Where to Get the Most Authentic Qi Gong Training Experience
- On January 19, 2018
- By Cez Krol
- In General
There is always something new and shiny popping up on the fitness scene. With alternative medicine gaining popularity, the West seems to be looking to the East more and more for inspiration. So, it follows that the latest golden child according to Westerners has its roots in ancient China.
Qi Gong is the holistic health care system that dates back to over 4000 years ago—it is one of the four pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In English, “Qi Gong” translates to “cultivating life force” or “cultivating vitality.” The practice thus emphasizes meditative acts that work together to cultivate energy.
There are three styles of the practice: martial, medical and spiritual. Each integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention; where they differ lies in their interaction with our Qi. Whether they are working to restore it or using it to cleanse the body, for instance, will result in a different method of practice, examples of which you may be familiar with are Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
By incorporating breath work and mindfulness, the benefits of exercise are believed to be enhanced. Practitioners espouse the ability of Qi Gong to reduce stress levels, increase vitality and ameliorate our immune system’s ability to function well. An important belief is that, over time, the practice unites the body, mind, and spirit.
Qi Gong is traditionally passed down from master to student using both oral transmission and training techniques. To get the very most out of your practice when getting started, it’s going to benefit you to commit to a particular training school where you can gain a sense of community and accountability.
So if you’re in China, where this whole practice has its genesis, you’d be mad to miss out on an opportunity to enroll in an authentic school here and train with the real masters. Plus, you can get the added experience of a retreat if you choose to stay at the school you’re training at.
Top Training Schools We Recommend
The Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School
If you’re looking for a really special experience, we recommend attending this school that takes place on China’s holiest mountain, Mount Tai. The mountain’s affiliated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and has been viewed as one of the most sacred places of worship and the conduction of other ceremonies. This is probably the most idyllic, inspiring backdrop for introducing a practice as spiritual and holistic as Qi Gong.
Not only does the school provide the opportunity to focus on various types of training—including Tai Chi, Qi Gong for Martial Arts, etc—its built-in campus also offers the other half of the package: nutritious food, green tea, and a smoke and alcohol free environment, all of which come together nicely to promote detox and self-renewal. And an added bonus – the campus has been built to Feng Shui principles to promote optimal relaxation.
Looking for some one-on-one training to accelerate your learning? This school in Zhongshan (near Hong Kong), offers the chance for you to work directly with Master Luke Chan, an impressive guru who has been practicing for over forty years.
Included in your fee will be tuition, lodging and your food. By the end of the program, you’re promised to have a greater sense of creativity, calm, compassion and overall health and fitness.
What we really love about this school is they give the opportunity for us to continue our practice even when we leave China, thanks to their online videos. And hey, can’t get to China to experience the real deal that this school provides? At least you can be there, virtually!
Tai Chi School in China
Situated in one of China’s most affordable destinations: Yangshuo, the Tai Chi School offers a competitive price for those on a budget, and the best part is, it does so without skimping on the beauty it offers to its students.
The school is founded on 5000 square meters that have been beautifully manicured, featuring tall bamboo sprays, singing birds, deliciously-filled fruit orchards, large grassy areas, and impressive, ancient trees. Here, they believe that the beauty of your surroundings are an integral part of your learning experience, with “natural energy and good air [helping] us rediscover the natural self within us.”
Something to be truly admired about this practice—aside from its innumerable benefits and inspirational spirituality—is that it can be practiced by everyone. No matter what age you are, no matter how able you are, there is an aspect of Qi Gong that will be suitable for you. Everyone can relish in the increased energy and the peaceful, non-judgemental community gained when you invite this practice into your life.
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