Your Qigong training Environment

Column by Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong
March 2001 Issue

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There's more to qigong (chi kung) than what you do. Whether or not your qigong practice improves your health and well-being also depends on where you practice. Your qigong environment is critical to the success of your qigong practice.

My own qigong teacher, professor Peng Si Yu , emphasized the importance of practice in the right environment. He believed that where and how you practice is as important as your practice technique. Here are a few tips toward better qigong practice.

Do not practice either meditation or qigong exercises in a room that contains mirrors or large metal objects, such as a furnace. Your qi (chi) energy can bounce back to you from a mirror or metal object, causing a disruption in your body's energy flow. This may cause energy blockages that can make you dizzy, disoriented or even ill. Do not stand directly in front of a mirror or metal object. Instead face something non-reflective, such as a regular wall.

Do not practice deep meditation outside or in a drafty room. When you are in a deep meditation your pores open. Open pores can absorb drafts, causing you to become ill. If you sweat when you practice standing meditation, change to a clean, dry shirt immediately after standing.

For those who like to practice outside, only do qigong moving exercises or exercises that require your eyes be open. Moving exercises absorb yang energy produced by the many plants outside. Since qigong moving exercises are designed to teach you to move your qi within or outside your body, extra yang energy helps keep qi flowing smoothly.

The best direction to face when practicing qigong is south. Other directions, except north, are acceptable, however south is best. Because north represents a strong magnetic force, it pulls body cells just enough out of their correct alignment to disturb qi flow. South, being the opposite of north, allows the body to relax and qi flow to move smoothly throughout the body.

Do not practice qigong, especially meditation, with either a full or empry stomach. If your stomach is either too full or too empty it draws blood from the skin to the abdominal area. When you practice qigong you need to have a balanced blood flow throughout your body, providing even qi flow.

When you practice standing meditation take your shoes off to let your feet spread naturally. Then stand on thick, soft carpet to prevent the feet from getting cold. If any part of your body is too cold, your muscles will contract and restrict qi flow to that part of your body.

Do not wear any restrictive or tight clothing for qigong practice. This includes a tight belt or jewelry, especially an elastic band watch. Tight clothing or jewelry restricts qi flow.

If you pay attention to these practice tips you'll find your qigong practice noticeably improved and your qi development accelerated.

Doc Fai Wong writes a bi-monthly column for Inside Kung-Fu.