For anyone interested in entering the world of Qigong under the Spring Forest Qigong (SFQ) system, the most important material for you to get started is undoubtedly the Level 1 book and CDs packaged together in what is known as SFQ Fundamentals. Within this package, the Level 1 book introduces the basics of Qigong theory, and outlines in detail how to live a balanced life according to Chinese medicine theory. There is also 1 CD that comes along with it called “Small Universe” that is a guided meditation meant to help you clear energy blockages in the body. In addition, the package features a Level 1 DVD featuring founder Master Chunyi Lin as he guides you through basic Qigong movements that are core practices in the SFQ system.
If you are new to Qigong or hope to brush up on your understanding of how Qi operates and affects humans well being, Lin offers over 70 pages of detailed yet easy-to-digest material that look at this topic from the perspective of the way our minds, body, life style, breathing, emotions and diet play in accordance with one another to formulate the “Qi” or energy found in one’s body. Through understanding the way environment and emotions etc. affect our body’s Qi, Lin proposes basic ways to balance the body’s energy and also gives tips on how to alleviate stress and improve your body’s energy.
There is one basic principle of SFQ Qigong – You have the ability to heal yourself and can do so in a simple manner. Despite there being complicated breathing and movements in the world of Qigong, Master Lin believes they can all be simplified into a few core, easy-to-follow exercises and meditations, which we will outline below.
Moving of the Yin and Yang
This is the fundamental exercise of SFQ that balances and helps heal internal organs as well as opens the heart and aligns the spine.
Breathing of the Universe
This exercise heals the lungs and skin and balances the energy inside and outside of the body.
Joining of Yin and Yang
This balances the energy of the body.
Harmony of the Universe
Doing this helps open blockages, heals the body, and balances the energy between the left and right brain.
Seven Steps of New Life
This exercise balances energy in the body and is particularly good for cold hands and feet as well as arthritis.
All of these exercises can be found in the Level 1 DVD that is in the Fundamentals package. There are also closing exercises that SFQ coins as “Harvesting the Qi.” To harvest the Qi means to balance the energy at the end of the movement. This is done in every Qigong practice except for certain ones that already have closing elements built into them. They are all simple to do and you can choose which ones you like best and stick with them, although we do recommend incorporating all of them if possible or dividing them on different days. Overall, sticking with one regimen and going deep into it will help you achieve the best results.
Going Deeper into these Exercises
Visualization methods are also a key element presented both in the DVD and reading material in order to help you stay focused and enhance energy circulation. Before doing these exercises it is important to relax and go into deep relaxation, letting go of any worries, fears or afflictions that are otherwise bothering you. To do this, focus on the visualizations associated with the exercises that are mentioned in the book, as they will help you transform your focus and enhance your Qigong practice. Also, Master Lin emphasizes going into “The Emptiness.” The topic of emptiness is a whole other article in itself, but in short it is a headspace where the mind is free, unfettered and sunken into the present moment where you are at one with whatever you are doing and are in complete awareness.
Continuing Mental Practices – Small Universe Meditation
To get a complete review of the Small Universe Meditation, you can check out our full review here. This guided meditation takes you through various energy channels across the two main energy channels in the body up along the front part of the torso called Renmai in Chinese and along the back of the torso called Dumai. They also correspond with two main energy points called Dantian and Mingmen. Performing this while sitting, standing or lying down, Lin guides you through a series of energy points along these to main energy channels where you collect energy from the universe and send it to them, allowing for energy to collect and purify the areas followed by a release of it to cleanse the area. The movement goes in a circular motion starting from the Dantian down to the bottom of the navel all the way up the back and to the top of the head and back down to the Dantian for a total of 12 points. This rotation completes what is known as the small universe and the 12 points also coincide with the 12 main energy channels in the body. This is the main meditation used in SFQ for helping the body’s energy channels remain open and can be done in 30- or 60-minute increments.