Practicing Qigong

Disclaimer: The Qigong Institute makes no suggestions, claims, or recommendations regarding any medical therapy, treatments, exercise program, or medical practitioners. For medical advice or before embarking on any exercise program, we recommend that members of the public consult with a qualified physician.

Selected Qigong Forms

There are thousands upon thousands of different Qigong forms. Here are just a few...

A Qigong form can be a single movement repeated a number of times (often referred to as "Tai Chi Qigong" or "Taiji QIgong"); a set of single movements, each repeated a certain number of times; or it could be a short to very long sequence of movements, as in Tai Chi or Wild Goose Qigong.

Click image below to watch video. These Qigong forms are often practiced much slower than shown. The movements range in difficulty from easy (Flowing Motion) to more complex (Tuoa and Drawing the Daoist Symbol).

The most complex forms of Qigong consist of a combination or sequence of many different movements (as opposed to the same movement repeated multiple times) and can take many minutes to more than an hour to complete once. An example of a complex Qigong form practice would be Wild Goose Qigong. Shibashi is an example of a simple and gentle Qigong form. Depending upon how they are practiced, even simple forms can take an hour to practice. The length of time is often related to the number of repetitions of each individual form within a Qigong form, but it can also result from holding a particular pose/posture for a long time (e.g. during Qigong standing meditation - Zhan Zhuang).

Both easy and complex forms provide the fundamentals of QIgong which include neuromotor fitness, mindfulness, relaxation, lowering of stress, increased awareness, and other benefits. Complex forms are generally more cognitively and physiologically challenging with corresponding benefits.

Shibashi is an example of a "Tai Chi Qigong" form of Qigong. Each movement (or form) is repeated an arbitrary number of times. There is a set number of forms within Shibashi. Shibashi is a very gentle form of Qigong. Watch instructional videos on Shibashi on the Qigong Institute YouTube Channel. Watch instructional videos for the 1st and 2nd 64 Movements of Da Yan Wild Good Qigong on the Qigong Institute YouTube Channel.


flowing motion

One of the easiest forms of Qigong is Flowing Motion, from Enhance Vitality Method, shown in the DVD Qigong Chi Kung by Dr. Roger Jahnke. Breathe in as you go up and out as you go down. For more exercise, go up onto your toes.

holding qi ball

The Rolling the Ball movement is used to feel the qi between your hands and get out of your normal way of thinking. Imagine you have a ball between your hands and you can move it anywhere, but your hands cannot move through the imagined ball, just like they couldn't go through a real ball. Many different types of Qigong have a movement like Rolling the Ball.

pushing qi ball      ;

A little more energetic movement is Inner Rivers Flowing which is described in The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong and Tai Chi.

picking up qi ball

A fun Qigong form similar to Inner Rivers Flowing is calledPush and Pick Up the Wheelfrom the DVD Creating Flexibility through Qigong by Medical Qigong Master Dr. Bingkun Hu.

flying wild goose

This one is called Flying Wild Goose, and comes from a form of Qigong called Tai Chi Qigong.

wave hands

There are hundreds of different versions of Wave Hands in Clouds. This movement is usually done as part of a much longer T'ai Chi form, but it can also be done by itself. T'ai Chi is a moving form of Qigong.

double helix

The Double Helix movement has its origin in Hua Shan Qigong and can be found in the DVD Creating Flexibility through Qigong by Medical Qigong Master Bingkun Hu. See if you can discover the figure-8 pattern (infinity symbol) made by the arcs described by your hands. When the hands pass each other, palms are facing so that energy flows between the Lao Gong points (Pericardium 8 acupuncture point) located roughly in the middle of each palm.


A little more challenging practice is called Rejuvination, from the DVD Creating Flexibility through Qigong by Medical Qigong Master Bingkun Hu. Be sure that your arms describe circles both in front and in back of your body as you go through the range of motion.

wave hands

Tuoa is the signature move from Wuji Hundun Qigong, featured in the PBS Qigong documentary "Ancient Chinese Healing for the 21st Century" (Click to preview the documentary). Traditionally, rocks were held in the hands to make sure that the palms were facing up throughout the range of motion. Imagine you are a waiter carrying a tray with a glass on it, and the glass cannot fall. See if you can spot where the two-armed pattern changes. There are at least two more remaining variations on arm movement patterns that are not shown.

draw taoist symbol

This is a very challenging but rewarding form called Drawing the Daoist Symbol from the DVD Creating Flexibility through Qigong by Medical Qigong Master Bingkun Hu.

flowing motion

One of the easiest forms of Qigong is Flowing Motion, from Enhance Vitality Method, shown in the DVD Qigong Chi Kung by Dr. Roger Jahnke. Breathe in as you go up and out as you go down. For more exercise, go up onto your toes.


holding qi ball

The Rolling the Ball movement is used to feel the qi between your hands and get out of your normal way of thinking. Imagine you have a ball between your hands and you can move it anywhere, but your hands cannot move through the imagined ball, just like they couldn't go through a real ball. Many different types of Qigong have a movement like Rolling the Ball.


youtube logo

Many more forms can be found on the
Qigong Institute YouTube Channel.

elixir yangying album coverAbout the music

Initially created for use in a Taiji intervention study at the University of Illinois, Elixir: Music for Moving and Still Meditation is a music CD for moving and still meditation practices. This CD is unique in that it was composed and performed in entirety by both a master traditional Chinese musician and longtime practitioner of Qigong meditation. For more information, visit .

Qigong Practice Tips with Francesco Garri Garripoli - #1

Qigong Practice Tips #1 with Francesco Garri Garripoli. This is a good introduction to the practice of Qigong and Energy Healing by the international Qigong and Meditation instructor and author of "Qigong - Essence of the Healing Dance." The author of "Qigong - Essence of the Healing Dance", international Qigong and Meditation instructor Francesco Garri Garripoli is Chairman Emeritus of the National Qigong Association and current Chairman of the Qigong Institute. Learn more about Francesco Garri Garripoli, his DVDs, workshops, annual retreats to Thailand and Bhutan, and his Qigong Instructor Certification Courses at https:/

Qigong Practice Tips with Francesco Garri Garripoli - #2

Francesco shares the critical importance of what the ancient Taoists referred to as “Yi” and its role in deepening Qigong practice. Along with breath and posture/form, Yi points to the mind as the third key aspect of how to efficiently work with our life force energy. Yi can literally be translated as “bring to mind” and this points us to the importance of developing not the intellectual mind, but the Heart Mind in this second installment of his series. 

Qigong Practice Tips with Francesco Garri Garripoli - #3

This is a good mix of science and energy principles as it relates to transformative Qigong breathing.

How to Practice Qigong

The Three Intentful Corrections

While doing Qigong remember to incorporate the
Three Intentful Corrections

(otherwise, it's western-style exercise and not Qigong)

man in tai chi pose

New to Tai Chi or Qigong? Dr. Roger Jahnke, a co-founder of the National Qigong Association, says the best practice is one that makes you comfortable and keeps it simple. More...

Wuji Mountain Musings #126 - Personal Practice with Francesco Garri Garripoli

Musing #126 looks at the difference between Qigong practice and the typical exercise routine and explores how to refine your practice so that it flows from your Intuitive Mind.  

Additonal Musings:

Easy Qigong Practices

10-minute Qigong Practice

Flowing Motion

Tai Chi Qigong

Gathering Breath

Five Tai Chi Easy in Sedona

Simple Qigong Exercise Demonstration

Integral Nine Phases

The Wandering Warrier Column - 'Qigong' By Jill Roth. (PDF) in Mindset Self-Defense Magazine Febuary 2015. An interview with Qigong and Tai Chi Teacher Bina Bou as well as an introduction to Qigong and a description of Qigong practice during one of Bina's classes.

Karl Romain's Best Qigong and Tai Chi Exercises. Watch as Karl Romain, a world champion kung fu master, shares qigong and tai chi exercises for a better well-being.

Wuji Swimming Dragon

Wuji Swimming Dragon is a very simple and easy to learn yet powerful form of Qigong. There are many other versions of Swimming Dragon besides Wuji. A characteristic of Swimming Dragon Qigong forms is that the body is continually moving or flowing and exercising some or all joints while describing a form such as a Figure-8 or infinity symbol as in Animal Frolics Swimming Dragon .

Qigong - Wang Yunkuo Kung Fu

Some gentle flowing Qigong warm-ups, including several forms (Swimming Dragon and Tuoa) in common with Wuji Hundun Qigong.

Tai Chi - Integral 9 Form

The nine phases of qi cultivation

Ultimately, health is a habit. How we live life is a habit, and our experience of happiness is also a habit. Any habit is really a choice, a consistent choice. When we practice something new – like Qigong – we make a new choice and begin to transform our old, unhealthy and unconscious habits.”  – Mingtong Gu

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

The following video features some easy and gentle beginning Qigong exercises led by Dr. Adeline Ge in an educational video presented by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Qigong with Jessica Kolbe

Qigong with Jessica Kolbe is now airing on TVSB Channel 17 and 71 on Cox Cable Santa Barbara: Live, Streaming and OnDemand Pacific Standard Time

Everyday Qigong Episode

Qigong for Balance and Fall Prevention

View Full Playlist

Chan Mi Gong Qigong

Spinal Spiral energy practice. Chan Mi Gong is one of many Qigong forms that emphasize spinal movements for health and wellbeing. This short clip shows one of the basic movements of this form.

How To Practice Qigong

two people doing tai chi move

WIKIHOW.COM. Read the Article.

18 Buddha Hands

Qigong Self-Massage


Acupressure Self-care for Healthy Eyes and Sinuses

Qigong Self-Massage: Ear Massage

Much of the benefit of Qigong ear massage (auricular acupressure) is due to the stimulation of the vagus nerve. 

Qigong Modulates the Vagus Nerve

Self Applied Ear Massage (.pdf)

Da Yan Wild Goose Qigong 1st and 2nd 64 Movements - Grand Master Chen Chuan Gang

The  Da Yan Wild Goose Qigong is an acient cultivation practise originating from the Jin Dynasty about 1700 hundred years ago. The movements represent the flight of Wild Geese and help to expel toxins from the body, cleanse the meridians, improve blood flow and draw in and circulate fresh Qi.

Wild Goose Qigong features sequences of movements like Tai Chi which can take many minutes to complete once, as opposed to Qigong forms where each individual movement within the form is practiced over and over some number of times, often eight. 

The first 64 Movement set deals primarily with the "post natal” body and addresses illnesses or injuries that have developed as a result of everyday life. 

Having  dredged  the  channels  in  the  first  64  form, the second 64 movement  set  deals  primary  with the “pre natal” body and is designed to clear the  channels, absorb fresh Qi, expel stale Qi and restore organ balance.

More Wild Goose forms can be viewed on the Qigong Institute YouTube Channel.

Qigong to Purge and Tonify

Classic Qigong Forms

Dao Yin (a.k.a. Qigong): Origin, Development, Potential Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications

Under the organization and promotion of the Health Qi Gong Management Centre of China's General Administration of Sport, which was established in June 2001, four forms of Qigong, namely, Yi Jin Jing (muscle change classic), Wu Qin Xi (five-animal exercise), Liu Zi Jue (six healing sounds), and Ba Duan Jin (eight silken movements) have been recreated and are being promoted worldwide.

In order to adapt more forms of excellent traditional health Qigong into versions that are suitable for common people's daily exercise, the Health Qi Gong Management Centre of China's General Administration of Sport started to create new forms of health Qigong in 2007. Five forms of health Qigong, namely, Tai Ji Yang Sheng Zhang (Tai Ji Stick Health Preservation Exercise), Shi Er Duan Jin (twelve silken movements), Dao Yin Health Preservation 12 Methods, Mawangdui Dao Yin Exercise, and Grand Dance, were eventually created. [PMCID: PMC6854271].

Chinese Qigong Forms book cover

Chinese Qigong Forms

There are many different versions of each of the "classic" Qigong forms. The following are just a few of them. Classic Qigong forms have been practiced for centuries or millennia. 

Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)

Develop Qi Sensitivity and Restore Balance to the “Three Jiaos” with a Powerful Exercise from Master Hua Tou (.PDF). This simple practice example is taken from the Crane form of Hua Tou’s Five Animal Frolics, one of the oldest and most revered forms of Qigong. Hua Tou was a famous physician during the Eastern Han Dynasty (circa 200 CE.). He is famous in the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine as the first doctor to successfully practice abdominal surgery and for creating the Five Animal Frolics. five animal frolic deerThe Five Animal Frolics are movements designed to mimic the energies and strengths of five different animals: the crane, bear, tiger, monkey, and snake. The five animals also correspond to the five elemental energies as well as the five seasons, with the fifth season being late summer. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine history, the Qigong exercises developed by Hua Tou have been proven to be some of the most effective for restoring health and promoting vitality. The book of Chaung Tze (also spelled Zhaungzi, which dates to at least the 300's BCE) mentions the benefits of mimicing the physical movements of certain animals, so the practices attributed to Hua Tou likely arose much earlier.

Animal Frolics Qigong - IIQTC (video 54:16). These are more vigorous Qigong forms. The five animals in the exercises are the bear, tiger, monkey, deer, and crane. They are said to improve functioning of the lung (tiger), kidney (bear), liver (deer), heart (crane), and stomach (monkey), respectively.

Magwandui Daoyin Shu

Mawangdui Dao Yin Shu book cover

Mawangdui Daoyin Shu

Mawangdui Daoyin Shu: Qigong from the Mawangdui Silk Paintings (Chinese Health Qigong). Some of the earliest known images of Qigong exercises were found on a colored silk painting unearthed at Mawangdui Tomb in the early 1970's that date to the Han Dynasty (206BCE - 220CE). The 44 people are shown doing dao yin, postures and movements combined with breathing and physical exercise for health maintenance and treating illness. The forms can be done by themselves or in a particular sequence, as shown in the following videos. To get the most out of the practice, learn it from a teacher. Since one probably won't be available where you live, buy the book because it has some important details that are not obvious from watching and studying the videos. And as with all Qigong, practice the Three Intentful Corrections.

mawangdui qigong basic positions

Five Element Qi Gong (Wu Xing)

Five basic health internal exercises from the Daoist tradition of Qigong Practice. The video demonstrates some very simple yet powerful Qigong movements.

Tendon Changing Practice (Yi Jin Jing)

8 Pieces of Brocade/Silk (Ba Duan Jin)


This is one of the simplest yet most powerful forms.

Also see the Qigong Institute YouTube Channel.

Sitting Qigong

Qigong can be practiced many ways, including sitting, standing, moving, or lying down.

Are You Relaxed or Collapsed? Sitting Posture for Meditation + Breathing

Stress Relief Relaxation Calming Sitting Qigong Meditation

This 20 minute video was created by Bill Douglas, founder of World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, as an easy to follow example of Sitting Qigong for relaxing and reducing stress.

Sitting Qigong - Shi Er Duan Jin 

Lying Down Qigong

The following are some examples of Qigong done lying down.

While lying down, any combination of movement(s) through any portion of the body's full range of motion from head to toes qualifies as Qigong practice as long as the three intentful corrections are incorporated. Otherwise, the movements become western-style exercise instead of the mind-body practice of Qigong.

Qigong Agility and Meditation Techniques

This video was filmed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and it includes a good section on Lying Down Qigong for people and is especially helpful for people who are not able to stand or sit to practice Qigong.

13 Luohan Style Qi Gong

Shaolin Luohan Style Qi Gong (Shi San Shi Luohan) is a set of 13 postures/movements that was developed by Shaolin Monks, after contemplating and imitating different forms and expressions of Luohan (Arhat) statues in the monastery. 

It belongs to the classic repertoire of Qi Gong exercises in the Shaolin Arts around the globe. In comparison to the 8 brocades (Ba Duan Jin), the Muscle and Tendon Transformation Excercises (Yi Jin Jing) and the meditative circular movements (Chan Yuan Gong), the movements in this set  can also practically be applied for martial application. Together with the other Qi Gong sets, this routine develops a strong foundation to remain powerfully calm and aware.

Walking Backwards

Walking backwards is a classic Qigong/Daoist practice. It has also been recently re-discovered in the west as a complementary exercise providing many mind and body benefits.

Harvard Women's Health Watch

Can you boost your memory by walking backward? 

arrow on ground and feet

A study shows that moving in reverse may help with short-term memory. More. 

Walking Backward: The Mind and Body Benefits

Some very beautiful, gentle, flowing Qigong done by an impressive number of people.