Do you have a friend who loves Qi Gong? Or are you looking for a Qi Gong gift for your teacher?
Actually one does not need a lot of things to do Qi Gong. That’s what I really like about it.
But what if you don’t want to simply hand over a class voucher (which would be a nice idea actually!)? Well, I researched for some nice Qi Gong gift ideas for you. I am sure you’ll find something suitable (just click on the pictures)!
Let’s start with T-Shirts. I like these because they are very simple:
Obvioulsy you can find many more Qi Gong T-Shirts. Just as well as cell phone cases or stickers for Qi Gong enthusiasts. And tea mugs are very popular among Qi Gong people, too. So why not choose a nice mug and get some delicious Chinese tea from a local store?
I think most people who practice Qi Gong also meditate. And if not it would be really beneficial for them to start! I like to make my meditation spot beautiful and cozy. It’s just much more fun to go to a place I feel comfortable in!
Actually you could add a singing bowl to the meditation pillow. I just like the sound so much!
Another aspect related to Qi Gong is the Chinese art of calligraphy. I am intrigued by those wonderful black strokes. I think this book and calligraphy set would make a nice gift together:
And now something very personal. Maybe it is not so related to Qi Gong, but I am currently a little obsessed with the Flower of Life. I am fascinated by this sacred geometric pattern! I know many people talk about the meaning of it, that it appears in many ancient places etc. I actually don’t care about all that I just LOVE that pattern. I just love to look at it. (And if you talk to my husband, tell him I want that necklace 🙂 )
So these are 18 Qi Gong gift ideas. If you haven’t found the right thing yet, have a look at these other posts with gift ideas:
I am sure you will find something to give to a Qi Gong enthusiast!
P.S.: This is a gift I actually wasn’t sure if I wanted to show it. It’s a Qi Gong certificate! It’s meant to be a gag, but I think there are so many questions and misuse concerning certificates that it is a bit strange to hand out a fake Qi Gong certificate. But it exists. So whoever says they have a certificate, have a close look at it!
I have to admit that when I started Taijqiuan (Tai Chi Chuan) in 2004, I had no idea about Qi Gong (氣功). I went to class and was quite (happily) surprised when we did many wonderful exercises at the beginning and the end of class. My teacher said those are Qi Gong exercises. And I wondered “what is Qi Gong”?
Before I explain what is Qi Gong, let’s talk Chinese first! Or at least listen to it. If you wonder how to pronounce Qi Gong properly, play this and repeat:
Qi Gong can be quite confusing, becauses there are actually quite a lot of Qi Gong exercises, systems and sets. One of the reasons for that is: Qi Gong is sooooo old. The documented history goes back app. 2500 years. And Qi Gong-like techniques might be even more than 5000 years old!
As you can imagine, over thousands of years, gazillions of Qi Gong exercises where created. Exercises can be done singularly. Or you can practice complete sets consisting of different successive moves, postures, Qi Gong meditations etc. Well known Qi Gong sets are e.g. 8 brocades Qi Gong, 5 animals Qi Gong, Yi Jin Jing Qi Gong etc.
But now you really want to know what is Qi Gong, so let’s have a look at some definitions:
What is Qi Gong?
“Qi Gong: A type of Gongfu training which specializes in building up the Qi circulation in the body for health and/or martial purposes.”
from: Tai Chi Theory & Martial Power, p.261
“Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.
Qigong practices can be classified as martial, medical, or spiritual. All styles have three things in common: they all involve a posture, (whether moving or stationary), breathing techniques, and mental focus. Some practices increase the Qi; others circulate it, use it to cleanse and heal the body, store it, or emit Qi to help heal others. Practices vary from the soft internal styles such as Tai Chi; to the external, vigorous styles such as Kung Fu. However, the slow gentle movements of most Qigong forms can be easily adapted, even for the physically challenged and can be practiced by all age groups.”
Source: National Qigong Association
“Qigong is a form of gentle exercise composed of movements that are repeated a number of times, often stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial and lymph) and building awareness of how the body moves through space.
When you practice and learn a qigong exercise movement, there are both external movements and internal movements. These internal movements or flows in China are called neigong or “internal power”. These internal neigong movements make qigong a superior health and wellness practice.
The internal movements also differentiate qigong from almost every other form of exercise in the West that often emphasizes prolonged cardiovascular movements (such as in running and biking) or that focus on muscular strength training (weight lifting).”
Source: Bruce Frantzis
“Qigong, (simplified 气功; traditional: 氣功; Pinyin: qìgōng; Wade–Giles: chi gong; literally: “Life Energy Cultivation”) is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training. With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi), translated as “life energy”. (…) Over the centuries, a diverse spectrum of qigong forms developed in different segments of Chinese society. Traditionally, qigong training has been esoteric and secretive, with knowledge passed from adept master to student in lineages that maintain their own unique interpretations and methods. Qigong practices were brought to the public beginning in the 1950s, when the Communist Party institutionalized and began research into traditional Chinese medicine. Although the practice of qigong was prohibited during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s; it was once again allowed after 1976. On account of the political climate at the time, the emphasis of qigong practices shifted away from traditional philosophy and cultivation, and increasingly focused health benefits, medicine and martial arts applications, and a scientific perspective.”
“Qigong is a powerful system of healing and energy medicine from China. It is the art and science of using breathing techniques, gentle movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate the life energy (qi). Qigong practice leads to better health and vitality and a tranquil state of mind.
In the past qigong was called nei gong (inner work) or dao yin (guiding energy). Today, the original ancient word for qigong is being revived: yang sheng. Yang sheng means “nurturing” (yang) “life” (sheng). This beautiful term includes not only healing exercises and meditations but also any practices that contribute to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance. Nor is yang sheng restricted to personal well-being. To nurture life is to live in a way that cares for the life around us, all of nature.”
Source: Ken Cohen (author of The Way of Qigong)
“Qigong, which literally means “practice of vital energy”, is an ancient Chinese art of meditation and physical exercise. When it is practiced correctly, it promotes health, mental well-being, martial arts skills, and spiritual development. There are many types of qigong systems. Most qigong systems incorporate breathing techniques, moving exercises, massage techniques, still postures, and mental training. Qigong is well-known in China and is now popular in the United States for its development of internal energy, promotion of healing, reduction of stress, and extension of life.”
Source: Taijiquan Chen Family
“Qigong is the path—the energy exercise that allows you to become part of the Universe.”
Source: Nan Lu from TCM World
“Qi Gong is not really just an exercise; it can become a powerful way of being. For people with health challenged as well as those who simply wish to increase their personal energy and inner calm, ancient Chinese Qi Gong could be a gift of a lifetime”
from The Healing Promise of Qi (pages vii & 5)
After reading a lot about what is Qi Gong you might want to do some little exercises right now! Have a look at my collection of easy 5 minutes Qi Gong exercises and start right away!
I remember the first years time in my Qi Gong class. After an exercise my teacher would occasionally ask: “what did you feel?”
Well, there were always students who would say something like “there was this warm feeling in my hands / shoulders / …”
Or “I could really feel the connection to Earth”.
Or “Qi was flowing down…”
And me? Well, for a long time, I just felt … nothing!
No tingling in my hands. No warm showers on my back. No fuzzy feeling in my feet. Nothing.
It reminded me of one of the songs from a very popular musical, A Chorus Line – the song is called: Nothing!
At first, it seemed quite devastating feeling nothing in Qi Gong when everyone was like “hush”, “I feel the air Qi”.
However, I just enjoyed the Qi Gong exercises. They did me good. I didn’t know how exactly, but it was just an overall feeling of “betterness”. So I continued.
I have to confess that I still do not feel as much as others do. Or at least as others say they do. But I increasingly enjoy that feeling of “betterness”. So I continue.
Maybe it is the same with you. If you think that all those people in your class (including the teacher) are talking strange stuff, just ask yourself: do the Qi Gong exercises feel good to me? Do I feel the “betterness”?
If so, just continue. I promise you, someday you will feel more. Because I’ve been where you are now.
And I continued. And now I can feel the tingling in my hands. The warm showers on my back (though my showers feel more like cold lava). The fuzzy feeling in my feet. There is something going on.
If you feel nothing now, dont’ give up. Trust your gut feeling. If you feel good after Qi Gong, continue. Enjoy the overall “betterness”. Do what feels right to you and not let anyone tell you what you should feel.
While you’re waiting to feel more, you might want to read more about Qi: have a look at the best Qi Gong books!
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