Qi gong is an ancient form of exercise that is combined with breathwork. It’s the art of effortless power. As qi gong teacher Lee Holden says, it mirrors the movement of nature. It’s a moving meditation that allows us to connect deeply to the present moment and helps clear emotions and the daily stressors we encounter. It also can heal the body, mind and spirit.
Many people envision qi gong as more of a martial art than as a tool for healing the mind, body, and soul collectively. Qi gong is a gentle form of exercise that can have a profound effect on the body if practiced daily. There are many qi gong teachers and masters, so it’s a matter of finding one that you resonate with. Although I’ve been doing qi gong for several years, I feel the need for fresh and newer routines. I found several different DVDs on YMAA and I’m exploring these beautiful routines.
Lee Holden is a name well recognized in the qi gong world. He’s an instructor and has been teaching this art form for over 30 years, so he knows his craft. He has written several books and created numerous DVDs with specific health goals. One of these DVDs is the Qi Gong 30-Day Challenge.
Qi Gong 30-Day Challenge
The Qi Gong 30-Day Challenge is filled with traditional qi gong routines that take only 7 minutes a day to do. Traditional being that you combine the breathwork with the motion of each exercise for a flowing movement. The challenge is to do 30 days in a row so you can reap the benefits of giving your body a boost of energy. Each day is designed to affect specific areas of your body and the movements are very simple and enjoyable to perform. Set against the tranquil backdrop of the Pacific ocean, you’ll feel peaceful, calm and revitalized.
Day 1: this routine is designed to open the flow of energy in your body. It will clear stress, tension, open your muscles and increase the energy in your body.
Day 2: these exercises will open the energy flow in your body and strengthen your chi system.
Day 3: these movements will open the lungs and increase your breath capacity.
Day 4: this routine will energize the body, clear tension and tightness out of the neck and shoulders and connect you to your internal flow.
Day 5: this gentle workout will allow you to feel and sense the energy in your body so you can experience the chi flow.
Day 6: this routine is designed to calm your mind, balance your emotions and keep you centered.
Day 7: this routine develops strength, power, flow and flexibility.
Day 8: this next routine focuses on the lower back and legs.
Day 9: these movements are a great chi workout.
Day 10: this routine builds strength and power in the legs, flexibility in the spine and flow through your body.
Day 11: this sequence of movements is designed to activate the energy deep in your flow.
Day 12: this routine will cultivate inner power and energy.
Day 13: this routine creates inner balance and harmony by opening all the joints in the body.
Day 14: focuses on clearning lines of tension through the neck and shoulders and enlivens your spine.
Day 15: will activate the body’s internal energy and bring calmness and clarity to the heart center.
Day 16: balances the nervous system, calms the mind and energizes the body.
Day 17: this next sequence opens the heart energy and is great for emotional balance and feeling centered.
Day 18: this next routine focuses on strength and flexibility, flowing energy and deep relaxation.
Day 19: develops strength and power through the lower body and finishes with a nice relaxing heart opening flow.
Day 20: activates the body’s internal energy and creates a feeling of being centered and grounded.
Day 21: this movement set opens the energy in the body, activates key pressure points in the hands, brings energy to the lungs and keeps you connected to nature.
Day 22: this routine is about effortless power. It’s about moving the body like water with fluidity and grace. It will energize your body and calm and relax your mind.
Day 23: these movements are about stretching the areas where we hold tension and tightness.
Day 24: this next sequence is a wonderful routine about activating the body’s energy and connecting to your own personal flow.
Day 25: this routine opens the energy of the upper body, the lungs, chest, shoulders and the back.
Day 26: this set of movements builds strength, power and energy in the body.
Day 27: this routine focuses on opening the heart, energizing the body and calming the mind.
Day 28: this routine is very balancing to the mind, the body and the heart. It will bring energy to your center and keep you grounded.
Day 29: focuses on opening all the joints in the body and creating that zen state of mind.
Day 30: is a combination of exercises that will get you both relaxed and energized.
I enjoyed this 30-day challenge and feel so energized. The exercises are easy for the most part, but as your flexibility increases, you’ll find you can bend, stretch and expand farther than you ever thought. It’s great for all ages and fitness levels, do you want you can.
Fragrant Qi Gong for Beginners
I have never heard of Chinese Fragrant Qi Gong, but I was definitely intrigued. Fragrant qi gong is a simple yet profound series of exercises for healing your body and cultivating your energy. This ancient art was kept secret until 1988 when Grand Master Tian, Rui-sheng was able to bring it to the public. Now we can enjoy these gentle exercises and benefit from their energies.
What is uniquely different with Fragrant qi gong is that it is an external style of qi gong and does not require slow breathing or mental focus. Because it’s an external form of qi gong, the movements themselves physically pump your chi throughout your entire body without needing the mind to redirect it. You can do it anywhere, anytime.
This DVD is divided into Beginner and Intermediate levels. Each section has 15 different exercises that simple and fun to use and there is an introduction to each one so you know exactly how to perform them perfectly.
Beginners Fragrant Qi gong:
Below is a list of the exercises by name and what they do.
- Tail – create a neral flow of chi throughout the body
- Bird – brings the mind to the center and balances all the chakras as well
- Eight – calms the yang
- Piano – works on lungs and heart
- Fish – for lungs as heart as well
- Wind – works on the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen and stomach
- Circle Left – works on the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen and stomach
- Circle Right – works on the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen and stomach
- Row – stimulates chi flow through a specific pathway called the microcosmic orbit
- Wheel – stimulates and enhances the microcosmic orbit for balancing the yin and yang and balances the 12 organs. Great for stomach issues as well.
- Boat – creates a pumping action through the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen, stomach and pancreas and is excellent for stress
- Ear – helps bring energy to the ears, but also the kidney energy. Ears are connected to the kidneys, so you’re also improving the health of your kidneys.
- Eye – brings healing energy to the eyes, but it also helps the liver. The eyes are connected to the liver system inside the body.
- Palm – pushes chi into your lower dantian. It helps our whole body’s constitutional health and builds energy for longevity. It will also improve he health of the kidneys.
- Close – allows the energy to balance the left and right sides of the body and creates peace of mind.
Intermediate Fragrant Qi gong
The intermediate Fragrant qi gong offers exercises that help the whole body. It includes arm movements but also has lower-body movements that especially pump chi through the 6 meridians that go to the legs. Below is a list of the exercises by name and what they do.
- Down – reduces yang, quieting the mind
- Push – reduces yang and pumps chi into the arm meridians and stimulates the immune system
- Move – great for stress and for relaxing your liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen, stomach and pancreas
- Circle – done clockwise, this exercise stimulates and enhances chi that flows around the waist
- Silk – enhances chi through the microcosmic orbit, helping the stomach
- Pick – stimulates a pint called lao gong – the 8th point on the pericardium channel
- Tiger – builds chi in the lower dantian which is our longevity center. It also strengthens the kidneys as well
- Pole – gently massages the kidneys – which is helpful for those with any kind of kidney disease or kidney stones
- Dip – connects all meridians of the hands and harmonizes all the organs
- Embrace – builds chi in the lower dantian
- Arc – creates an abundance of chi in the arms and balances the fire in the heart with the water of the kidneys
- Flower – releases some chi form arms and also releases blockages
- Drop – continues to release out energy that was built up in arms
- Fist – pull chi in and stores it in the belly
- Holding Bowl – gathering and growing chi between hands
- Close – centering
I love Fragrant Qi gong. It’s so gentle and simple to use and the 15 minutes goes by very quickly. It relaxes you and puts you in a better frame of mind.
Disclaimer: I received product to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own, yours may differ.