Qi Gong is much more than a series of body movements and breathing done by people who move as if they have descended from turtles. In actuality, it is a form of meditation combined with martial arts designed to cultivate and balance qi (chi), which translates as “life energy”. But it’s even more than that; in a word, it is cool. Especially when taught by cool people — and we found one for you. Did we mention that her classes are free? We’ll get to that.
Qigong practice dates back over 4,000 years and involves moving meditation, coordinating slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind. Qigong is used around the world as a form of recreation, exercise and relaxation, preventive medicine and self-healing, alternative medicine, meditation and self-cultivation, and training for martial arts. Because it doesn’t require special clothing or equipment, Qi Gong (or Qigong) can be performed anywhere — even in offices, public places and on trains or planes (we use it for transPacific flights). A 15-minute coffee break becomes a revitalizing and refocusing break if you do a quick 10-minute Qi Gong session. It is taught in public groups (MeetUp has Qi Gong groups in every city), in formal classes and online. Just about anyone can do it and, unlike most exercise classes, you can proceed at your own pace.
So what’s the catch? Most people who hesitate trying Qi Gong cite difficulty in finding a teacher or “master”. Many teachers try to make Qi Gong into a quasi-religious process in which you are indoctrinated into the Eastern philosophy that underpins Qi Gong. But, in our opinion, you don’t really need to find a “master” to master the basics of Qi Gong. Try it first — if you want to delve deeper, there a many on-line resources that can help you learn more about the philosophy and numerous intricacies of the practice. But we just love the movements, the meditation and the accessibility of it and strongly recommend that others try it. We aren’t alone.
One enterprising advocate of Qi Gong is a relatively accomplished movie actress and director named Musetta Vander. She has created a website dedicated to Qi Gong and alternative healing. As a public service, she’s uploaded some kick-ass beautiful short videos on a YouTube site at youtube.com/channel/UCuopjJVOD1iAxayqlVUDY3g. Musetta believes that the primary goal is to purge toxic emotions from within the body’s tissues, eliminate energetic stagnations, as well as strengthen and balance the internal organs and energetic fields. Her website is fully of good information but the videos posted at YouTube are outstanding. And did we mention they are free? Here’s one of the many videos posted at her site — the Sedona backdrop is almost as stunning as Musetta herself.
We love Musetta’s videos, but we’ve gone one step further and created a 35-minute compilation of some of Musetta’s free videos and set them to music that is a bit more “cool” (IOHO). It may help if you watch Musetta’s individual videos for the instruction, as we’ve edited out her monologue from this video compilation. You can watch it below.
We strongly recommend that you check out Musetta Vander’s Qi Gong instructional videos and her website. They are a wonderful introduction to the practice and power of Qi Gong and you can try it in the comfort of your own home, office, friends house, backyard, pool or just about anywhere else in the world. Get ready for one of the best “deals” on the Internet. We’ve not found any free online videos that rival what she has gifted to the public. But we’d love to hear about any that you think reach the high bar set by Musetta.
For those who are interested in learning more about the healing aspects of Qi Gong, Musetta’s Swimming Tiger website offers some useful information and resources. One concept to advanced in Qi Gong is that the heart of Qi Gong is the human heart. The traditional Chinese concept of the heart goes beyond the physical heart to encompass the shen or spirit. Opening the heart is seen as the gateway to the highest form of practice. In order to change the physical body at a deep level, there must be an opening of the heart. So perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing a Qi Gong teacher and practice is this ancient proverb: “When the student is ready, the master appears”. But to speed things along, use either Musetta’s resources or this Qi Gong medical site to find the teacher of your choice.