Dvivid wrote:Yeniseri - I think you might be confused.
"Hard" does not pertain to "difficulty". These are two distinct styles of qigong, and a form (such as Five Animals) is one or the other. Sometimes a sequence will have both soft and hard movements, or a style can be considered soft/hard, such as Xingyi and White Crane, where the body is entirely loose except at the moment of impact.
Hard qigong utilizes twisting the joints and tensing the muscles during the practice, in order to build the physical body. Muscular tension "traps" Qi into the bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles.
Soft qigong uses as little muscular tension as possible, to circulate Qi as abundantly as possible within the movement, and develop the energetic circulation. Soft, flowing, circular movements, while circulating through the four gates, increases the Qi circulation in the meridians and vessels, conditions the fascia, and clears blockages.
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