toxins in the body. One of the liver’s main jobs is to filter toxic wastes from the bloodstream. Another task is to produce many of the alkaline enzymes upon which immune response and other vital functions depend. If the blood is constantly polluted by excess acid residues from a poor diet, alcohol and drugs, or excessive stress, the liver eventually gets overloaded with acid wastes and becomes deeply congested with toxic debris. This results in qi stagnation, chronic tension, joint pain, headaches, physical weakness, painful menstruation to name a few. Therefore, most qigong for the liver emphasize detoxification and purging rather than tonification or circulation. This season's  SPRING PURGE, TONIFY AND CIRCULATE qigong routines use spirals and swimming dragon forms to cleanse the liver and cultivate resiliency, the energy of the wood element. Other videos this season that support the liver are Qigong Flow for a Happy Liver, Pai Da for Cleaning, Pai Da with Six Healing Sounds, Qigong Flow for Stress and Anxiety, Yi Jin Jing and Jade  Woman Qigong.

Emotionally our qigong will focus on the emotions of spring: transforming anger or frustration into forgiveness and kindness

Our internal organs are reservoirs of energy. In the Taoist healing tradition, both positive and negative emotions are associated with them. The liver resonates with the emotional vibrations of anger and frustration. Most of us know intuitively that if we are carrying around stress, anger, grief and emotional trauma it has a direct effect on our body. Over time, the accumulation of too much anger creates heat in the liver, resulting in stagnation and impedes our potential. One of the most powerful tools to transform negative emotions is vibration. The Six Healing Sounds Qigong is a vibrational healing method that dates back to 4th century. It is a foundational YOQI practice we use to transform negative emotions into positive virtues. This season's video library selection introduces the complete Six Healing Sounds Method, and integrates it into a variety of practices: Pai Da hitting with the Six Healing Sounds, Seated Six Healing Sounds Qigong for Emotional Balance and Qigong Flow for Anxiety and Stress Relief.

Energetically, spring supports your ability to expand your visions and see new perspectives.

The energy of spring supports growth, expansion, vision and creativity. In Taoist metaphysics, these virtues resonate with the spirit of the liver, called the Hun. The Hun spirit shines through our eyes and gives us the energy to put things into perspective; to see the big picture. So spring a good time to break free from old programs, open to new ideas and set our Hun free. It's also a prime time to take new ideas and make them into practical plans. In this season's Qigong Flow for New Perspectives we explore the ability to focus on specific goals then relax and let things unfold naturally, at the same time. This standing flow is meant to be paired with the Energy Reboot Meditation, a powerful seated qigong that uses Dantian Activation and Meridian Tapping to realign your energy system and break free from patterned behaviors. Through this process of actualizing the Hun, we come realize that the largest perspective includes the highest good of all beings.

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FEATURED VIDEO FOR SPRING: QIGONG FLOW FOR HAPPY LIVER


The suggested complete routine for your practice this month is Qigong Flow for Happy Liver (38 minutes) and is offered in both English and Spanish. This qigong flow routine is designed to purify, nourish and balance the liver and gall bladder. Inspired by the Swimming Dragon style of qigong the routine uses spirals and twists to release tension, detoxify the liver, nourish the tendons and get the qi flowing. Enjoy the scenery of the Northern California Redwoods.

 

VIDEO LIBRARY PROGRAM FOR SPRING

Qigong Flow for Happy Happy Liver
YOQI RESOURCE SERIES: Dantian Activation
Energy System Reboot meditation
Yi Jin Jing (Muscle & Tendon Changing classic form)
Spring Qigong to Purge and Detoxify
Spring Qigong to Tonify
Spring Qigong to Circulate
6 Healing Sounds Meditation practice
Qigong Flow for New Perspectives
Hitting (Pai Da) to Detoxify
Hitting (Pai Da) with the 6 Healing Sounds
Qigong Flow for Stress & Anxiety
Jade Woman Qigong Form

Note: These videos will appear at the top of the library status throughout the spring season.

 

DESIGNING YOUR SPRING PRACTICE

This seasons QiBLOG post features the four keys to a powerful qigong practice.

1. Harmonize your routine with the season
2. Emphasize practices that address your state of qi
3. Practice quality over quantity
4. Practice consistently over time

Read the full blog post here.

 

You will find that all the videos added to the library this season address these four keys. So, I suggest that you focus on mastering the exercises in these specific routines this season, practicing quality over quantity. With consistent dedication and skillful effort, your qi and inner light shall blossom….
 
May the life force be with you!
Marisa

Video On Demand Winter Practice Guide

 

“The three months of winter denote closing and storage. Water freezes and the earth breaks open. Do not disturb the yang: go to bed early and rise late. "
-Su Wen Chapter 2

 
 
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The super moon welcomed 2018 and winter is in full expression. This year (in the Northern Hemisphere) the peak of the winter season lasts from December 21- mid February. In February winter will begin to wane, transitioning into spring.

The Chinese character for the word winter is an image of the sun locked up and stored in an upside down bottle. (see character on the right) This is a clever way to show us that the energy of winter is closing and storage. All of nature is in a state of stillness and hibernation. Winter is defined as the the end of the seasons; it is the darkest, coldest, most yin time of the year. Therefore, it's the best time of year to conserve our energy and nourish our qi. Qigong practices for winter emphasize stillness and inward reflection, sleeping longer hours or taking naps, nourishing our qi and maintaining internal warmth throughout the organs especially in the lower dantian, our internal furnace. The YOQI Winter Series contains a variety of these seasonal practices to attune your energy with winter.

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A QIGONG PRACTICE FOR WINTER

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Physically, winter qigong practices focus on the organs of the water element: the kidneys and bladder.

In the Five Element Phases of Traditional Chinese Medicine, winter expresses the water element. In your body, the water element particularly affects your kidneys, bladder, fluids and brain. The kidneys are considered the energy batteries of the body. They store the yuan qi, the precious gift of innate qi that we inherited from our parents. They also store the reserve qi, jing qi, which effects our general energy and sexual potency. When our kidney energy is weak the whole body becomes weak and we cannot actualize our full potential or will power. The kidneys also regulate the water element, our body fluids and the blood.

Because the kidneys are so critical to our state of vitality, there are thousands of qigong practices that focus on cleansing, nourishing and refining the kidney qi. In the winter the qigong classics suggest that we pay extra attention to conserve our energy and use nourishing life qigong practices that focus on the kidneys (called Yang Sheng). All of our WINTER SERIES practices combine effective nourishing life qigong techniques to support the kidney and bladder with focus on purging, tonifying, circulating and complete routines.

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Emotionally our qigong will focus on transforming fear or fright into trust and tranquility.

Can you imagine what it was like for the ancient people to survive the winter season? It was a time of danger, scarcity and death. Even today with our modern luxuries, those who live in remote locations are familiar with the trials of snowstorms and the priority of warmth and resources. Therefore, the natural emotion that resonates with winter is fear or fright.

One of the unique principles of Taoist wisdom is that emotions are not stored in the mind, they are stored in the organs and tissues of our body. In particular, the emotions of fear and fright are stored in the kidneys. As we work with the kidneys in this season's routines, we will be naturally transforming fear into trust and tranquility. As a result of this transformation, the emotional virtue or spirit of the kidneys that arises is zhi, meaning will power. When our will power is in a state of optimal balance we  have a natural sense of confidence that we project into the world to promote peace and connection. This seasons QIGONG FLOW FOR HEALTHY CONFIDENCE is a fun and dynamic routine that empowers our zhi, the emotional virtue of winter.

Energetically, winter supports your ability to reflect inward and cultivate awareness.

In Yin and Yang theory, winter is called the time of “Great Yin” (tai yin 太陰). Yin denotes darkness, while yang is light. Winter teaches us to become still and awaken the awareness of our senses.

One of the best practices to attune your energy with the yin energy of winter is meditation. This season’s Guided Qigong + Meditation to Awaken Awareness is a strategic series of awareness exercises that are designed to bring forth your true nature. This meditation is inspired by the Buddhist Heart Sutra, Xin Jin.


 
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FEATURED VIDEO FOR WINTER: QIGONG FLOW FOR HAPPY KIDNEYS

The complete routine video focus for your practice this month is Qigong Flow for Happy Kidneys. This routine uses specific qigong exercises that focus on the kidneys and the principle of effortless flow to harmonize your energy with the water element of winter.

 

NEW VIDEO LIBRARY ADDITIONS THROUGHOUT WINTER SEASONAL PERIOD

- Qigong Flow for Happy Kidneys
- Qigong Flow for Vitality
- Qigong Flow for Healthy Confidence
- Seated Qigong + Meditation to Awaken awareness
- Winter Series: Qigong Flow to Purge and Cleanse
- Winter Series: Qigong Flow to Tonify
- Winter Series: Qigong Flow to Circulate
- Winter Series: Qigong Flow Complete Routine
- Evening Qigong to Relax and Unwind
- Evening Qigong + Yin Yoga

 Note: These videos will appear at the top of the library status throughout the winter season.


DESIGNING YOUR WINTER PRACTICE

Choosing a routine for your day is a great way to use your intuition and listen to your body. The Seasonal Series routines are designed to be alternated throughout the week as you wish. Although each routine has a focus denoted by a colored spiral (purge, tonify, circulate, complete routine, or meditate) each routine is also its own complete practice that contains warm ups, main focus exercises and a closing to integrate and center the qi. There is no need to layer the videos and do all of them in one day. It's best to choose one per day and then rest. If you feel like you want to do a longer complete routine there many options in the library: Winter Complete Routine, Vitality Flow, Qigong Flow for Healthy Confidence and Qigong Flow for Happy Kidneys.
 
In honor of the conserving nature of the winter season, after each practice I suggest that you immediately take a 5 to 10 minute nap, or longer, to nourish your qi and allow the body to process the energy work. Then when you wake up you will feel refreshed and revitalized!

Read The 4 Keys to a Qigong Practice blog post here.


With consistent dedication and skillful effort, your qi and inner light shall blossom….
 
May the life force be with you!
Marisa

FOUR KEYS TO A POWERFUL QIGONG PRACTICE

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Qigong is a very new term for a very old practice. The roots of Chinese energy cultivation extend back over three thousand years. They can be traced to the oracle bones of the Shang Dynasty, and found flowering in the writings of Master Lao Tzu. Originally, qigong was known as Yang Sheng, a vague term which means ‘nourishing life’ and masters still call qigong exercises by this name today. At the same time, Chinese culture values systemization. In the last century qigong has been classified into four branches: medical qigong, martial qigong, spiritual qigong and philosophical qigong. There’s also terms such as nei gong (internal cultivation), wai gong (external cultivation) and shen gong (soul cultivation). With such an extensive history and multitude of applications, it’s no wonder that there are 100’s of styles of qigong and over 10,000 different qigong exercises.

So, the most common question people ask me is, “What kind of qigong routine should I practice to gain the most benefit for my body?”

Here is what I have gathered from my personal exploration and studies with some of the world’s leading qigong masters:

1.   Harmonize your routine with the seasons

One of the main goals of a qigong practice is to align our energy with the energy of nature. When we are in harmony with nature, we are in harmony with our true nature. A simple way to do this is to choose qigong practices that correspond to the five seasons: autumn, winter, spring, summer and late summer.

The five seasons are a result of the alignment of the earth’s magnetic poles within the orbit of the sun. They are Mother Earth’s expression of our interdependent connection to the greater Universe. All phenomena, from atoms and molecules to planets and stars, are composed of energy. We too are energy beings. Each of us has our own unique rhythm; we pulse, vibrate and resonate with the world around us. The Taoists observed and organized patterns of energy into interconnected rhythms called the Five Elemental Phases. Each season is associated with a different elemental aspect of nature—Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, Earth — and corresponds to the five vital organs, five body systems, five emotions as well as colors, sounds, food, herbs and much more.  

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Seasonal energy runs in cycles, creating patterns of that are stronger and weaker at certain times of year. Therefore, we can use seasonal energy as a special time to support and focus our qi cultivation practice. For example, summer is the peak of yang or rising energy. It’s time to express ourselves, nourish the heart, radiate love and enjoy the light. Summer's polar opposite, winter, is the peak of yin or sinking energy. Animals hibernate and nature is quiet. It’s a special time for introspection, cultivating inner peace and focusing on who we are. The dominant organ of winter, the kidneys is an important organ for conserving life force energy and reproduction. In the spring yang begins to rise from yin, it’s the energy of expansion and growth. This is the time to cultivate your creativity and start new projects as well as detoxify  the liver. In autumn, energy in nature solidifies and we too begin to descend. It’s a powerful time to let go of the past, clean out the garage and breathe deeply into the lungs. The fifth season, late summer, is a special phase of energy that is the earth element. It is the energy of stability that supports the harvest period. Late summer is a wonderful time for qigong practices that nourish the stomach-spleen organ pair and to center our energy.

Often our internal energy is disconnected from the external energy. That’s why in autumn people tend to get allergies or get sick; resistance to change and letting go are showing up. This is partly an effect of modern lifestyles. Before we discovered how to turn the lights on, humankind co-depended on the cycle of farming. Now most of us don’t grow our own food, and many people suffer from insomnia and rely on caffeine to make it through the day. In this state of dis-harmony we can pick up acquired energy more easily, get thrown off emotionally by life’s challenges and weaken the body’s systems. This can easily be rebalanced when we align our intention with the energy of the season to optimize our health and true being.

Here is a simplified table of seasonal correspondences:

 
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Lastly, it’s important to remember that the rhythms of the Five Elemental Phases also interact within you every day throughout the year.  There is no fixed rule that you must practice specific qigong that corresponds to the season. The point of this illustration is that the energy of nature is always here to support your practice. A good place to start is to ask yourself, “Am I in flow with nature today? Could I expand my connection to nature even deeper?”

You can find the YOQI seasonal routines here

2.   Emphasize practices that address your state of qi (purge, tonify, circulate)

The first level of qigong practice is to develop a healthy body. Even in average healthy people there can be some imbalances in the energy system 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. Therefore, it’s helpful to emphasize practices that address the state of your qi.

Qigong practices are designed to nourish our life force energy for self-healing and to promote longevity. The original Taoists were very interested in immortality, or prolonging life. And not only in this physical body, but in the astral body as well! The result of their experiments with alchemy contributed to the brilliant system of Traditional Chinese Medicine today. The branch of qigong that addresses health issues is called medical qigong. Medical qigong not only focuses on curing dis-ease but on preventing dis-ease from arising and then creating a surplus of energy for optimal health. When our qi is strong we make different decisions from when our qi is depleted. When our qi is depleted, our survival instincts kick in. But when we have a surplus of qi we become more resourceful and can tap into our full potential. We can move more qi, connect deeply to others and share qi to help others.

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. They are Purge & Tonify, Circulate & Refine and Complete Routine. Here is a brief definition of each:

PURGE: Clear and cleanse out toxins, stagnation, tension, stress, mental agitation, emotional disharmony, and repressed emotions
TONIFY: Nourish and strengthen the qi in the meridians, organs, glands, immune system, and seal energy leaks.
CIRCULATE: Irrigate the meridian pathways, infuse tissues with energy, energize organs, recycle energy,  build internal power and strength.
REFINE: Transform one type of energy into another type (for example transform depression into inspiration). Raise the vibrational frequency.
COMPLETE ROUTINE: All the above included in routine

You can test the state of your qi here!

3.   Practice Quality over Quantity

When I first added yoga to my daily meditation and qigong practice I became overwhelmed with practices. There just wasn’t enough time in the day to do it all. Also, different masters had given me different practices and told me not to do others. Which practices should I do? I discovered the answer at a meditation retreat when my mind was in a state of complete surrender. One morning I stood on the mat with no plan. The mind was still. I stood in pure awareness and began to move. The qi moved itself. The mind moved the qi and my practice took on a new level of quality. I realized it was not about how much I did every day, it was how I did it.

Quality of practice refers to quality of awareness. Without mindfulness, qigong is just energy exercises. It still works, but not optimally. To optimize and maximize your practice, skillful attention and right attitude are required. Right attitude includes joy. Joy is an attitude of the heart, which is an important aspect of mindfulness that is often overlooked. The alchemy of awareness combined with an open heart infuses our practice with a power packed high quality frequency.
 

Another aspect of quality over quantity is to consider how many exercises to do in a practice, and how often. A qigong master once said to me “American’s love to mix practices”. It’s true, we do. He was referring to what is called energy soup. Mixing too many qigong practices can result in a mix up of energies that leads to a range of experiences from brilliant to ineffective to counterproductive. For thousands of years qigong masters have mixed and designed routines based on specific principles to generate a desired energetic outcome. In medical qigong traditions, a doctor will prescribe 1-3 qigong exercises to be performed up to 3 times your age per day! In Martial Qigong one taijichuan form can contain 72 movements. Your daily qigong practice can range from one exercise and a meditation to thirty movements in a full program. Therefor, you don’t need to practice thirty exercises every day to receive full benefit. Nor should you interchange different programs every day of the week. Qigong cross-fit training usually results an energy soup, unless its specifically prescribed by a qigong master. It’s best to stick to one prescription, program or theme until the desired result is accomplished and then move on to the next. For example, if you are purging, focus on purging until you feel clear. If you need to build up your energy center, do centering practices until the lower dantian is warm and full. If you would like to focus on seasonal energy, then follow the YOQI seasonal program guide. This is also why great teacher is very helpful. A teacher will help you focus on the practices that are most important to maximize your efforts. Ultimately, we are our own best masters, and the intuition brought about through awareness will help you discern what practices are working or not working for you. So will the results.

4.   Practice consistently over time

The Buddha said, the mind has the tendency to bend to that which we place our attention. All forms of mastery, from Olympic gymnastics to learning Chinese have one thing in common: repetition. Energy cultivation works the same way. A fifteen-minute practice every day is more beneficial than one hour per week. One hour a day is also very good!

Through consistent practice, the energy body becomes entrained to the patterns we are programming in the system. Healthy qi moves in specific rhythms and patterns in and around the body. For example, figure eights and spirals can be found throughout nature moving tornados, forming seashells and our DNA. When we become stressed or disrupted these spiral patterns become disrupted. We can also get locked into unhealthy negative patterns. The longer we wait to address imbalances, the more entrained they become. So patient, consistent practice over time is the key to unwind, unlock, restore and revitalize!

Ultimately, the goal of qigong is to refine our energy into a body of light - free from environmental, biological and acquired conditioning - and return to our authentic nature. The process to refine qi is not achieved through force, but rather through a gradual process of nature’s unfolding. Qi is moving inside you already, you don’t have to create something that’s not there. It takes time for the body to digest increasingly higher frequencies and high-grade energies. As your qi refines so does your ability to transform negative states into higher virtuous states of compassion, generosity, wisdom, courage. Through consistent dedication to this work, we peel back the layers of the mind and transform a selfish outlook into a deeper connection to all of life.

Would you like access to a video library of qigong, yoga and energy routines designed to guide you through the seasons and move your practice to the next level? To learn more about how you can subscribe to the YOQI video library click here.

May all being be happy, may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be free from suffering. Amituofo!