“Q” Challenge: Qigong

Scrub Jay Qigong
Scrub Jay Qigong, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

mastery of awareness
perfectly balanced

Qi (or chi – pronounced “chee”) is frequently translated as life energy, life force, or energy flow.  Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts.

Gong (or kung; gung – pronounced “gung”) is often translated as cultivation or work.

Qigong (pronounced “chee gung”) refers to the cultivation and balance of life energy, especially for health.  It focuses on breath, movement and awareness.

Qigong (and tai chi, with which you may be more familiar) is a traditional Chinese exercise.  It is a form of gentle exercise involving movements that are typically repeated, composed of strengthening and stretching the body, increasing fluid movement, enhancing balance and building awareness of how the body moves through space.  It is based on two ideas:

  • Qi flows through the body along “energy pathways” called meridians. If the flow of qi is blocked or unbalanced at any point along the pathway, it is thought that you may become ill. Doing qi gong (or tai chi) increases energy flow and improves health through gentle, graceful, repeated movements.
  • Nature, including the body, consists of opposing forces called yin and yang. Good health results when these forces are in balance. Qi gong (or tai chi) movements attempt to help restore the body’s balance of yin and yang.

Some believe that as a complement to Western medicine, qigong can help the body heal itself.

(Sources: WebMD and Wikipedia)

Notice the scrub jay in the photo above.  He is perfectly balanced at the top of a 35+ feet tall tree with his right leg, and is holding his left leg steady, as if he is doing a qigong movement!  He also has a deformed left foot, which doesn’t seem to hold him back much. (Click here to see another photo of this same bird.)

Also, seeing his pose reminded me of the original 1984 “Karate Kid” movie, when Daniel was learning an important life lesson about balance.  (See image at the Wikipedia link here.)  In reality, this bird was just waiting for me to put out some peanuts for his daily treat!


Examples of qigong health benefits:

Have you tried qigong (or tai chi)?  If so, what are your experiences?

This is for the letter “Q” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.

Linking up with:

80 responses to ““Q” Challenge: Qigong

  1. Have ‘done’ qigong for over a decade [well, tried to!] – not at all surprised a bird not ‘brought up’ in the Western manner finds this a most natural position . . .

  2. Great capture of the jay, so perfectly balanced. It’s amazing that some animals are able to adapt to life with an injury or deformity. The haiku is lovely.

  3. He’s a lovely litttle fellow! I’m off to my twice weekly t’ai chi class in an hour or so. I know I should practise daily, and I did once (before blogging took over my life). I’ve been going to classes for 5 years or so. I’m not sure if they help in a health-related way but I do miss them if I don’t go.

    • Thank you, restlessjo! That’s great you get to your tai chi class twice weekly. If you miss it when you don’t go, then perhaps it is helping in the long term in ways that are not noticeable now. I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

  4. What a wonderful message!
    Exceptional haiku & image. That little guy is a great poser! [even if he is waiting for a little reward!]
    [I haven’t tried Qigong but I am learning kriya yoga breathing and I’m aware of the healing benefits of …breathing!]

    • Thank you so much, Marina! Yes, I love their poses. They actually have been more amusing lately, probably because they are excited about those daily treats.
      Yoga, qigong, tai chi, breathing, etc…it’s all good! 🙂

  5. Such an important ‘message’ both from you and the Scrub Jay! I will share. (I know I am sick right now because I have been so off-balance lately … the body, the mind, the spirit certainly do remind us what we are doing ‘wrong’ and ‘right’. (And nature certainly does that too). Then, sometimes, we are just waiting for ‘peanuts’! XO

    • Thank you for the nice comment and for sharing the post, Diane! I’m sorry to hear you are/were sick. I hope you are healed, and that you are able to get you body/mind/spirit back in balance.

  6. Most photographers get frustrated with their models. You, geez, it must be difficult to photograph your subject. You do it so well. You make it looks so easy. The pose of the bird is phenomenal. I guess with nature, it’s okay to find even difficulty if the result is always beauty.

    • Thank you so much, Rommel! You have such nice compliments! I was so pleased to get this shot. It’s difficult to get good shots, but these scrub jays are so full of personality while they are waiting, asking for and accepting their treats, that I have taken many, many photos of them.

Thanks so much for your comments!

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