• Karla Neblett

What does Qigong mean?

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Last week’s class


It was the biggest KarmaTree class yet with twelve people attending. Marc opened with a focus on sharing. We passed around a Rose Quartz stone, the stone of love, to promote the opening of our hearts and shared our names, something we were grateful for and something that we do. This was both calming and energising. It reminded us that one of the aims for KarmaTree is to create a community where we make connections. We warmed-up to Shy FX, and then moved onto Qigong and stretches. After sun salutations, Marc introduced a seated forward bend before we finished with ujjayi breathing.


What does Qigong mean?


Qi = vital energy

Gong = cultivate


Qigong originated in ancient China dating back 5000 years ago. It is a mind-body exercise. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it creates healing, balance and restores the body’s five elements (earth, wood, fire, water and metal, which are linked to the vital organs) through stimulating energy lines using breathing, meditation and slow, light, flowing movement.


The health benefits of Qigong range from positive effects on bone health, cardiopulmonary function (blood pressure, heart rate), physical function (flexibility, strength), falls and balance, quality of life, self-efficacy, psychological (anxiety, depression), immune function and inflammation.[1]


How do you do ujjayi breathing?


The ujjayi breath is a type of pranayama, also known as the ocean breath. It focuses on filling the lungs completely. It’s called the ocean breath because of the noise created from constricting the throat as though a person is about to whisper. It is known to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety.[2]


We did this through seven second inhale and exhales, holding the breath after fifteen repetitions.


Top Tip: Turn off blue screens (TVs, laptops and mobile phones) two hours before bed and practise ujjayi breathing for five minutes to help relax and prepare your mind and body for sleep.


The heart that gives, gathers – Tao Te Ching


  1. [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMCC3085832/ [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3655580/

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