You surely know that moment early in the morning.
You wake up and stretch your body whilst letting a hearty sound of yawning or moaning fill the room and enjoying the relieving feeling.
Most probably, you don’t think “I should lift my arms up at an angle of 78 degrees, then turn my torso in a counter-clockwise direction to stretch my latissimus and re-align my c4 vertebra. Hmm, what sound would be appropriate this morning? Should I use a loud ‘Huaaaa’ sound or rather a rumbling ‘Hrmm’?”
Nope. You just do what your body wants.
We’re rarely in this natural state of being. Most of the time, our rational mind and behavioural patterns would suppress any kind of spontaneity.
But often our body and sub-conscious mind would know so much better what’s good for us.
If only there was a way to make use of this natural way of action and to follow what your gut feeling is trying to tell you.
Actually there is one, and it’s called “Qi Flow”.
So, what does “Qi Flow” mean?
It may just mean the regular energy flow that every living being has. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, life is a constant exchange of energy with the surroundings, or more precisely, a transformation of cosmic energy and nutritional energy into the vital force we need to keep all our systems working. The aim of all therapeutic efforts in TCM, including Qi Gong, is to clear dis-balance and blockages to assure smooth energy flow in our body.
In our school, “Qi Flow” has an additional meaning.
It refers to a special Qi Gong skill that enhances the effectiveness of the practice by a big margin and builds the foundation for many further skills to be learnt later on.
What a pity that most practitioners never get in touch with this extraordinary method, but also a luck for students of our worldwide school where “Qi Flow” plays a central role in everything we practice.
For us, the classical exercises, like the “18 Lohan Hands”, are an enjoyable part of our practice but they are just a means to an end. Their purpose is to generate good energy flow. And once the energy is flowing well we let go and allow the energy to flow freely and work for our best benefit.
We just relax and may find our body swaying or moving about, as the strong energy flow may manifest outwardly in physical movement. It’s an outward expression of internal processes.
I know this may sound odd at first glance, because we’re so used to being controlled all the time, avoid to misbehave or do strange things we don’t understand.
But the purpose of our Qi Gong practice is to let go of tension, release pain and pent-up emotions, clear negative thought patterns and cultivate our soul. Expecting these transformational effects from a simple activity you can do on your own is extraordinary by itself. Therefore, we should be ready to look beyond our own nose and accept that its deepest kind of practice is way different than what we’re used to.
A “Qi Flow” may combine the effects of visiting at a chiropractic, getting a massage, a session with a psychotherapist and the spiritual teacher of your choice. It allows you to get in touch you’re your inner self and resembles a retreat for holistic health and well-being within just 10 to 15 minutes, which you can enjoy every day.
It’s the number one tool that makes our practice so overwhelmingly effective and cost-efficient.
Just follow the flow!
A classical expression for the spontaneous Qi-movements is “Flowing Breeze Swaying Willows” and this is what it may feel like when we find ourselves gently swaying and enjoying the energy’s work.
One of my students described the feeling as if being a coral at sea bottom being gently pushed and pulled by the tide.
Another one experienced it like drifting in space. Others describe it as if a magnetic field makes their body move about.
While not everyone finds such picturesque descriptions of “Qi Flow”, everyone will agree that it is pure pleasure and very effective.
When watching one of our classes, people could wrongly believe that our practitioners are intoxicated or in trance when they stumble about, stomp their feet, lay on the floor or make funny noises.
But what we do is vastly different. We have the control but we allow the energy to flow freely and make our body move if necessary. We can stop anytime, which can’t be done when drunk.
"Self-manifested Qi-movements" can be quite vigorous at times, but they provide so much relief.
Only few Qi Gong practitioners, including teachers, know of this rare ability and even less can use the skill at will. No wonder that hardly anyone is able to teach it to you.
When searching for videos on Qi Gong healing, where therapists channel energy into a client, you may come across some interesting spontaneous reactions in the receiver’s body. This is what we call self-manifested Qi-movements, though the difference is that we learn to induce them all by ourselves without the need of external aid.
While my explanation at the beginning of this article is the nearest equation of what you may have experienced in everyday life to “Qi Flow”, another analogy is dancing, especially intuitive dancing where people allow their body to move spontaneously.
Immersed with the music you let your body follow the flow of the rhythm and melody.
As we practice Qi Gong in silence, the involuntary movements during “Qi Flow” are the natural dance of your internal energy flow.
This whole article is an attempt similar to explaining how an orange tastes or how a song sounds by using words. (Same as in my article "What does Qi feel like?")
Also, I don’t expect you to take my words for granted.
Nevertheless, I hope I’ve sparked your curiosity and inspired you to learn this precious skill.
Trust me at least on this, once you’re able to generate “Qi Flow” by yourself you will not want to miss this beautiful experience and the wondrous effects it has to offer.
The only way to really acknowledge it is by practical experience and the aim of all our Shaolin Wahnam instructors is to help you get in touch with your internal energy flow.
My foundational in-person courses, as well as my online course “The Essence of Qi Gong” will provide you with all the necessary things you need to develop “Qi Flow” and therefore practice Qi Gong in a uniquely powerful way.
In another article, I’m going to write about various types and functions of spontaneous Qi-movements. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter to receive a lot of interesting information right into your inbox.
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