Welcome to the MIT Qigong Blog

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Qigong Workshop at ZS Associates

ZSpace article on ZS Qigong session
If you have watched the computer-animated action comedy martial arts film called Kung Fu Panda, you have probably heard of Qi (pronounced “CHEE”) and how Master Shifu uses “Qi” to create nerve-based attacks, heal living beings and grow flora. Just this past week, ZSers at San Francisco office had the firsthand opportunity to practice, cultivate and balance Qi at the Qigong wellness session led by our own ZS manager, David Weingest.
With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, Qigong (simplified Chinese: 气功) is an internal Chinese meditative exercise which uses slow graceful movements and controlled breathing techniques to enhance a practitioner's overall health. It has more than 10,000 styles, and 200 million people practicing worldwide. It combines dynamic, static and meditation practices that resemble yoga and tai-chi.

To kick-off the Qigong session, David gave us a brief background about Qigong and how he got involved back when he was in MIT. Then, we were divided into two rows to give each other some rooms to open our arms outwards. First, David taught us the most fundamental poses with controlled breathing techniques. This was followed by a few other movements such as Low post, Turning cow, and Crane. My favorite one was the “Gathering Qi”. It is a movement where you raise your arms outward and inhale to gather Qi, and exhale as you return your arms back to dan tien (belly button) to complete one full movement cycle. In our day and day busy work life as consultants, this is such a simple internal exercise that can be done anywhere whether it is at your workstation or hotel room. After completing a few cycles of these movements to center mind and body, I could already feel the serenity yet focused concentration – so ready to take on new challenges, presentations and meetings!
We ended the session with a series of “washing” movements, which is said to have the effect to clean up the mind and wash the marrow. First we rubbed our hands together (to build a little friction and warmth) and washed our face 3 times. This is followed by rubbing (wash) your hands and patting the top and sides of your head from front to back (also 3 times). Then we did the same washing and patting steps to our legs. Lastly, David shared with us a few resources to learn more about Qigong – 1) his archived blog at http://mitqigong.blogspot.com and 2) a book by Russell Simmons on the benefits of meditation. In the end, we didn’t heal living beings or grow flora, the session was energizing and nourishing both physically and mentally!