I spent 4 days at a qigong workshop and really enjoyed it. The emphasis was on the healing aspects of qigong but I want to talk about the exercise benefits. From watching us move through the forms you wouldn’t think it was much exercise, but you would be wrong. The movements are slow which takes a lot of control. Your arms are held out at either chest height or above your head for an extended period of time, which takes a lot of endurance. Our instructor joked about how big guys who spend a lot of time working out have a hard time keeping their arms up. Working through the forms of qigong will help you build up your endurance and work on muscles that you don’t normally pay attention to.
The other great benefit of qigong as exercise is that just about anybody can do it. Older people can do it because it isn’t overly strenuous. Our class had a couple people with wheelchairs and canes. While they couldn’t do the forms while standing up, they could sit and do the forms with their upper bodies and still get some of the benefits.
For more information about the form of qigong that I was learning, go to www.qigong.com.
There is another online qigong program called ChiFusion that I have started with and I like it a lot. I like their teaching style and how they use text descriptions, pictures, and videos to give you a really good idea for how the poses should feel. They stress how the movements should feel to enhance the benefits. From this perspective, this program is better than a live training.