COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

DRAGON AND TIGER QIGONG  

Rooted in Daoism and Buddhism, this gentle qigong is the easiest complete qigong to learn, and teaches the practitioner to recognize and cultivate qi, or life energy. Each of its seven movements targets a specific TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) organ system or qigong energy pathway. Harmonizing movement, breath, and awareness, it deepens body-mind-spirit integration, reduces stress, increases energy, improves circulation and flexibility, and enhances physical and emotional balance. By stimulating qi flow through the meridians of the energy body (referred to as the aura or auric body in Western traditions), more qi moves within the related acupuncture meridians to promote deep healing and wellness.

Expected Benefits of Dragon and Tiger
On a physical level, the movements stretch muscles and tendons and mobilize joints to release tension, stress and relieve pain. Energetically, by learning to feel and then work at the perimeter of the energy body, the practitioner quickly develops a sense of qi moving through the associated acupuncture meridians or channels corresponding to each movement.  

Each movement either builds qi or dredges (clears) a channel to discharge stagnant qi. The immediate effect is both energizing and calming. Through increasing qi and clearing stagnation, overall health and  physical performance are improved, and many diseases may be prevented or reversed. The ability to absorb and emit qi through the hands is introduced, and may be further developed as one advances in the Dragon and Tiger practice.

Similar to taiji (tai chi), Dragon and Tiger is simpler to do and easier to remember. In China, Dragon and Tiger has been used to treat cancer and other degenerative diseases.

OPENING THE ENERGY GATES OF YOUR BODY


This foundational course teaches the focus of awareness to safely, consciously control the flow of qi throughout the body. By learning to use the mind to work deeply inside the whole body at increasingly more subtle levels, the practitioner becomes able to relieve stress-related illnesses, heal many chronic joint problems, maximize movement capacity and energy levels, and deepen meditation.

Included are an introduction to basic Daoist breathing techniques and inwardly-focused exercises which harmonize and balance the qi, energize and strengthen the internal organs and adjust and stabilize internal alignments.

Standing Practice
This core neigong (inner practice), often called a standing meditation, trains the mind to first perceive and then clear energy blockages from the physical and energy body, and is a preparation for deeper meditation. This practice includes the clearing and opening of specific points, or energy gates, along the primary energy matrix of the body. Some of these gates coincide with acupuncture points, while others are unique to qigong.

Cloud Hands
Possibly the best single movement exercise for overall health, Cloud Hands will integrate yin and yang energies, open the physical body, and introduce the alignments and major movements of taiji (tai chi) while developing a strong ability to root.

Daoist Spine Stretch
This unique spine stretch will help relax all the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders and relieve spinal tension and back pain, while teaching control over the release of each vertebra individually.

3 Arm Swings
Three exercises to relax your arms, legs, and torso while energizing each major region of your body delineated by the sanjiao, or three burners. Each arm swing addresses one of the three burners.

TAIJI INTRODUCTORY PRACTICES
This course includes taiji circling hands (see below), rooting and grounding exercises, taiji warm-up exercises, basic taiji principles, and simple gongfu (power-building) practices. Participants will benefit by taking this as a stand-alone class, as an introduction to taiji, or as a complement to their taiji study and practice.

TAIJI CIRCLING HANDS


In its most basic form, Taiji Circling Hands is a very simple single-movement qigong exercise. Its gentle circular pattern effectively releases tension from the spine and nervous system, producing a calm, focused awareness while relieving various joint and spine aches. Working with the breath is included to massage the internal organs, promote smoothness, and encourage qi flow.

The simplicity of the basic movement makes it the perfect template for gradually layering in deeper components of more advanced qigong, neigong (inner practice) and taiji without the distraction of a complex choreography. Some of these components include body alignments and internal connections, pulsing of the joints and body cavities, bending and bowing the spine, stretching and wrapping of body tissues, activating various currents of qi flow within the body (including the microcosmic orbit), and projecting qi into and absorbing qi from the immediate environment.

Variations on the basic circling hands pattern include all of the circling movements found in taiji. If you already practice taiji, this will facilitate your ability to put those circles into your taiji form, regardless of the style of taiji you practice. Taiji Circling Hands is an excellent form for beginners, and may be used as a stand-alone qigong practice, as preparation or support for more advanced qigongs such as The Marriage of Heaven and Earth, as an introduction to taiji, or as an enhancement to your current taiji practice. 

THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND EARTH QIGONG


The Marriage of Heaven and Earth is a simple yet powerful wood element qigong used in China to help heal back, neck, shoulder, and neuromuscular problems. It incorporates basic Daoist breathing principles, and its many internal processes include the stretching of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the bending and bowing of the spine, the opening and closing of joints and body cavities without using muscles, and increasing the ability to absorb and emit qi through the hands. By working with both the microcosmic and macrocosmic orbits, it helps coordinate the ascending and descending qi flows and harmonizes yin and yang energies. This core longevity practice dramatically increases qi flow through the body.

It is recommended that this qigong is studied after Dragon and Tiger and Opening the Energy Gates have been learned, although that is not an absolute requirement.

GODS PLAYING IN THE CLOUDS

This is one of the oldest of all the Daoist qigongs. It’s a very powerful rejuvenation method, and contains and integrates much of the material found in Dragon and Tiger, Energy Gates, The Marriage of Heaven and Earth, and other qigongs. Even if you haven’t learned those other qigong practices, the six-movement Gods set will help make your body stronger, increase energy levels, help to heal joint and back problems, improve mental clarity, and enhance your awareness of energy flows both inside and outside of your physical body. Traditionally, Gods is used as a bridge between qigong and Daoist meditation.

It is recommended that this qigong is studied after Dragon and Tiger, Opening the Energy Gates, and The Marriage of Heaven and Earth Qigong have been learned, although that is not a requirement.

THE WU STYLE TAIJI SHORT FORM


Originally developed as a martial art over 700 years ago, taiji attracts increasingly large numbers of practitioners because of its superb health benefits. Wu style, which was developed from the better-known Yang style, is a small frame style whose movements stimulate qi flow through the energy pathways contained within the physical body. For that reason, many consider it to be the best form to promote overall health, and is especially good for healing back problems.

This 16 movement short form sequence, taken from the Wu style long form and developed by Master B.K. Frantzis, takes just a few minutes to perform. It is designed to help you achieve calmness, flexibility, coordination, balance, strength and stamina. The martial aspects of Wu taiji may be introduced to interested students to promote a better understanding of the form once the basics have been learned.

DAOIST BREATHING FOR HEALTH AND LONGEVITY


Breath is fundamental to life, and to the practice of all qigongs, as well as to many styles of yoga, meditation, and other spiritual practices. Based on the Daoist longevity classics, the focus of this course is on the secular aspects of breathing, that of improving health and increasing longevity.  

Daoist Breathing increases breathing capacity and relaxes the nervous system to decrease stress. By learning to use the breath to gently pressurize, massage, cleanse and nourish the internal organs, physical stamina is improved, mental focus and clarity are enhanced, and overall health and vitality are increased. Basic energetic and emotional considerations associated with breath are included in this course.

DAOIST YOGA

Based on the teachings of Master Hong Liu, this course presents eight exercises that combine the stretching and movements similar to more familiar styles of yoga for increased flexibility, balance, and strength with the breathing techniques and induction of qi through acupuncture meridians used in qigong for healing, inner peace, and more energy.

Each of the first six exercises addresses one of the six pairs of yin and yang organs and their related meridians, or energy pathways. The seventh and eighth exercises focus on the Ren (Conception) and Du (Governing) meridians. Accompanying Chinese medical theory is included for each exercise to give you an understanding of the Daoist perspective of the health benefits derived from them.

The exercises are easy enough for anyone to do, and are suitable for all ages and levels of experience. This basic medical qigong series stands alone as it is, and is preparation for more advanced practices which may be studied later.

CHINESE SELF-CARE EXERCISES FOR HEALTH AND LONGEVITY

 

While most familiar western exercises are designed to build muscle strength, flexibility, or increase aerobic capacity, these Chinese exercises build health and longevity by increasing the openness and functionality of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, the spine, internal organs, glands, and meridian pathways. The exercises stimulate the qi to directly address the targeted body part.

Some of these exercises focus on a very specific part of the body, while others influence the entire body at once. They may involve stretches, self-massage, vibration, patting and tapping techniques, simple repetitive movements, and other methods, singly or in combination, to produce their results. Over time, you will learn to select and combine the exercises that best address your personal health goals. Some theory will be included to give you a better understanding of how each exercise works.

The exercises are simple and gentle enough to be practiced by anyone. They may be practiced alone to produce their many health benefits and enhance overall well-being, and may also be used as warmup exercises for qigong, taiji, or other practices.

PRACTICAL CONCEPTS IN LONGEVITY
Simple Steps To Extend The Healthy Years Of Your Life.

Daoist masters throughout the millennia have asserted that “if you die before 120 years, you die too soon”. Modern scientific research has determined the same thing: we are genetically designed to live at least 120 years. Even though we are moving closer to achieving that longevity, few of us will realistically be able to attain that goal unless we are willing to make a few simple changes in our lives.

This one day course presents some ancient methods for extending the healthy years of your life, as well as providing an understanding of how and why those methods work. Additionally, you’ll learn about the most widely accepted modern theories regarding aging, and what contemporary science has to offer right now to help you stay younger and healthier far longer than you may have thought possible.

Topics include:
• BREATHING. The importance of oxygen in reducing disease and increasing energy; how to breathe more efficiently; breath and stress reduction.
• SELF CARE EXERCISES. Rejuvenation exercises addressing the spine, muscles, sense organs, internal organs, glands, and meridians; the role of taiji and qigong in rebalancing the body’s bioelectric and biomagnetic fields.
• DIET. Common sense approaches to a healthier diet; the role of fasting in detoxification and life extension; the use of herbs, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals; maintaining the proper acid/alkaline balance.
• WATER. How to make sure you get enough of the right kind of water every day; the role of dehydration in aging.
• MODERN THEORIES OF AGING. The genetics of aging; scientifically acknowledged causes of aging and the special nutrients that address them; the unique challenges of modern life: stress, pollution, EMF exposure, and trends towards isolation and alienation. • • PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER. Guidance on how to most simply incorporate these changes into your life, one step at a time, in ways that will work best for you.

“If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.” --Confucius

 

LECTURES

Understanding Qigong

Qigong (chi kung), loosely translated as “energy work”, is powerful method of building health, vitality and longevity developed in China over 3,000 years ago. This course is designed to demystify this ancient and increasingly popular practice, to help Westerners get a genuine understanding what qigong is and learn how it can enhance their life. Contemporary scientific and medical information will be presented to provide a more familiar frame of reference than is commonly taught in qigong classes, and will support the traditional explanations of how and why qigong works.

Topics include:
• qigong defined and how it is practiced
• how qigong relates to taiji (tai chi) and meditation
• how qigong is different than yoga, sports, and exercise
• special applications: longevity, martial, medical, high performance, spiritual
• contemporary science and the benefits of qigong

Although this class is primarily in lecture format, a few qigong styles will be demonstrated, and you will learn a simple qigong practice to help you have a direct experience of qi, or vital life energy. Ample time will be allotted for questions.

This class is suitable for all ages and levels of experience, including first-timers who are simply curious.

Understanding Chinese Medicine

This lecture is designed for anyone interested in learning more about Chinese medicine, what it is, and how it works. Topics include:
• The Concepts of Qi, Yin and Yang
• Chinese Diagnostic Methods: Tongue, Pulses, Organ Patterns
• Acupuncture: Meridians, Points, Needles
• Herbal Medicine: Characterisitcs of Chinese Herbs, Putting Together An Herbal Formula
• Qigong: Qigong Defined, Qigong as a Branch of Chinese Medicine
• Diet and Chinese Medicine
• What to Expect On a First Visit to a Chinese Physician

Whether you have had no previous experience with Chinese medicine or you regularly receive Chinese medical treatments and have done some research on the subject, you will come away from this lecture with a deeper understanding of the richness, elegance, and effectiveness of this remarkable medical system.

 





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