I have practiced dayan/wild goose qì gōng for almost 30 years. My teachers were Paul Li and Dr. Bingkun Hu who learned from dayan/wild goose lineage holder Yang Mei Jun. I am also a tenured, Full Professor at the Claremont Colleges who teaches academic classes on qì gōng and conducts research on qì to address educational inequities.
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What is Qì Gōng?
Qì Gōng (pronounced chee-gong) is an ancient and contemporary Chinese exercise that combines movement, breathing, awareness, and body posture. There are many forms and styles of qì gōng, ranging from robust movements to meditation in still poses. For many, qì gōng calms and tones the nervous system, builds whole-body coordination, and supports mental focus with a relaxed yet energized feeling. Some describe a deeply rooted, quiet joy when practicing qì gōng.
WHAT IS Qì?
Qì (also seen to as “Chi”, “Ki”, and “Ch’i”) is the active energetic principle that forms part of every living thing. It is the intangible but an energy or life force underlying all living beings. Though it has no literal translation in English, it is most closely translated as “breath” or “air” or “vapor”, and often referred to as “energy flow”, “cosmic energy” or “life force”, Qì regulates a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance and well-being.
WHAT ARE MERIDIANS?
In traditional Chinese medicine, the body is seen as having various channels or “meridians” through which Qì circulates, providing wellness and vitality to all the body’s various muscles, organs, nerves, and other biological systems. When the free and uninterrupted flow of Qì is somehow obstructed, disrupted, or imbalanced, however, it can lead to symptoms of illness and disease, often specifically concentrated around that part or system of the body which that particular meridian is associated with.
One way to think about this is to image Qì as being like water and meridians as the river it flows through. That river supports all types of life, and as long as it’s flowing smoothly and freely, that life will flourish. But if the river is blocked or has a dam, then the riverbed will dry up and all the life it supports will start to die. If, on the other hand, a great storm comes and floods the river, then it may overflow, upsetting the ecosystem supporting that life, possibly drowning some creatures and tossing others to the shore. In either case, the only way to restore the healthy ecology of that river is to bring its flow of water back into balance.
Since Qì is in everything and in everyone, in traditional Chinese medicine, Qì is impacted not only by the internal meridians in a person but also what they consume (e.g. food, water, media, violence, etc.) and things that surround them (e.g. systemic violence, housing security, oppressions, colonization, etc.)
According to traditional Chinese medicine, illness and disease can examined and at times remedied at the level of Qì internally and in the surroundings. In other words, an imbalance of Qì internally and in the environment surrounding oneself can correlate to imbalance in well-being and also shed light on one tool to rebalancing.
WHERE MAY I LEARN AND PRACTICE QÌ GŌNG?
LIVE ONLINE QÌ GŌNG: 1ST SUNDAYS, 10 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. PT.
All abilities and bodes are welcome. No experience necessary. Offered in the spirit of generosity. Donations accepted for community partner, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. No amount is too small or too big. All are welcome regardless of funds donated.
For the live online sessions, click here or go to https://pitzer.zoom.us/j/513664738