If you are not practicing these disciplines now, you will need to set aside the requisite amount of time daily to engage in practice.  An hour a day is ideal for developing a practice and realizing an increase in health and wellness.  However, that may not be realistic depending on your schedule.  I recommend a minimum of twenty minutes a day if possible.  Better would be twenty-to-thirty minutes in the morning and twenty-to-thirty minutes in the afternoon.  Again, each of us is different and have various demands and obligations.  Design your personal practice within your own constraints.  Feel free to contact me for help in designing a personal system.

First of all, integrate some stretching into your routine.  For the purposes of preparing the physical body to interact with the energetic and spiritual bodies via Qigong, basic stretching that addresses all the joints and muscle groups works well.  While we don’t teach Shaolin Qigong here, that discipline is great for pre-stretching.  An example of basic Qigong stretching is here.  If you want to go further, Hatha, Ashtanga, and/or Yin Yoga integrate well into our system.  Again, you don’t need to be an acrobatic, pretzel-twist yogi.  Just enough to open the joints, stretch the connecting bands, and prepare the body for energy work.

Optimal Qigong training alternates between moving and static practice.  For example, do moving Qigong for 5-10 minutes, then do Wuji or Santi standing for 5-10 minutes.  After standing, do agility exercises for about 5 minutes.  Then do another 5-10 minutes of standing.  If you are doing advanced Qigong such as the Hunyuan Series, Primordial Qigong Form, or Taiji you may do these and integrate stillness into your routine.  In time you will develop comfort with longer periods of standing Qigong and will want to practice dedicated extended standing.  Twenty minutes of standing is optimal, but work up to that.  There is no need to be in a hurry, the destination is found in the journey.

Optimal time for sitting meditation is twenty minutes or more per session.  It often takes 5-10 minutes to settle the mind in sitting meditation, so it is advisable to allow for longer than 10 minutes per session.  Make the time for meditation.  The rewards are worth it.  Once you are sitting for twenty minutes per session on a daily basis, you may want to consider extended meditation a couple of times per week (an hour is ideal) for deeper insight and spiritual growth.

You may want to do Qigong practice (stillness and movement) in the morning and sitting meditation in the evening, vice versa, or mix them in one session (ideal).  Again, this depends on your personal schedule and amount of experience.  The key is to alternate static and moving practice but to do both.

Don’t try to do too much, too soon.  Remember, this is nurturing practice.  It’s supposed to be fun and enriching.  That being said, if you have been practicing for a while and want to start approaching deeper experiences, extend your practice.  While an hour a day is ideal for health and wellness; two hours a day is better and will eventually lead to serious physical, energetic and spiritual growth.

Above all remember, this is your practice, your Qigong.  While an open and inquisitive mind is a good thing, find the approach that works for you and practice accordingly.  And never, never forget Hakuna Matata.

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