Do I need any special equipment or clothing to do qigong?
No, you can do qigong just about anywhere. All you need is comfortable clothes you can move in easily and a quiet place without too many distractions to practice in.
Isn’t qigong just for old people?
It is true that qigong is practiced by many older people, but it certainly isn’t just for old people. Qigong practices build health, vitality and resilience – this is useful for everyone, young and old. Many athletes practice qigong as a way to gain an edge in their performance. They find it helps with mental focus, physical performance and recovery. Other people find that it helps them to cope with the stress of their busy professional lives. Still others practice qigong simple because they enjoy it and if feels good! Many of the older people you will find practicing qigong actually began when they were much younger and the qigong has kept them healthy so they can continue to enjoy it in their old age.
How long will it take for me to get good at qigong?
Hmmm… how long is a piece of string? Many people find that they begin to feel benefits from their very first session, but mastery is an ongoing journey they will continue for the rest of their lives. The best approach is to enjoy the journey, enjoy every practice session. If you do not feel like you are very co-ordinated or you are doing things quite right, things will quickly improve as you practice regularly. Most people can expect to see significant progress within 3 months of regular practice.
Can I learn qigong effectively from home?
Yes! Qigong is actually very well suited to home study as a big part of it is becoming aware of your own body and doing things at a pace and in a way that suits your body. In many ways this is easier to do in your own home than in a class with other people. With modern technology you can even get individual feedback on your practice in your home from a qualified teacher by video calling via Skype or other services. Of course classes, workshops and other in person contact with qigong teachers and other students are great too, but if you do not have access to these, this is not barrier to learning qigong.
Do I need to speak Chinese to understand qigong?
While qigong has a rich history in qigong – the principles are universal. The concepts underlying qigong practices can and should be translated into any language. When we use foreign terms for concepts this tends to shroud the concept if a layer of mystery and intrigue. This can be fun, but in order to understand something fully it is helpful to be able to describe it in our own language. Where ever possible Long White Cloud Qigong courses and materials translate Chinese concepts into commonly used English for ease of learning and understanding. In the future we may also provide materials in other languages.
Is qigong a religion?
This is a common misperception as there are some religions that include qigong in their practices, but there is nothing about qigong that is inherently ‘religious’. My take on this is that qigong is as religious as going for a hike through the wilderness to a waterfall, or viewing a beautiful sunrise. Seeing nature in its beauty and gaining a better understanding of it is a religious experience for some people, others look at it more as an opportunity for scientific enquiry, still others simply as fun! Whatever your perspective, there is much you can gain from the practice of qigong.
I have ‘x’ health problem, will qigong help this?
Qigong will in general build up your overall vitality and wellness, so many people find that their specific problems diminish or disappear completely as their overall health improves. There are also specific qigong exercises which can help with specific health problems. If you want this kind of help I suggest you consult directly with a qualified qigong and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner who will be able to tailor their advice to your specific needs.
Where is the best place to get started with qigong?
Long White Cloud Qigong offers many different courses that may be of interest to you. Click here to see a list of courses and descriptions. Two courses that make an excellent starting point are the ‘Qigong Foundation Practices’, and ‘Release the Power of Your Breath’ courses.
How do I become a certified Qigong instructor?
There is a growing call for qualified qigong teachers in our communities. Long White Cloud Qigong offers a certification program for qigong instructors. Click here for details.