Qigong practises vary greatly, but they typically involve slow, flowing movements, deep breathing, and a focused mind.
Celebrities like David Beckham, Manisha Koirala and Nargis Fakhri have embraced a 5,000-year-old Chinese practise for preserving mental and physical health – it’s called Qigong. Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is similar to Tai Chi and Yoga, but also has its own moves like ‘Walking on Clouds’ and ‘Pushing Mountains’. Every Qigong session includes movement, meditation and controlled breathing."Our physical body is made up of more than just muscles, bones and internal organs. ‘Qi’ is the life energy that animates our physical body. It is the universal Life Force that flows through all living things — life is impossible without it. A deceased person has no ‘Qi’’’ explains Sifu Shiv, chief instructor of India Qigong Academy & Chun Academy, India Wing. "Qigong" is the art and science of cultivating and strengthening one’s life force for overall health, strength and longevity. By bringing our bodies back into harmony with Nature, Qigong practises activate the body’s internal self-healing mechanism," says Sifu Shiv.
Qigong practises vary greatly, but they typically involve slow, flowing movements, deep breathing, and a focused mind. "Qigong is a moving and meditative art form. It is a coordinated system of body posture and movement, breathing,and meditation used for health, spirituality and martial-arts training," says Dr.Siddhant Bhargava, fitness and nutrition-al scientist, Co-Founder, Food Darzee, and Qigong practitioner."These practises are intended to pro-mote a sense of balance and harmony by improving overall health and well being.They reduce stress, improve circulation,strengthen the immune system, and improve mental clarity," he adds.
Qigong can be used as a complementary therapy or a form of exercise. "While both Qigong and Yoga have grown inrecognition for their health benefits, they should not be confused with each other. Each has its own approach, philosophy and tech-niques," he emphasizes.
TYPES OF QIGONG
"Active Qigong workouts emphasise body movements, particularly those of the arms and legs. Passive Qigong workouts require almost no body movement and instead concentrate on mind and breath exercises. Qigong works wonders for improving balance and mental focus, and lowering stress and anxiety. Even a fewminutes per day has enormous benefits. It makes you feel stronger and more refreshed. Practise Qigong when the environment is calm and peaceful. You shouldbe prepared to unwind a tense mind," says Sonia Bakshi, Qigong practitioner and nutritionist and founder Dance to Fitness(DtF) . Qigong fall into three categories: Medical Qigong – for self-healing andthe healing of others. Qigong Martial – for physical prowess. Spiritual Qigong – for enlightenment.
"We can live a healthier, more vibrant life by training our bodies from the inside out. Exercise not only releases endorphins that help relieve stress and fight anxiety and depression, but it also improves mood and day-to-day performance, and makes one feel more energetic," says Drishti Chhabria, Chief Experience Officer &Master Franchisee India, Orange theory Fitness, adding, "The benefits of exercise and instilling a mind-body connection will help improve overall body functions spanning the nervous system, immune system and endocrine system."
TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN
Along with physical fitness, longevity,mental clarity and stress reduction are all emphasised in ancient Chinese exercise systems. Dr. Manan Vora, an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in sports medicine, feels the simplicity of the exercisesis part of what makes Qigong so effective.It can assist in retraining the body to per-form small detailed movements that may have been lost over time as a result of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, previous injury, or years of doing repetitive motions such as computer work or operating machinery.