I’m now teaching a qi gong class every Sunday morning at 8 a.m. in Ohlone Park. Come join us! The first class is always free, so you can come experience and see if you enjoy. After that it’s $20 per class individually, or ten classes for $100 paid in advance. You can just come show up or you can sign up here on our Meetup page.
I started this class because I found myself recommending qi gong for my patients, but many of them live too far from Oakland to attend classes with my teacher, Dr. Alex Feng.
What is qi gong? Qi Gong 气功 translates as “qi work” and is generally a series of slow, gentle movements designed to bring your body into alignment and coordinate the subtle energy flow of your body (qi gong goes by many names – it’s also been called Nei Dan 内丹, Nei Gong 内功, Dao Yin 导引, and many other things). Although it may look similar to Tai Ji Quan, it is not a martial art. There are hundreds of varieties of qi gong, each with different movements, emphasis and philosophy, but they all fall into three categories: medical, martial, and spiritual.
Martial qi gong is designed to increase your vital energy in specific ways that help you become a better fighter – more energy for training, quicker recovery times and so on. Some people used to claim that you could even become immune to knives and bullets by doing martial qi gong, but I haven’t seen this demonstrated successfully.
Spiritual qi gong is designed to bring you into closer harmonic vibration with spiritual energy, and is used by some Buddhist and Daoist sects to further the journey towards enlightenment and immortality.
Medical qi gong is very practical and has no attachment to spiritual or martial goals. Many studies have been done confirming the medical value of qigong, including its effect on high blood pressure, cancer, and many other ailments.
There’s a lot more going on in this video than can be explained here. I made the video so you can get an idea of the movements, and so current students can refresh their memory. I learned this particular set of qi gong from Master Yang Fukui, when I was studying at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York. It’s excellent for the spine, the shoulders, the lower back, general leg strength and balance. Come join us at the west end of Ohlone Park near Sacramento Ave, just across from the North Berkeley BART station, 8 a.m. on Sundays.