Qigong theory can be very complex (and sometimes people feel the need to make it overly so). On a basic level Qigong works with the body, the breath, and the mind. The exercises stimulate and circulate the energy of the body. Practice clears energy blockages and stagnation, which lets the Qi circulate freely. This promotes healing and good health. As the body becomes more balanced and starts to function at a higher level, the systems of the body start to undergo an “upgrade”. This allows the body to operate at an even higher level of performance and energy.
There are three theories for Qigong practice that are essential for the beginner to understand. They are: The Three Regulations, Natural and Relaxed, and Consistent Practice. Lets go over them now.
1 – Three Regulations
The Three Regulations are essential for proper Qigong training and practice. Although this sounds very official and technical, you will see that the three regulations are in fact guideposts to be aware of to make sure that you are practicing correctly.
Regulate the Posture
As you practice Qigong you must be aware of your body. The exercises work to stimulate circulation of Qi and blood in the body. To do this in the most effective manner, you must be aware of your posture and movements and make sure they are correct. Incorrect posture can have an adverse effect of the body and the health. The correct posture allows for the full use and training of the body and for the optimal circulation of Qi and Blood.
Regulate the Breath
The Qigong practitioner should be mindful of their breathing. Some Qigong exercises even call for the synchronization of the physical movements with the breathing.It is important to remember that the breath should never be forced or strained. Relaxed and natural breathing is one of the most fundamental ways to cultivate Qi and it can be used to stimulate and strengthen the body. While proper breathing promotes relaxation and vibrant energy, improper breathing can create tension and stagnation so it is important for the Qigong practitioner to be mindful of their breathing.
Regulate the Mind
Qigong is an exercise for the body, energy, and mind. It is important to be mindful of your practice. Some exercises may have additional aspects of mental concentration beyond general mindfulness as well. Being mindful of what you are doing as you practice is essential. During Qigong practice you should not be tuned out or day dreaming.
These three regulations cover the three aspects of our being: body, breath, and mind. During the day a person may have a disharmony of these three aspects. The disharmony keeps the energy and the body from working as well as it could be. Through Qigong practice we learn to bring these aspects into harmony. This allows the body to function more efficiently and is one aspect of improving health and well being. With continued practice the lessons of harmony can be carried over into what we call daily life (times when we are not practicing Qigong).
2 – Natural and Relaxed
Qigong practice should be natural and relaxed. It is not forced and should not strain the practitioner in any way. The body is never forced into a position that causes damage or strains the tendons, joints, or muscles. The breath is never strained and also, although the mind is concentrated during practice, it is not overly so.Nothing is ever forced during practice. This allows for correct and continued development over time.
3 – Consistent Practice
Consistent practice is the key to obtaining results from Qigong. Qigong practice can be gentle, which is the complete opposite of what people classify as exercise in the western world. The benefits of Qigong come with consistent practice over time. The practice can change the body and energy in subtle ways, making it healthier and stronger gradually. Consistent practice can help alleviate stress and tension, keep the joints strong and healthy, and build up the constitution.