Qi Gong is a term that describes a very complex and diverse tradition of spiritual, martial and health exercises from China. An underlying premise in these systems was that of Qi, defined as breath, vital substance, or vital energy. Qi was believed to circulate externally in nature in its various manifestations such as weather, plants, animals, minerals, etc. Qi also was believed to circulate internally through rivers, valleys, and mountains of the body. The development of the concept of channels or pathways was based upon a more literal sense of the geography of the body that is still revealed in the traditional names of the acupuncture points. Health was based upon the free flow of the Qi through the channels. If the Qi became blocked, an area of the body then had too much (excess) and another had too little (deficiency).
Qi Gong exercises integrated these concepts into physical exercises that attempted to harmonize the yin and yang relationships in the body and to keep the Qi circulating freely. Currently, Qi Gong is very popular for its prevention of diseases and maintaining health or for healing existing conditions and recovering fully. The main active principals for Qi Gong exercises are breath, posture, movement, relaxation, and concentration/visualization.
Tai Chi is the ultimate exercise for all ages and all levels of fitness.It is a classical Chinese system of calisthenics, a form of self-defense and martial arts, a meditative discipline, and ultimately a spiritual path. Tai Chi is a slow, graceful, choreographed series of relaxed yet alert natural positions and movements. From the able-bodied to the disabled, we all can gain something from practicing these graceful movements. It takes dedication to learn the whole sequence of movements but once you feel comfortable doing them, the real magic begins. The positive changes take place within you immediately. Most people today refer Tai Chi as the source of life because it strengthens mental and physical well-being.
The existence of a universal energy or life force called ‘chi’ or Qi is the most important principle in Tai Chi. Qi flows through all things in nature, from the tiniest microbe to the greatest star. In the human body, the Qi flows through what is considered to be a collection of channels, also known as meridians. The brilliant physicians of ancient China mapped these out thousands of years ago. Some of these channels are large and flow through the major organs of the body and some are small capillary channels. The movements of Tai Chi are thought to enhance and expedite the journey of Qi throughout the channels in the body. Breath, awareness, relaxation, posture, movement, and yin-yang are six additional key principles in Tai Chi. Overall; Tai Chi will improve the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and soul.