Why isn’t Qi Gong as well known as Yoga or Tai Chi?

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Of course there are several reasons for this, but I’m simply going to share my thoughts and perspective:

Qi Gong, the practice of cultivating Qi life-force energy, was secret and not taught to Westerners in the 1960s and ’70s when Yoga Adepts brought Yoga practices to the United States.  And when The Beatles began to meditate and take trips to India, the attention of the entire world was attracted to the benefits of these Self-Improvement practices.    The Oriental fighting arts of Tai Chi, Karate, and Gung Fu became popular around this time as well.  While studying Tai Chi in 1976 I began to hear of this thing called Qi Gong.   But when I asked my Tai Chi master, Don Ahn, about it and asked him to teach it to me, he replied, “It is not taught to non-Chinese people.”  So this ancient healing technique was not available to Westerners until sometime in the 1980s and it remained a well kept secret part of Chinese medicine practices.

So for the first part of my body/mind education I was limited to studying Yoga with Swami Vishnudevananda,    A bit later I expanded my studies with the instructors at the Levi/Shea Studio in New York City where they taught Yoga Based Exercises to realign the spine and improve flexibility as well as range of motion of the entire body.  I was motivated in this direction of exercise and fitness by back pain, and the desire to heal a birth defect that somewhat limited me.

In 1996 at the Florida School of Massage a teacher named Malik offered Qi Gong classes several mornings a week, so I started my studies.  He had studied with a master that healed himself from a debilitating car accident which left him badly injured and partially paralyzed.   The movements that Malik taught me were all performed while lying on the floor, so they are known as Tao Yin.   I still teach some of these exercises occasionally in my Monday evening class and practice them daily myself to aid in the prevention of back pain.  Several years later, I met and studied with Master Song Arun who taught me The Five Treasures.  After studying with him over a seven year period, he suggested that I teach, so here I am.

I love teaching Qigong and am happy to answer any of your questions and assist you in any way possible if you email me at allen@AshevilleQigong.com



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