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Qi Gong/Chi Kung

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Oct 3, 2002
It's the same thing. I just put down both names just in case.

I just started today and I felt a bit tense in my shoulders when I finished. I guess my body is "acclimatising" to the exercise.

Anyway I see where the exercise takes to its trainees. A gradual feeling of leaving the body. It's hard to explain. I love it. It definitively will relax my typican impatient and impulsive character. It will take some time but I'll get there.

I just started doing the two basic exercises: standing like a tree and holding the ball -where I actually experienced the mild shoulder discomfort-.

BTW I felt some flies landing on me while practising. I didn't care about them but it's hard no to feel something like that. i guess you really need a deep meditative state to "not feel" something like that. I practised in a public park.

I'd like to hear your experiences about this Chinese spiritual exercise.

Regards, gerard.

wow thats pretty spiritual stuff, the most spirtiual relaxing thing ive ever done is hyperventilation :D


As you practice the standing meditation (over days/weeks/months), the pain in the shoulders will become EXCRUCIATING... this is what happens when the chronic tension is relieved...

If you persist, the pain will go away, and your shoulders will be relaxed for the first time in years...

I've gone through it many times...

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
whoa, whoa, whoa!

All stop! I would like to know more about this! Fill me in. I just got into a little Yoga, but I am always ready to relax with something new!


From your previous posts I tried to check in Qi gong around here and found no teachers near by.

My latest thing has been to try out a different yoga teacher each week to find one that I like.

Last week was Bikram, in the really hot room, to work more on asanas more than pranayama. I am not sure how much of a work out my lungs got, but I sure sweated a lot and I felt much more flexible and smoother in the pool the next night while working on my dolphin kick. One of the teachers there suggested a different studio to try Astanga.
This week I tried the Astanga teacher, but she told me to come to her Forrest yoga class instead. Last night we worked a lot on rib cage flexibilty. I may stay with this teacher unless there are other styles that you, or any others out there!, could recommend I check into first.
I had never heard of Forrest yoga until this week. There seem to be lots of yoga centers around here, but not Qi gong. Do I really need to work with a yoga instructor to stretch my rib cage, or can I just do pack stretches on my own to achieve the same results?

Thanks for any input,

Yoga stretches/asanas have many more benefits than just stretching the rib cage. They have much better overall health benefits than simple pack stretches or reverse packs, etc.. so I recommend keeping up the yoga.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Is any form more useful than another?

I'm really not an expert at the different yoga styles; perhaps someone else can recommend a style of yoga?

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Rishikesh set of asanas

One of the most basic and complete sets of asanas is the Rishikesh set. It provides flexibility in all directions, especially working the spine. Ask your yoga teachers to show you these asanas, probably most teachers are using these sets or similar variations.

There a lots of schools of yoga with thousands of asanas. Eventually once you have some practice one can also include repetitions and asanas specific to one's freediving needs.

That's for the body. The mind, being the headquaters of the body also has a very strong capacity to create lasting physiological changes. Heart rate changes, alpha waves, etc. So look into different types of meditation as well for deeper experiences and deeper diving. It will also help you improve your intuition, something which (as Eric Fattah has pointed out and emphasized in his world record description) is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Intuition has saved my life several times, as well as bringing me beautiful suprises, so it goes both ways, not only to get you out of trouble, but to make you aware of an opportunity that's unfolding at the moment - or in the future.

I know the pain

But what's pain anyway:

"Effort leaving the mind":)

Master Foo:

You must be disciplined and selfconscious about your inner self

Little grasshopper:

But master when will I control mi Chi?

Master Foo:

I let you know when

Little grasshopper:

But it can take forever

Master Foo:

Remember, big things were not built in a day

Little grasshopper:

Master, I am too impatient, and I want to be the best freediver in the world

Master Foo:

Being the best does not mean being the wisest. Remember, the one that controls their mind is the greatest. Once you control your chi you'll have power above all things, you will be the dragon with the suppleness of the tiger. You will unleash your inner self and you will be unbeatable.

Little grasshopper:

Thanks master, I see now what you mean. I must learn before I can fight.


BTW, if I think I've suffered with soft Qi Gong, how much will I suffer when I get to hard Qi Gong. Click here:

http://www.qimagazine.co.uk/setup.htm, and then "hard Qi Gong".

BTW, has any of you combined Tai Chi Chuan with Qi Gong. I was thinking to do that in order to increase flexibility.

Regards, gerard.
In my serious days of chi-gong, I would always warm up with the 108 move long form of tai chi, before beginning the chi-gong, as recommended by Paul Dong in his book, 'Empty Force.'

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Gerard and Adrian,

You two seem to know quite a bit about yoga, so how about helping me narrow down my choices?:confused:

Within 5 miles of my house I have two studios, three if you count the YMCA, that offer 6 different forms of yoga. They are:


All of the instructors seem to be very knowledgeable and friendly. I could be happy going to any one of them. One even offered to do private pranayma work if I so desired.
Of course, there's always the local YMCA. They have a more generic yoga class, but it is half the price and a mile from the house so I can get there more often. The other classes are more specific to their style of yoga.

I am not looking to breaking any world records, just increasing my flexibilty, and maybe lung volume, over the winter months. Any advice you can give would be appreciated with loads of good karma.;)

Hi Jon,

I have been practicing yoga seriously for a little more than five years (10 before that off and on) and I may be able to shed some light on the various styles for you.

Most of the styles you've asked about incorporate the same or similar asanas with common goals. The biggest differences usually come in the instructor. I would say that it's more important to search for an experienced instructor and then for a specific style. My personal practice developed a great deal when I started studying with a very talented instructor in a style that I had not even been interested in.

When you're looking for an instructor keep in mind that yoga has become quite a fad these days and that has resulted in many instructors popping up without much practical experience. It is experience that makes a good instructor, not necessarily training. So, take your time looking around for an instructor that you feel comfortable with and who has been around for a while. Even when you do find that instructor that clicks with you, I would recommend visiting other instructor's classes every once in a while to get a different perspective on your practice.

You commented about the cost of a yoga studio vs. the Y. If money is an issue I'd do the following. Find a good instructor regardless of where they teach. Attend as many classes with them as you can afford and the rest of the time practice at home. You can use what you learn in class to guide your home practice. In the end, the best instruction comes from being able to listen to your body and learn/teach yourself.

Wherever you practice, remember that consistency is the key. You're better off practicing at home for fifteen minutes a day, every day, than going to a class once every couple of weeks. If you can only do twice a week, fine. Just do what you can. When I first started I had only planned on going once a week, but I felt so good after doing yoga that it quickly became a daily practice for me.

As for the disciplines... I'm an Ashtanga and Bikram guy myself.

As you know, Bikram is in a hot room. You either love it or hate it, but the benefits of the heat are great. Unfortunately, because the heat is very important to this style it is difficult to practice at home. The focus is more on effort than form as Bikram teaches it, but instructors will vary. The cardio benefits can be great, especially as you develop and are able to focus more on your breathing. I go to Bikram classes when I'm really tight and need to open up.

Ashtanga is a great workout in every way. This is my favorite style and I practice it daily. The cardio benefits are amazing and the breathing used during practice will definitely help your freediving. Don't let your ego get in the way though. Many ashtanga postures can be very challenging and if you push too hard you can injur yourself. This is the case with all styles, but I'm speaking from experience regarding ashtanga. One of the benefits that I like about this style is that it gives you a great upper body workout which many other styles don't.

Kundalini is great if you want to unleash some of those natural "drugs" within your body. This style focuses on moving the energy in your body around and releasing it in different ways. It's something you should definitely try at some point, but I doubt it's what you are looking for right now.

Vinyasa is derived from, and will have many similarities to Ashtanga, but I have little experience with it specifically.

Iyengar, depending on your instructor, can be very prop based, but I have little experience with it.

Forrest, no experience with it at all.

If you're going to do some home practice, which I'd recommend, then there are a couple of books/videos you may want to pick up. David Swenson and Richard Freeman are two of the most recognized and accomplished Ashtanga instructors in the world. Both have books and videos and you won't go wrong with either.

David has a video called Ashtanga Short Forms which takes the entire primary series (1.5 hrs) and breaks it down into shorter more accessible sessions of 15 min., 30 min., and 45 min.. This is great when you're just beginning until you can work up to the entire primary series. It's also good for home practice. I'm sure that Richard has a similar video out.

David also has a spiral bound book that goes into the details of every asana in the various Ashtanga series'. It's difficult to use the book as a guide when you're just beginning, but it's an excellent resource as you develop and want to learn more. I use this for my Mysore practice all of the time. Mysore is a personal practice done in the presence of an instructor who provides personal instruction as needed as you progress through your practice.

I hope that this hasn't been too long winded of an explanation. Of course all of this is simply my opinion and others may differ, but one thing you'll realize quickly as your practice develops is that yoga can be a very personal pursuit and everyone's experience will differ.

Good luck.

Jason Billows
Ottawa, Canada
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Reactions: Jon

Thanks for the very detailed response Jason. You have certainly given me lots to think over.

I took a class a few years ago when I lived in Milwaukee.
When I moved to Madison I tried a course at the YMCA, since I was a member already, and it was fine.

I recently decided to find a proper teacher and take the whole thing a lot more seriously.

I really enjoyed the heat of the Birkram method. I felt much more felixible afterwards, maybe even taller.:D
Some of my enjoyment might have stemmed from the fact that it was -5 degrees (F) outside and I got to go into a 90+ degree room and sweat for an hour and a half. :cool:

One of the instructors there acutally recommend that I try the Astanga class from a competitior of hers. At the other studio they offered Astanga, but suggested that I might want to try Forrest yoga. I tried it and it was also a good class.

I feel very comfortable with all of the instructors and would be happy to go with any of them. The money thing only comes into play with how often I could do a formal class. Once a week with the studio or twice a week with the YMCA. The rest of my time is devoted to other activities. I play underwater hockey once or twice a week and hit the pool on my other free nights.

Yoga studios are all over the place by my house, but no Qi Gong close enough for me to try.:(

Originally posted by efattah
In my serious days of chi-gong, I would always warm up with the 108 move long form of tai chi, before beginning the chi-gong, as recommended by Paul Dong in his book, 'Empty Force.

You mean by that performing the dynamic type of qigong, -like the white craneal sequence- don't you?

The problem is the considerable amount of time needed to perform the whole thing, maybe 2 hours and least?

I don't have that time. One hour is max for me.

Eric, what form of qigong are you practising now? Dynamic or static, or both.

Regards, gerard.
These days, with limited time, I practice only static qigong (holding the balloon or similar position), with a short warm-up for my knees. I try to practice outside on the grass, in bare feet. This is very important; the soles of your feet need to be in a low resistance path to the earth, otherwise you lose negative ions on every exhalation. Interestingly, the grass here at this time of the year is often frozen, but it doesn't cause a problem! My feet melt the grass.

In the old days, I used to do a 3-hour routine, which began with the 16 warm-up exercises from the book 'Xing-Yi Nei Gong'. This would take about 20 minutes. Then I would do the 108 move combined wu/yang style tai chi form, twice, each time taking about 7 minutes.
Then, I would do 1h30 of standing meditation. Then I would do a push-hands exercise, followed by a cool down sequence. I would finish with a sitting meditation for about 30 minutes.

I had a kirlian camera to track my progress, and at the peak of my practice (after about 2.5 years of the above routine), the kirlian photo of my right index finger had developed a halo, and I could make my kirlian photo vanish at will, if I concentrated. Also, during my peak, I could produce a kirlian photo without even touching the electrode plate, and these pictures looked very strange.

I would always practice outside, in the dark, during the evening (which is not the best time to practice because it interferes with sleep).

However, after years of practicing, I began to have strange experiences at the end of the standing meditation. Most people would call them hallucinations, but on the contrary, they would only occur when my mind was completely blank and sharp.

One of the main problems of serious chi-gong practice is that your libido becomes uncontrollable -- if you reach the advanced stage, this effect goes away. I suppose it is useful if you have a girlfriend, but I just split up with my girlfriend :(

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Originally posted by efattah
However, after years of practicing, I began to have strange experiences at the end of the standing meditation. Most people would call them hallucinations, but on the contrary, they would only occur when my mind was completely blank and sharp.

Eric, can you please give us a detail of that stuff. I don't want to hamper my training with negative feelings. Thanks.

One of the main problems of serious chi-gong practice is that your libido becomes uncontrollable -- if you reach the advanced stage, this effect goes away. I suppose it is useful if you have a girlfriend, but I just split up with my girlfriend :(

Are you sure it's QiGong. I think it's more caused by increased testosterone levels due to anaerobic type of training like apnea or even your gym work.

Regards, gerard.
Many forms of meditation will open the chakra at the sex centre as the energy rises up the spine, regardless whether physical exercise has occured.
This is really common for me...it's important to learn how to use the energy at a higher level; moving it up instead of letting it control you. "Yoga" means, among other things ,"control".
Or you can jump on your partner!
Erik Y.
Obviously I didn't see that

so I must apologize again. Sorry Eric Fattah (second time):waterwork .

Regards, gerard.
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