How the world would change if Qi Gong was as trendy as Yoga

I have to admit: I am tired of explaining what Qi Gong is. I mean, everyone knows what Yoga is (or at least everyone has an idea). But when I say that I practice Qi Gong, many people have a BIG question mark on their face.

Then I read an article with reasons why Qi Gong will be bigger than Yoga in 16 years. And during the last weeks I fantasized about what the world would look like if Qi Gong was as trendy as Yoga. (Important: I don’t want to diss Yoga. Do Yoga if you like it! Do what makes your heart sing! For me, that’s Qi Gong and Taijiquan. And I would love to see these Chinese arts being incredibly popular.)

Let’s start with what everyone would drink and eat. As fas as I know, Green Smoothies are really popular among Yogis. If Qi Gong was as trendy as Yoga, that would change drastically. Because the favorite drink in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is … just warm water! A lot of Smoothie businesses would crash (or switch to soup, which I would really enjoy).

Overall the general cooking would change. Probably way less vegan people, because in TCM meat is ok when eaten moderately. Maybe if the Buddhist part of Qi Gong takes over, there would be many vegetarians or at least part-time vegetarians. Which would be quite good ecologically and ethically. And just like Yogis might talk about which Tofu is the best, trendy Qi Gong people might want to discuss how to prepare the best Congee (that’s actually rice porridge cooked for hours).

Talking about TCM: obviously there would be many many acupuncturists. And TCM clinical centers. And pharmacies producing Chinese herbal drinks. And hopefully most health insurers would then cover the costs for TCM treatments…

how would the world and everyday life change if Qi Gong was as popular and trendy as Yoga?

When Qi Gong becomes really trendy people would actually learn Chinese. I mean, learning Sanskrit is surely fun but you can talk to only 200,000 people. However, there are more than 900 Mio. people whose mothertongue is Chinese!

In line with more people learning Chinese I guess Laozi statues would become very popular and there would be many more Laozi Pinboards. And of course even more Laozi quotes on Intagram.

Talking about Instagram: instead of hip Yoga people there would be many pictures with hip Qi Gong people. Just like in Yoga, some of them might even be naked! Imagine your favorite Qi Gong pose shown by a naked enthusiasts! (Uh, not so sure if I want that to happen.)

Now seriously, with the rise of Qi Gong, everyone would know that Qi Gong is not just Qi Gong. There is active Qi Gong, still Qi Gong, medical Qi Gong, the 8 Brocades, Five Animals, Yi Jin Jing etc. Instead of people asking “What is Qi Gong?” they would ask “which style or set do you practice most?”. Ah, I would really enjoy a world where I wouldn’t have to explain what is Qi Gong anymore.

I hope Qi Gong studios would become wonderful. I mean, I know it’s all about the teacher and the content, but I have been to many Qi Gong and Taijiquan studios. They are often cramped in the cellar or really “industrial minimalistic” with a rather dull atmosphere. Have you ever searched Pinterest for Yoga Studio Design? I think Qi Gong studios could be at least as beautiful, spacious, well-decorated and speaking to all senses without compromising on class quality! I mean, we got Feng Shui!

And then there would be shiny glossy Qi Gong magazines. Like the stands would be full of them. I am not sure if that is a good or a bad thing to have covers plastered with “The 8 best Qi Gong exercises for your Beach body”. But well, I don’t buy magazines anyway so I personally wouldn’t be too bothered with that.

Of course the book shelves would explode, too. I would love to see stores full with Qi Gong books. Just imagine, there could actually be a New York Times bestseller about Qi Gong!

And finally: no more Chakras! Or at least not as many. Instead there would be Dantians everywhere. Dantian guides, Dantian crystals, Dantian cleansing, Dantian tests, Dantian meditations, … Dantians all over the place!

Now I would love to hear from you in the comments: What do you think? What else would change?

Happy Qi!



  • Happy new year!
    Always nice to read your posts. We share the same dream but who knows if it will be ever fulfilled.
    With qi gong, we are taking responsibility of our health, it takes time, it can be seen as a boring activity… There is a cheap alternative: when you are sick, you go and see a doctor and get medicines, get a plastic knee…, almost for free, not time consuming and most of all you are not responsible. As long as this is the case, qi gong has little chance to spread.
    Yoga is most of the time a ‘yang’ practice, you are sweating! This is why it is popular. Like going to a gym but with a refined atmosphere.
    Qi gong as a ‘yin’ practice still has to find some people good at ‘marketing’ it!

  • This is funny because whe I get asked what qi gong is, most of the time I say it is a sort of Chinese yoga. Then I elaborate more about what it is, but at least people get an idea (I think).

  • I think that going to a doctor and get all those fixes will soon not be so cheap anymore. Then people will have to have a look at alternatives. For some, it will be Yoga, for some it will be Qi Gong. Because I agree: a lot of people need more “Yin” in their life!

  • I think you were on to something with the naked business. But you have to work your way into it. Start by getting rid of the bulky silk uniforms. Then get a designer leotard, engineered to help conduct chi more effectively through the meridians. Then you get a couple of celebrities (males and females) to promote the line as their personal brand. Have them make a couple of videos and you’ll be all set for the Qi gong popularity explosion.

  • oh yes, a designer leotard – not sure if I’m looking forward to that one, but I agree that might help the popularity. 😉

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