This information has been written by Damo Mitchell
Lotus Nei Gong Qi Gong Sets for Level One of Lotus Nei Gong syllabus
In order to move through the Nei Gong process we use a series of exercises as ‘tools’. Through static and dynamic Qi Gong and Dao Yin training a person may awaken the various energies required for Nei Gong development. Below are some of the exercises taught within the Lotus Nei Gong school.
The process of breathing is a basic but very important aspect of our training. The Daoist approach to breathing is to link it with the process of releasing ever-increasing layers of tension. This tension can be physical, energetic or emotional. In all cases the tension is released from the body and this allows a practitioner to move deeper into an awareness of their own being. In the beginning a student learns to simply Song breathe throughout the entire body but advanced practices allow for targeting of specific areas of the energetic matrix.
Jing Gong 静功
Jing Gong is an umbrella term for the various standing postures we use within the Lotus Nei Gong school. These static training methods are different from what many people would know as Zhan Zhuang as they are designed to awaken various parts of a person’s energy body. This type of work forms a large part of our practice and students will encounter Jing Gong from the first day within our school. Different Jing Gong methods are utilised at different stages in a students development.
The Ji Ben Qi Gong are eight simple moving exercises which are primarily designed to teach a person how to move their body in the correct way. They are designed to help a person restructure their form and sink their Qi through relaxation in order to refashion the body for more advanced internal practices. Each exercise is based around unification of the body, breath and awareness in order to circulate Qi through key internal pathways within the body.
The five Wu Xing Qi Gong exercises are simple movements designed to help a person contact the five elemental pulses. These pulses dictate the base health of the five key organs of the body, the Kidneys, the Liver, the Heart, the Spleen and the Lungs. As a person develops their Wu Xing Qi Gong practice they help to nourish these organs. The medical benefits of such a practice are obvious but what is also important is that these pulses dictate the quality of the Qi which flows throughout the rest of the energy body as well.
The five Wu Dao Yin exercises are moving forms of energetic purging. Each exercise is designed to target and open up key energetic centres within the body. As these centres are pulled open they generate enough space within the energy body to help clear stagnant Qi. The movements are then combined with focused awareness and specific breathing methods in order to lead the body towards a state of better health. The exercises are also used within Nei Gong to help clear emotional traumas which have often become trapped within the Jing Jin and meridians of the body.
The four Dragon Dao Yin exercises are a set of short forms which specifically target the spine and associated channels. Through various stretching, twisting and undulating movements, the spinal column is squeezed and stretched in such a manner that it helps to purge pathogens from its length. This helps to generate space within the soft tissues of the body as well as opening up the core congenital networks which run through the torso. The more space that is created, the higher the level of internal energy which the body may conduct along its length. As an added benefit, many students have noticed the strong healing effects of the Dragon Dao Yin exercises upon the spine and other joints of the body.
The Hunyuan Qi Gong exercises are designed to lead a practitioner deeper into their energetic system. They work at developing a higher state of release than most other exercise sets. This skill is of paramount importance if a student is going to move beyond the surface level of their practice. As the Hunyuan exercises develop they help a practitioner to contact the deeper, congenital pathways of the meridian system. These are the channels through which flow the congenital essences which are used extensively in alchemical training.
The Lotus Moon Qi Gong are actually a category of exercises rather than a specific set. This is the umbrella title for women’s Nei Gong exercises which we use within the school. Though women largely use the same tools and go through the same process as men, there are some subtle differences in the nature of their energetic makeup and these exercises are designed for women to take advantage of their gender-specific strengths. They largely revolve around unification with the energy of the moon, balancing the energy of the Uterus and understanding the reverse cycle for women. There are also practices from the Buddhist tradition for invigorating the energy of the Heart.
Utilising both vibratory syllables and full Mantra-style chanting, Lotus Nei Gong uses various sound exercises to help awaken various energetic areas of the body. At the most basic level these sounds are used to generate internal vibrations whilst at their more advanced levels, sound practices can lead a practitioner into various altered stages of consciousness. These exercises are generally practiced along with specific hand positions (Mudras) and standing postures or else trained in a seated position.