Classes begin with warm-ups for flexibility and strength. The instructor introduces a few new exercises each week, stretching and activating different muscles and areas of the body, until the entire routine has been covered. The 64-movement Dayan Qigong form is the centerpiece of the teachings, and ample time is allowed for review and practice. The form is broken down into small segments, and movements from the previous week are repeated and checked, either one-on-one, or in small groups, before the introduction of new movements. Meditation techniques and acupressure self-massage are also introduced during the series. In most two-hour classes, you will be served green tea, a refreshing, healthy drink. During the break, students have the opportunity to talk with the instructors and other class members. Each student in the class is considered a member of a flock, which is in turn part of the wider qigong community centered at the Wen Wu School. For your comfort, wear clothing that allows you to bend and stretch, and if possible, eat at least an hour before class.
Frequently Asked Question
The Dayan Qigong practice has four components:
• Warm-up exercises for flexibility and strength
• The 64-movement sequence of the Wild Goose form
• Seated acupressure self-massage
• Three forms of meditation (sitting, standing, and walking)
Dayan Qigong has proven therapeutic effects on blood pressure regulation, heart and nervous system disorders, skin conditions, intestinal infections, insomnia and mental illness. It is also beneficial for post-stroke symptoms, muscular tension, chronic pain and fatigue, asthma, and overall stress and tension. It promotes longevity, and allows us to move through time with vitality, strength, flexibility, mental clarity and good health. The benefits accrue over time, and a regular practice can have a profound effect on health and overall wellbeing.
There are many different styles of qigong and tai chi. While both practices build and cultivate qi, tai chi is a martial art, and qigong is a healthcare practice. Qigong can be done from a seated position if necessary, and may be better suited to those with physical limitations or illness.
Qi (pronounced "chee") is the Chinese word for energy. It is the powerful, invisible life force that animates all living things. Like gravity, electricity or the wind, it is unseen, yet its effects are profound. According to Traditional Chinese medical theory, all unwanted conditions, whether physical, emotional, spiritual or mental, are due to a disruption or blockage in the flow of qi. Living a contented, healthy and long life thus depends on an unobstructed and abundant flow of qi.
Qigong is at least 4,000 years old. Throughout history Chinese people believed in the importance of a healthy mind and body, and the ancients explored ways of improving health, wellbeing and longevity. The resulting discoveries of the power of movement, meditation and breathing exercises became known as qigong. Qigong is a cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and many different styles evolved over the centuries. About 1,700 years ago, a priest named Dao An developed Dayan (Wild Goose) Qigong. Qigong (sometimes written as chi kung) is pronounced "chee gong." It means "to practice the qi." When practicing Dayan Qigong, the circulation of qi, or life force energy, nourishes, heals and sustains the whole being. Dayan Qigong is a set of 64 flowing movements that represent the daily rituals of the bird. Moving through the entire form takes around 15 minutes. It has been carefully structured to gather, build, distribute, and enhance the flow of qi. Dayan Qigong is a healthcare practice and not a religion.