Preliminary comparison between qigong and Indian yoga

Author: Zhang Xiaofang
First Affiliated Hospital of Suzhou Medical College, Jiangsu Province, China [1]
Conference/Journal: 1st World Conf Acad Exch Med Qigong
Date published: 1988
Other: Pages: 209 , Word Count: 651

Qigong is one kind of non-drug treatment which underlies the training on both mind and body. It can strengthen the immune function of the body, so it has the function of preventing and treating diseases, slowing down the process of aging. It has some merits, such as effectiveness, low cost, lack of side-effects and availability to all ages. Nowadays, qigong has drawn attention from the whole world. The next century will belong to qigong.

Qigong originated from the orient. Both Chinese qigong and Indian Yoga have a history of about five thousand years. They are the products of oriental civilization.

Yoga, one kind of Indian traditional way to keep the body fit and preserve health, utilizes a philosophic thinking which creates a harmony between 'self' and 'Fan' (Supernatural). The purpose is to seek for enjoying high position and living in ease and comfort that is 'without death and birth, without thinking and desiring. ' The main schools include Jnana Yoga, Kama Yoga, Bhak Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga. Kundalini Yoga and Tan Tra Yoga. Its exercising principles are Yama (concentration), Niyama (good personal hygiene), pranayama (regulating breath), pratyhara (isolation from environment), Pharana (high moral standard), Dhyana (speculation), Samadhi (being silent). Its chief practicing methods are Pranayama or meditation. Bodily posture, Shat Karmas, Kundalin nisakti and so on. The mechanism of its effect is through regulating the diet. Yoga exercise and using daily living knowledge properly restore the body's normal function and maintain the body's homeostasis.

Chinese qigong is one kind of traditional method to preserve health. Its philosophical thinking is that of the corresponding relation between the human body (bodily structure, physiological phenomena, pathological changes, etc.) and mature. The purpose of Chinese qigong is to seek for 'She Shan Yang Qi' (preserving the health, keeping the energy), 'Gui Zen Fen Bu' (everything returns to its original natural environment), 'Qiang Shen Zhi Bing' (exercising the body and curing disease), 'Jian Shen Yu Di' (Strengthening the body and warding off the enemy). Its main schools include Confucian, Taoist, Wushu, medical and folk qigong. Its training principles are to cultivate one's morals, calm oneself without desiring and rest to attain mental tranquillity and preserve health according to a ' Jie ' (religious discipline), ' Ding ' (calming and collecting oneself) and ' Huei ' (wisdom, training ways). It is achieved by regulating the body's function, controlling breath, smoothing the mind, making the inner energy active, coordinating between vital energy and blood, dredging the meridians, balancing yin and yang .

The article attempts to make a comparative study of seven aspects between Chinese qigong and Indian Yoga. The results demonstrate that both have many similarities including their historic origin, philosophic thinking, training principles and characteristics of practicing methods. China's 'Qihuo (activation of vital energy) theory' has some influences on Indian 'Kundalini Yoga. ' The earliest records of Kundalini's Qi Mai theory of India was in the 17th century, and that was just as the flourishing time of the Ming Dynasty of China, Zheng He went to the 'Western ocean' (around Indian ocean) seven times. He once arrived at Guli of India (the southeast coastal area of India) and carried some Chinese medical works there, among which, probably some were the works of Chinese qigong . To analyze Kundalini's Qi Mai theory, we know, the 'Meridians and the theory of' Qi Hua Lun are similar to the seven acupoints of the Ren-Du Meridians, and the theory of 'Qi Hua Lun' of Chinese qigong was formed earlier, so we infer that the theory of 'Qi Hua Lim', which has the Chinese characteristic played an active and promotive role in the formation of Kundalini's theory of India. Indian Yoga basically derived from a single school (entity), while China qigong has essentially three schools, namely '± Ru ', ' Shi ' and ' Tao ' . The three schools are always interrelating and combining; then new methods are created through these combinations.