How to Practice Qigong - working with energy every day.

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Mastering Breathing and Concentration

Qigong is a relatively popular form of exercise practiced in China and elsewhere around the world. Because it is a complete program for individual health and wellness, it is very attractive to people who want to stay fit, capable, and focused. However, while it is attractive, Qigong is relatively difficult to understand because there are a number of forms of it. Despite this problem, with a little time and effort you can discover the joys of Qigong and improve your health and wellness.

Part 1

Mastering Breathing and Concentration

Practice Qigong Step 1

Focus on rhythmic breathing. As you prepare for Qigong, settle into a full, relaxed rhythm of breath before your begin your practice. The quality of your breath is directly related to the quality of your practice. For the vast majority of people, breath is bound by habitual patterns and stored tension.

Your goal is a state where the breath rolls in and out smoothly, like calm waves.

No rushed exhales, no gasped inhales.

However, do not force it or you will only generate a new form of tension and distract yourself from the practice.

Practice Qigong Step 2

Stretch your breath. It is beneficial to stretch the breath before you begin your practice, but forget about it while you practice. Stretching your breath will help you relax more and will help you commit yourself better to Qigong.

To stretch the breath start with a simple inhale for a slow count of six, hold for three, exhale for six, hold for two, repeat.

Anytime you become short of breath or tense let the pattern go until comfortable and then return to the holds.

As this becomes easier expand the breath to a count of eight, ten, etc. holding for half at the top of the inhale, a third at the bottom.

After working the breath for ten minutes or so relax into a natural rhythm again.

Practice Qigong Step 3

Settle the mind. Settling your mind is one of the most important things before you practice Qigong. If our focus is scattered, our energy will be scattered, too. In addition, settling the mind is one of the most important skills that Qigong will help you cultivate. This is a skill that will not only bring you peace, but potentially help reduce blood pressure and stress levels – prolonging your life.

Don't waste time and create tension by trying to force the mind to be silent. Instead, look for silence underneath the noise of random daily thoughts.

Focus your attention on watching your breath.

As thoughts come up, no matter how clever or seemingly prevalent, notice that you are thinking them and turn back to the breath. Gradually, the mind will become quieter.

You can settle the mind as you are stretching your breath.

Practice Qigong Step 4

Relax the body. After mental relaxation, you need to relax your body. Bodily relaxation is key to Qigong and key to promoting good overall health. Relaxing your body, though, is a very mental activity, too. Make sure to:

Scan very slowly through the body, head to toe, releasing tension as you go.

Repeat three times.

Every part of your body should feel at ease and heavy--don't stay rigid and tensed up. Any tension or muscle anxiety should vanish. Your body should feel as if you are sinking toward the ground. [4]

Practice Qigong Step 5

Move and breathe in unison. Qigong is movement and breath in unison. In general, unless specifically trained to do otherwise for certain movements or forms, you should maintain deep, relaxed, even breaths. Because the breath and movements are linked, the moves should be slow, and maintain that deeply rooted relaxation.

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