The exercises now known as Qigong (pronounced “chee gung”) originated several thousand years ago through a collaboration of practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, philosophers and martial artists. The goal of these exercises was to help individuals enhance their ability to survive and function more successfully by increasing their stores of energy.
The term Qigong combines the words Qi — the energy derived from eating food and breathing — and Gong — to put in effort over time or exercise. Scientists now know that to develop this energy and the endurance necessary to function better for longer periods of time, we need to practice both eating well and exercising.
Qigong is designed to improve your functional abilities by engaging all six hundred muscles and 230 joints associated with actively participating in the world. Unlike walking, running and riding bikes — which are generally performed in only one direction (forward) — the functional exercises of Qigong, work all the muscles and joints of your body in multiple directions.
The types of exercises performed in Qigong are derived from observing nature. More specifically, by watching animals such as the horse, the tiger, the bear, the crane and even the turtle. By moving like these animals, you’ll engage in activities that challenge your functional fitness, coordination and dynamic balance as you move in all directions using multiple muscle groups.
Aurora offers instruction in the practice of Qigong exercises through a course called "Tai Chi Fundamentals." The course trains participants in the fundamental movements of Tai Chi and Qigong and is open to the public.
Cost for the eight-week class is $60.00.
To enroll in this course or another Tai Chi class, visit the Aurora Health Center Classes & Events page and search for "Tai Chi."