Here’s my ‘Blueprint‘ for success with Chi Kung/Qigong. 7 essential components that will allow anyone to gain the benefits of Qigong as quickly and as easily as possible.
1) Learn from the best Qigong teacher you can find – I know. I am the author of a book on Qigong and have created the most comprehensive 22 week online Qigong home study course. And here I am telling you to find the best teacher you can find.
The simple fact is that the best way to learn Qigong is directly from a Qigong master, or at the very least a competent instructor. Books, DVD’s and online courses can be great reference tools, but they are poor substitutes for a real ‘in the flesh’ teacher. I wrote an article: ‘How To Find A Great Qigong Teacher‘ which has more details that will help you in your search.
The next step in our blueprint for success with qigong consists of two components…
2) Make sure you are practicing Qigong and not Qigong form – I’ve written quite a lot on this, but it is of vital importance. If you practice swimming you will gain the skill of swimming. But you will not gain the art of cycling. Obvious.
If you practice qigong form, you will gain the skill of qigong form and the benefits of practicing qigong form – i.e. gentle exercise, stretching, increased blood flow etc.
But you will not gain the skills of Qigong.
You will only gain the skills of qigong by practicing qigong. Obvious.
For more information on this please read Qigong Vs Qigong Form
And closely linked with practicing Qigong and not Qigong Form is….
3) The 3 Core skills – To succeed with qigong you must practice qigong and qigong consists of these 3 core skills:
b) Qi flow – let go, do nothing and LET.
c) Standing Zen – consolidate the benefits from your practice.
I’ve written a lot on the subject of the 3 core skills of qigong, to find out more please read: The 3 Core Skills of Qigong
You can be learning qigong from the worlds greatest qigong master in the universe, but without the next component of our blueprint, it counts for nothing. You must…
4) Establish A Daily Practice – The plain truth is that to gain the benefits of qigong (health and vitality, longevity, internal force, mental and spiritual cultivation) you must practice daily. Qigong is not something you learn like history.
You do not memorise a list of dates and events. No, qigong is an experience that you must practice daily so that you develop the vital skills of qigong. Without these vital skills, qigong becomes qigong form.
Let’s say you wanted to lose weight, you wouldn’t just diet for a day and then say: ‘phew, thank heavens that’s, that done!‘ – no you’d practice daily.
Because qigong is an art, you must practice it daily to get the benefits of that art. Let’s say you knew all the theory of qigong and TCM, but never practiced a single day of qigong – all that knowledge would be useless to you, until you applied it.
To get the results of qigong you have to practice daily. If you practice for 2 or 3 days, then have a day off, then practice for 4 days and then have 2 days off and so on – because your practice is sporadic, so will your results.
For more information please read 10 Ways To Set Up Regular Chi Kung Practice
Once you have established a daily practice habit you need to…
5) Set clear aims and objectives for your Qigong practice – if you know what you want to gain from your practice, you are in a much stronger position to reach those targets. The other benefit of having clear aims and objectives is that you can check your results against those you wish to achieve and see if you are moving in the right direction and make adjustments as necessary.
What cannot be measured cannot be managed. You practice qigong because you want some definite, measurable benefit or result. If you do not set clear aims and objectives for your practice, how will you ever know if you are getting the most effective results for the investment of your time and effort?
Here’s a rubbish example of what I mean – let’s say one of your objectives for your Qigong practice is to be combat efficient against a boxer in 6 months. If you set this objective and keep measuring your progress against it, you will quickly discover that qigong is the wrong vehicle for you to meet your target. And then you can start to do something about it, like learning Shaolin Kung Fu.
But, if you do not have this level of clarity, after 6, 12, 18 months you would be no closer to realising your target and you would have wasted much valuable time and energy in the process.
I cannot emphasize enough that ‘clarity is king‘ – I covered this subject in more detail in this post: 7 Mistakes Beginners Make In Chi Kung – 5
Even with these 5 components in place it’s still easy to not get the maximum benefits of qigong. Make sure you keep these two words close to heart when practicing…
6) Relaxed and Gentle – to succeed with qigong you must keep these two ‘magic words’ close to your heart. You must remember that qigong is not western exercise and therefore the ‘mantra’s’ of western exercise like: ‘no pain no gain‘ and ‘feel the burn‘ etc simply do not apply.
Pain is a signal that you are doing something wrong with your qigong practice, feeling the burn is a signal that you over doing your qigong practice.
In qigong your movements are relaxed and gentle, even when punching in qigong exercises like ‘Punching With Wide Eyes‘ from the shaolin 18 Lohan hands, you are relaxed and gentle.
Your breathing is relaxed and gentle.
And any thoughts are relaxed and gentle.
The gritting of teeth, the pushing past comfort levels is simply not a part of qigong practice.
I’ve saved perhaps the most vital component of our success blueprint until last. It’s probably the second most common reason why qigong practitioners fail to get the results they want. And what is this vital component? It’s…
7) You – you must be a good student. As a qigong teacher, one of the saddest aspects I regularly experience is a student – who just cannot follow instructions correctly. I tell them to breathe OUT through their mouth and even explain why and they still breathe out through their nose. I explain that internal force is developed by being relaxed and gentle in their Fierce Tiger Pushing Mountains http://qigong15.com/blog/qigong-exercises/fierce-tiger-pushing-mountains/ practice. And they insist on tensing and huffing and puffing.
And yet they practice daily, they are learning qigong, they practice the core skills of qigong, they have set clear aims and objectives for their qigong practice. But they will ultimately fail. Why?
Because they are not a good student. A friend and fellow qigong teacher once defined a good student this way:
Don’t do what the teacher hasn’t told you
Respect the teacher
I can’t really improve on that.
Remember, there really is no secret to success with qigong. Just make sure you are practicing qigong (that has the 3 core skills in it) from a competent teacher. That you are clear on what you want from your qigong practice, that you practice daily. Always be relaxed and gentle in your practice and most importantly – be a good student. Then your success is certain.
If you can achieve this, the results you can expect to attain within 6 months are very likely to exceed your expectations.