reviewed by Circlewalker
Author: L.V. Carnie
Trade Paper, 288 pages
Chi Gung is quite simply the art of learning how to become aware of the natural energy of the body and through that awareness learn how to manipulate it. This practice can result in a variety of benefits: improved health; faster healing; increased flexibility; more endurance; greater strength, to name but a few. The results achieved depend on the intention and training performed by the practitioner.
Many books on Chi Gung present the training using traditional practices. However, Lily of the Valley Carnie's book on Chi Gung ( also known as Qigong or Chi Kung) goes beyond formal systems and instead presents a fun, playful approach to learning Chi Gung.
The first part of her book covers the fundamental principles and concepts you'll need for Chi Gung training and includes topics like: Nei Dan vs Wei Dan training; the Meridians of the body; the principles of Yin and Yang; the philosophy of the Five Elements; the Regulation of Mind, Body and Breath; and the Chi Circulation paths of Fire, Wind, and Water. In addition, she presents a series of Chi familiarization exercises that provide a foundation for the explorations to follow.
The remainder of the book provides example after example of how to apply Chi Gung to a wide variety of activities. Some are physical (like swimming underwater, fly-fishing, or working with weapons). Others are mental (like developing intuition, increasing your awareness or learning to visualize). While others are craft oriented (like painting, playing music, or drawing).
By discussing so many ways to practice Chi Gung, she encourages you to discover how to take those principles and apply them to whatever activity you are engaged in (such as yoga, jogging, meditation, witchcraft, weight training or martial arts).
She teaches in a conversational way that is both informational and fun and I found that it offers many great ideas that have enhanced my own practice and training. I highly recommend it if you have an interest in exploring Chi Gung.