Chi Kung literally translates as breath work. It is the conscious movement of the breath along the body and with it the movement of energy.
The Chi follows the breath and the attention of the mind, so wherever you direct your attention the chi goes.
Chi Kung is a series of exercises designed to keep the energy channels of the body open. Some of them are mild in nature. Others are a bit more harsh and strenuous and they work in conjunction with arts like Tai Chi to keep the body supple and working properly.
As the name suggest, the exercises incorporate breath work and usually some kind of movement or the holding of a posture.
Some of the exercises can be used as a meditation practice. Here’s one of my favorites:
You stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Try and put your weight on the hollow of the foot. That’s the spot right behind the ball of the foot.
Let your knees bend naturally right in the direction your toes are pointed towards. Don’t let them bend too much.
Let your hips hang. The top of your head lifts GENTLY towards heaven.
Your shoulders are down and your arms reach forward, with the elbows down and your palms facing towards your body, at the height of the chest. It should look like you’re hugging a tree.
Now try and relax. Breathe deep and pay attention to your breath.
Your chi will slowly start to sink. This is good.
You’ll notice heat coming from your center. That’s “dantien” the point two inches below the navel. (This is where your navel used to be. You grew and it moved.)
Now try and hold this position for at least ten minutes.
It’s going to be hard. The more you bend your knees the harder it’ll be. You should work your way up to half an hour.
This is one of the great exercises of chi kung. Not only will it gather your chi but it’ll help you with posture and alignment. It’ll also strengthen your legs and your core.
At first your chi will want to rise, but you must try and let it sink. Be patient.
This is the type of exercise you should do every day.
Find a good teacher and learn a chi kung routine. It’s one of those things you’ll be able to do for the rest of your life and the benefits are amazing.