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Hatha Yoga and Chi Kung: A Comparison
Qigong (Chi Kung) is popular form of Chinese "Yoga" used to improve health, increase vitality, prolong life, and achieve enlightenment. It has a documented history dating back to 400 B.C. The parallels between Hatha Yoga and Qigong are manifold. Both emphasize controlled deep breathing, relaxation while doing postures, specific eye focus techniques, a fairly consistent sequence of postures/movements, not forcing, mental concentration and intentions for each movement, having a calm mind and emotions, smoothness, gracefulness, rooting your body on the earth, balance, an esoteric body theory, an energy philosophy of the body, and a mental-spiritual dimension.
"Incessant wanderers, the Taoists also appropriated breathing methods from other cultures. By the time of the Tang Dynasty, they had incorporated the Indian arts of pranayama, mantra, Kundalini yoga, and Tantra wholesale into the art of qigong. They appropriated methods of Buddhist breathing and exercise such as Bodhidarma's Muscle Change and Marrow Washing Classics and the Vase Breathing methods from Tibet. Nor did these eclectic collectors stop there. They raided the whole of Chinese martial arts methodology and took the working habits of farmers, fishermen, craftsmen, and even drunks as templates for their exercises."
- Deng Ming Dao, Scholar Warrior, p. 39
YinSights: A Journey Into the Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga. By Bernie Clark. Foreword by Sarah Powers. Index, 417 pages. ISBN: 9780968766514. VSCL. This book includes many comments about Qigong and Yoga.
When to Practice
"Most traditional authorities agree that the early morning
is the best time for meditation.
In India, the yogins typically meditate at sunrise, known as the
"Hour of Brahma" (brahma-muhurta). It is thought that the quality of the life force (prana)
is then particularly pure and
strong and more easily assimilated."
- Georg Feuerstein, The Shambhala Guide to Yoga, p. 93
"Chee-gung should be practiced between midnight and noon, when
positive Yang energy
prevails in the atmosphere. Ko Hung's (250 AD) observation accords precisely
with the findings of Western science, which has determined that the concentration of
(i.e., chee) in the air peaks between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m.
Disciplined adepts of breathing
rise around 4:00 a.m. to take advantage of this airborne power."
- Daniel P. Reid, The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity, p. 190.
Stand Up Straight
The Tadasana asana (Mountain Pose) in Yoga and the Wu-Ji pose in Taijiquan are identical. Feet are together as we stand up straight. Our back and head are held erect. Weight is evenly distributed between both feet, and balanced between the ball of the foot and the heels. One is in a relaxed state with no joints locked. The arms hang down in a relaxed manner with the palms facing the thighs. Shoulders are down and relaxed. The neck is relaxed with the chin slightly tucked in. The gaze is wide angle with a soft focus. Breathing is slow, easy and deep. The mind is cleared of distracting thoughts and the worries of the day. Attitude is one of appreciation, gratitude, calmness, peacefulness, compassion towards oneself, openness, and readiness for the practice to come.
Standing Meditation: Wuji, Zhan Zhuang, San Ti, Tadasana
My Studies and Research in Hatha Yoga
By Mike Garofalo
By Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.
I completed the YogaFit® Training Systems 200 hour curriculum during the period from 2004-2006. Since 2004, I have taught three or four yoga classes each week at the Tehama Family Fitness Center in Red Bluff, California. As of June 2012, I have taught over 800 yoga classes for over 1,000 hours of direct instruction to members of the Tehama Family Fitness Center. Here is my current teaching schedule.
Many thanks to Gudrun Peschel-Vopat for her encouragement and teaching in 2002-2003, to Stuart Rice (2004-2006) for his thorough and light-hearted teaching. Also, many thanks to my yoga and taijiquan students at the TFFC for their patience, advice, and encouragement.
I teach mind-body-spirit practices such as: Hatha Yoga, Ta'i Chi Ch'uan, Chi Kung, Meditation, and Walking. I have practiced and studied Taijiquan and Qigong since 1986, Yoga since 2002, weight-training since 1973, Eastern philosophy since 1962, and walking since 1960.
The following bibliography reflects my reading, practices and studies in Yoga and related studies in T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Qigong, Health and Fitness, Taoism, Neo-Paganism, Tantra, and Meditation.
Books that I own are located at the Valley Spirit Center Library, in my home in Red Bluff, California. Holdings are indicated by the code 'VSCL' following the title entry in the bibliography that follows. My advanced students are welcome to borrow these books for research and study.
Cloud Hands Blog by Mike Garofalo
Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail
Valley Spirit Yoga
Yoga Practice, Education, and Research
© 2003-2012, Green Way
Research, Red Bluff, California
Michael P. Garofalo, All Rights Reserved
Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern California, U.S.A.
Cities and small towns in the area: Sacramento, Davis, Woodland, Vacaville, Marysville,
Yuba City, Williams, Colusa, Willows, Orland, Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City,
Corning, Rancho Tehama, Los Molinos, Vina, Tehama, Proberta, Gerber, Red Bluff,
Manton, Cottonwood, Olinda, Cloverdale, Dairyville, Bend, Centerville, Summit City,
Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro, Igo, Ono, Redding, Shasta, Richfield, Fall River,
Montgomery Creek, Alturas, McCloud, Dunsmuir, Yreka, Happy Camp,
Shingletown, Burney, Mt. Shasta City, Weaverville, Chester, Susanville,
Weed, Gridley, NorCalifia, CA, California.
This webpage was last updated on June 1, 2012.