What is Qigong?

Body & Mind
Qigong is ”Working with qi - your energy” Qi = Energy - gong = work. Qigong is an ancient Chinese healing art that uses breathing, gentle movement, sounds, and visualization to cultivate Qi or Universal Life Force.

Qigong has been taking place for over a thousand years and belongs to traditional Chinese medicine. Qigong is a part of TCM = Traditional Chinese/Chinese Medicine, which is about balancing and harmonizing body and mind so that all organs and cells function optimally.

Qigong is a complete body training, that strengthens, relaxes and awakens the joy-full wisdom capacity of mind, heart, and body. Qigong helps to release energy blockages and leads to a natural, healthy balance so that the life of energy can flow from the head down to the feet.

 

When was Qigong First time practiced?

The documented history of what I know as qigong goes back approximately 2,500 years, but Chinese archaeologists and historians have found references to qigong-like techniques from at least 5,000 years ago. Though the historical references say it was kept as a secret and indicate that qigong-like practices were common in royal and aristocratic households from ancient times. 
You can find lots of very interesting articles and books about the history of Qigong. Many of the famous physicians were also qigong masters.

 

 

Qigong was their treatment of choice, and if that practice was not enough to restore balance, the physician prescribed an herbal formula and/or acupuncture. Under the Cultural Revolution 1966, TCM and Qigong were forbidden. Qigong practitioners were very careful and avoid government scrutiny as anyone involved in the prohibited pursuits would likely be put in jail. It lasted for 10 years. Now we are truly fortunate to have open access to this ancient technology of Qigong as a method to reclaim our health and access our energetic resources.

 

Who can practice Qigong?

Qigong is for everyone! 
The movements are so calm and sensitive that everyone can participate. You can practice from standing, seated, or lying positions, and the movements can be adjusted so it suits your health conditions regardless of your current level of fitness or age. Find out how small movements can make a big impact. 

”Less is More”.

There are many different ways to learn and do Qigong. Like any other sport. Qigong for me is about learning to feel your whole body. Feel the movements, the inner peace, be curious, strengthens, bring balance, harmony, relaxes and awakens the joy-full wisdom capacity of mind, heart, and body. Qigong is the most fantastic self-healing method.

 

When can I practice Qigong? 

Someone says is good to practice at dawn, others say at night. I have practiced at different times — morning, early afternoons, evenings, late mornings. All of them are equally beneficial. Some people like the benefit of evening/night practice - once the main stress of the day is over. They sleep better. 

I think is important to find a rhythm that is good for you. We are all different. For me, I like to do morning Qigong around 9.00 am or in the evening around 8.00 pm. Try to practice Qigong every day – just like brushing your teeth also if you only have 5 minutes – but try to do a half-hour to an hour each day to get the benefit. It’s a lifestyle.

 

Is it preferable to practice Qigong outdoor?

Yes, it is very lovely to practicing outside is a special feeling. It aligns us with nature, feeling the connecting with the Qi, the sounds, the surrounding, the planet, inside, outside, around us. Practicing outside helps us to develop your concentration, power and balance your inner energy while loving and appreciating nature, it is music for the soul.

Practicing outdoors, allows you to concentrate, feeling and being aware of each movement without being affected by noises from the environment, people speaking, laughing or someone watching you.

 

 

Find a place somewhere where you feel safe, because we typically close our eyes during the session, so find a nice safe place. Avoid unclean spaces it is negative energy for humans.

Avoid strong winds. A gentle breeze is fine, but if the wind is too strong, it may disturb your energy. This follows the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is easy enough to avoid the strong wind. Its OK if it is raining, as long are you are protected. When outside wear lots of warm layers so you do not get cold.

 

Qigong movement & exercises

Before starting your practice - allow yourself to feel a true inner smile, one that comes from your heart or happiness and let the smile spread to your body. Feel the love of your body, the movements, the awareness, be curious and enjoy ...

 

SPINAL BONE MARROW

Body position stands with feet shoulder-width apart and parallels to each other – feel your entire foot.
Arms are held in an oval shape like hugging a tree in front of you or a little lower in a comfortable position.

Relax your shoulders and elbows. Tuck in the chin. Feeling your spin very long. Gently close your eyes. Relax into the posture, ready to open and receive inwardly. Hands are shaped as if holding a small energy ball, fingertips pointing to each other, just a few centimeters apart.

Start the movement by turning to one side very gently. Do the turning 5/ 9 time to each side. Have your awareness to your back – feel the movement. Natural breathing – inhale turn to one side – exhale coming halfway back.

This movement helps us to restore our natural ability to articulate each vertebra more freely as our spine opens. 

Our spine can lose its innate flexibility through habitually contracted postures, prolonged sitting, general disuse, injuries, and emotional trauma - all of which diminish our vitality. The rotational movements stimulate nerve signaling and improve circulation and immune function. They also pull upon our entire network of connective tissue, which helps to release emotional memories stored in our whole body.

 

 

INNER SMILE MEDITATION

Find a comfortable sitting position or laying down. We begin by bringing our mind home to our body, allowing it to settle as we relax. From this place of quietude, we are feeling our lips with the softest expression of a smile, inviting our whole body to tune to this feeling of inner silence, joy, and love.

We allow our consciousness to respond to the simplicity and power of this meditative act. We are feeling our inner smile, and then we let our body’s intelligence guide us into new states of wholeness.

The Inner smile’s purpose is to bring happiness, gratefulness to internal harmony and balance in our mind, heart, and whole body.

 

 

GATHERING QI FROM THE UNIVERSE

This movement consists of a single, repeated movement. Body position stands with feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and parallels to each other - can also be done sitting in a chair. First, open your palms. The center of your palm is called the laogong. Your hands are going out to the side – lift up your hands and arms to up over your head - and then bring your hands back down in front of you - to your dantian just below your navel.

Have your awareness of your laogong (palms) and feel the movement. When you are open your palms you are receiving qi. Qi goes into your palms through your laogong. Even as the hands go down, qi continues going into your laogong. The qi goes through your arms, through your torso, and goes into your dantian.

Do the movement as many times you can - less is more. Over time do the movement more, more the better.

This practice is to receive energy, receive qi from the universe. More nutrition, more energy, more essence from the universe into your body. Trust love, trust qi. You allow yourself to quiet your mind, heart, and body – like finding home to yourself. Open your body so qi can come to you anywhere, the Qi will help you heal your body. Your mind will become more clear, you have more energy, and your emotions/stress will feel more balanced when you are with nature, with the universe.

Letting go of worry and filling yourself up with love. Unconditional love is the strongest power, this is the essence. You will become healthier and happier.

 

 

CLOUD HANDS

Body position stands with feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and parallels to each other. feel your entire foot. Grounding yourself.

Bring your hand/arm up in front of the chest/heart, like your hand/arm is pulling a cloud. The other hand/arm is lower by the waist/abdominal area and is pushing the cloud. Move the cloud to one side - shift the arms - and move to the other side. Repeat the exercise. Relax your shoulder, neck, hands, fingers, arms, leave your elbows dripping. Feel a slight rotation of the spine. The hand’s movement must be soft, the eyes follow the upper hand. The waist moves the hands. practice the fusion of body and mind. Feel the flow in your body. Close your eyes and go deeper into the movement.

This exercise improves the circulation of blood and Qi throughout the body. 

It provides clarity in the head and improves memory. The movement calms the nervous system and increases spiritual energy. Brings balance to your body.

 

KNOCKING ON THE DOOR OF LIFE

Body position stands with feet shoulder-width apart and parallels to each other – feel your entire foot. Relax into your body. Start the movement by swing the arms around your waist and allow them to knock on their lower back and lower abdomen in order to awaken the Qi in one of our most powerful centers of energy: the Lower Dan Tien.

The lower back and lower abdominal area is an essential reservoir of vital life force energy. Located directly next to the lower Dan Tien, the lower back is known as the “door of life” because it’s an important pathway for energy and Qi.

Although the lower back has enormous potential to hold energy, it also requires us to maintain it in a way that is conducive to our health and vitality. Without the right attention and love, our lower back can become stiff, depleted, and can bring us pain.

The exercise brings circulation to the lower back, kidneys, and adrenal glands to cultivate high-quality energy. 

It helps to wake up the adrenal glands, stimulates the do- or-of-life pressure point, energizes the kidneys and brings circulation to the lower back.

 

UNIVERSE SHAKING

Body position stands with feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and parallels to each other – feel your entire foot. Bring your focus to your knees and bounce your body up and down. While you are bouncing, relax your shoulders, neck, arms, hands, and tor- so and keep your spine straight, but relaxed.

Good for grounding, relaxes the body and mind, moving mental focus down into the feet’s and body, providing inner peace. Release stress.

 

''I LOVE THESE EXERCISES...''

''I always do this exercise before practicing Qigong - I also do this movement with the Walchwil church choir before we starting singing...''

 

 

Bettina Borgen

Bettina Borgen is the founder of Beqi.ch and has been a Certified Qigong Instructor since 2017. She has practiced dance for 46 years, yoga for 25 years and martial arts karate for 10 years.

From the very young age of 2½ years, she started dancing. Jazz ballet, disco, ballet and especially ballroom dancing (Standard and Latin) was a big part of her youth and young adult life. She was on the Danish National Team. Ranked on the International Ranking List as no. 4 – under age 21. Danish champion in Standard dance. Silver and bronze medals both in Latin and Standard. Dancing is a movement of awareness, focus, joy and happiness.

From the age of 15 years, she was introduced to meditation which became a great tool for her to practice on a daily basis.

In her previous career as a graphic designer in the publishing industry with tight deadlines and long working hours was a very stressful time and as a mother of three lovely children, a change of mindset was needed.

The feeling of flow in her life, was when she was introduced to the amazing life-tool Qigong. Combining her experiences from dancing, meditation, yoga, martial arts and as a Certified Qigong Instructor her wish with her teaching, is to be a part of spreading the knowledge of Qigong to others. How these beautiful slow movements and the benefit of Qigong can have a huge impact on the life and body of others. The love of joy-full wisdom contained by the mind, heart and body of Qigong.

Love Bettina

 

Our Qigong - Mindful movement program