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