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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pranayama and Qigong

Notes from Wikipedia:

Pranayama (Sanskrit: प्राणायाम prāṇāyāma) is a Sanskirt word meaning "extension of the prana or breath" or more accurately, "extension of the life force". The word is composed of two Sanskrit words, Prāna, life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath, and "āyāma", to extend, draw out, restrain, or control. 

Qigong or chi kung (气功) is the Chinese philosophy and practice of aligning breath, physical activity and awareness for mental, spiritual and corporeal health, as well as the development of human potential. The word is composed of two Chinese characters: qì (氣) and gōng (功). Qì is translated as "breathe", "air", "gas", but can also be used to describe the relationship between matter, energy and spirit. Gong (or kung) usually involves "force" or "power", with success implications like "achievement" and "results".

Prana is a subtle invisible force. It is the life-force that pervades the body. It is the factor that connects the body and the mind. The body and the mind have no direct connection. They are connected through Prana only.

Qi is the invisible force that gives life to all living matter. Only through developing the mind-body connection, can we gain awareness of qi and awaken the spirit.