YOQI: Qigong for Autumn
October 12, 2020
Autumn is the time of year when nature is letting go. Leaves are falling, earth is tilling and going inward preparing for winter. So it's a good time to support our own energy and fortify the immune system. Spiritually, it's a special time to ask ourselves who we are and release anything that is preventing us from expressing our authentic selves.
Release Anxiety, Stress and Tension with Qigong
August 17, 2020
One of the greatest contributions of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the understanding that the state of our health is linked to the state of our emotions. We intuitively know that stress, anger, worry, grief, and fear have a direct effect on our body and our perception of life. For example, fear-based emotions stimulate the release of one set of chemicals while love-based emotions release a different set of chemicals. To achieve harmony and wellbeing, a fundamental aspect of qigong training is to transform negative emotions into positive virtues.
Introducing New YMAA Author Marisa Cranfill
August 3, 2020
Marisa discovered Qigong as a student at Zhejiang University, China in 1999 through a local taiji chuan master. Since she has studied with many of the world’s top Qigong masters, some well-known and others off the grid. Marisa formally trained and is certified to teach with blessings from masters of two lineages of Qigong: Universal Healing Tao with Master Mantak Chia and Master Robert Peng.
Qigong for Summer – Transform Impatience and Anger into Patience and Compassion
June 17, 2020
Energetically, summer is also a powerful time for transforming energy. The element of summer is fire. In our body, fire connects to the heart fire that resonates the human force of unconditional love and acceptance. Therefore, many qigong practices for summer come from spiritual qigong traditions that focus on internal alchemy; the process of transforming and refining our vibration to its highest potential.
Qigong for Spring—Support the Liver and Expand Your Vision
June 1, 2020
Physically, spring qigong practices focus on the organs of the wood element: the liver and the gall bladder. The liver is the chief organ responsible for processing toxins in the body. One of the liver's main jobs is to store the blood and filter toxic wastes from the bloodstream. Another task is to produce many of the alkaline enzymes upon which immune response and other vital functions depend.
Let’s Act to Heal and to Prevent Future Pandemics - May 11, 2020
The cost of treating chronic illnesses in the United States accounts for 75 percent of the health-care budget. For the year 2009, when $2.5 trillion was spent on medical care overall, almost $1.9 trillion was allocated to the treatment of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancer; 70 percent of all deaths in America were attributable to these chronic illnesses.
How to Boost/Condition Your Immune System - April 28, 2020
We cannot deny that the immune system is a crucial key to longevity. Before antibiotics were discovered, many people died young. Only those whose immune systems were strong enough had a better chance of surviving the pathological challenges of nature. In ancient times, Chinese Daoist Qìgōng practitioners worked on developing ways to boost and maintain the immune system from within the body
The Scientific Foundation of the Ancient Chinese Secret of Youth - April 11, 2020
The most essential keys to longevity and anti-aging are rooted in your body’s ability to maintain a strong energetic center, which directly aids in the natural production of your body’s hormones. This center is comprised of two important energetic points—the brain and the gut—and they are connected by the spinal cord. It is imperative that you have a strong, uninhibited flow and quantity of Qì throughout this core energy system to maintain your health. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying theory, I will first give a brief background of traditional methods and findings, tie them into more modern scientific research, and then finally close with a look at practice techniques that I recommend for your regular training today.
The Coronavirus Crisis – A Time for Us to Awaken - April 6, 2020
The human body was made to move and to exercise. It is the reason we have so many different muscles and joints. At the most basic level, movement and exercise will help your blood move, facilitating nourishment, repair, and energy circulation (Qì) in all of your body’s cells. The body functions most efficiently when this circulation is happening, and it is the foundation for a strong immune system.
How to Cultivate Personal Power Amid the Coronavirus - March 30, 2020
Chinese Medicine focuses on preventing disease and illness from occurring. As Qi Gong practitioners, we view preventative medicine as true health care, because it is caring for our health while it is still… well, healthy.
Boost Your Immune System with Qigong - March 23, 2020
We need to be mindful of developing healthy habits such as washing out hands after touching things outside of the house, drinking more water, keeping distance from people, and wearing a proper mask when necessary. These are all very important actions and should be done routinely during these difficult times.
Practice Dao—Value Dao, The Treasure of the World - March 16, 2020
The Dao conceals myriad objects.’ This is just like the ancient saying: ‘The Great Dao in this universe is shapeless, and (in a state of) quietness and solitude. It can be the master of myriad objects and does not wither with the four seasons.’ It transcends this universe, independent, and goes beyond time and exists alone.
Was St. Valentine a Qi Master? - February 10, 2020
This was the question I asked myself as I sat in a cafe some 17 years ago. Saint Valentine is particularly close to my heart. In early 2002, I was studying for my acupuncture board exams, and I noticed an article about Saint Valentine in the local paper. It gave a brief recount of the Saint’s life that I found fascinating.
Dispensing Utilization-Returning to the Root - January 27, 2020
Nothingness is the origin of having. Nothingness and having are two, but one. They cannot exist without the other. The Dao is the one who initiates myriad objects from nothingness and also the one who returns myriad objects to their root, to nothingness.
2020: Enter the Rat! The First of the Twelve Chinese Zodiac Signs - January 20, 2020
The Chinese year 4718 begins on January 25, 2020. According to the Chinese zodiac it will be the Year of the Rat (鼠年 - “rat year”; pinyin: shǔnián). The Chinese calendar is lunisolar (not purely lunar). Months begin with the new moon (when it is darkest). New Year's Day usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. The year 1 on the Chinese calendar corresponds to the first reign year of the legendary Yellow Emperor (黃帝; pinyin: Huángdì), who is said to have invented the calendar during the 61st year of his reign.
Limiting the Use of War—Ways of Treating People, Translated and Interpreted - December 23, 2019
As a leader, your mind must be confident and firm and your spirit must be strong. However, you must also be humble enough to take counsel from others before your final decision. Advisors around a leader are crucially important. Often a wise leader is successful due to his humility and willingness to listen. A stubborn leader will usually fail.
How Can Qigong Cure Back Pain? - November 18, 2019
In Chinese medicine, the concept of qi is used both in diagnosis and treatment. A basic principle of Chinese medicine is that you have to rebalance the qi before you can cure the root of a disease. Only then can you also repair the physical damage and rebuild your physical strength and health.
Representations of the Mystery-Following the Laws, Translated and Interpreted - November 4, 2019
The Great Nature has countless cyclic patterns. Some of the patterns are near us and we can see or even experience them; for example, yearly, monthly, and daily cyclic changes due to the positions of the sun, earth, and the moon. All these changes are near us and immediately influence our body’s energy and activities. All these are considered as the De, the manifestation of the Dao. Then, what is the Dao? Is the Dao the spirit or God of nature? Since we don’t know too much about the Dao, it is still a huge mystery for us.
Moderating Desire—Self-Satisfaction Translated and Interpreted - September 9, 2019
When the world is ruled according to the Dao, then there is peace, calmness, and harmony. Then even the best horses are useless for battle and instead are used for carrying the dirt and manure on the farms. However, if the ruling of the world does not follow the Dao, even pregnant horses have to give birth on the battlefield.
Before Practicing Meridian Qigong Exercises - July 29, 2019
Before you begin practicing, there are a few points you should understand. These exercises are designed to be done in bed, and ideally, you’ll be able to memorize them so you can practice without the book or DVD. But at first, you’ll need the book or the video by your side. Before we start exercising, let me explain the benefits and the best time to practice.
YMAA Tai Chi and Internal Arts Curriculum - April 22, 2019
At YMAA, students learn qigong (energy cultivation) as part of their taiji or kung fu classes. In ancient times, Shaolin monks trained the cultivation of qi (energy), and realized muscular power could be enhanced to a tremendous level, making martial techniques more powerful and effective. This was the beginning of internal cultivation in Chinese martial arts, starting around 550 AD /CE. In internal styles, YMAA focuses mainly on traditional Yang-style taijiquan which originated from Yang, Ban-Hou (楊班候).
Subtle Clarity—Yin and Yang Lao Tzu, Translation and Commentary - February 25, 2019
It is clear that in order to expand something, it must first shrink. It is the same when you want to weaken it: first you should strengthen it. In order to reduce it, you must first build it up. Also, in order to take it, first you must give. This is the theory of yin and yang, which always balance each other.
Think of Beginning—Advance Gradually Lao Tzu, Translation and Commentary - January 6, 2019
The Nature has always developed gradually. For those who are cultivating the Dao, the final goal is "doing without doing" (wuwei, 無為). However, to reach this level, you must begin with the easy and small. Only after you are able to take care of easy and small matters should you then gradually advance into more difficult and bigger matters.
The Hero and the Warrior - December 31, 2018
My favorite quote from the movie Skyfall occurs when secret agent James Bond meets his new quartermaster, Q, the designer of his spy tech and furrowed brow to many of his boyish antics: "I'll hazard I can do more damage on my laptop sitting in my pajamas before my first cup of Earl Grey than you can do in a year in the field," quips Q. "Oh, so why do you need me?" Bond replies. "Every now and then a trigger has to be pulled," Q states. Bond smiles. "Or not pulled. It's hard to know which in your pajamas."
Anatomy of a Warrior Spirit - December 23, 2018
Martial artists are, by definition, warriors. True warriors have warrior spirit. In martial arts, as in life, there are some people who are successful, and some people who are not. The most successful people are imbued with a warrior spirit, known in the Chinese tradition as Yi. Warrior spirit has nothing to do with fighting or aggression, even though skilled fighters often have a well-developed warrior spirit. On the contrary, warrior spirit is about having the wherewithal to resolve conflict or avoid it altogether, and most of all to muster the internal fortitude requisite to the process of mastering yourself.