The principal aim of qigong is to foster the circulation of qi within the body, thereby enhancing the health and vitality of the whole person.
Through qigong, qi is circulated in patterns that are directly related to the nervous and vascular systems, which is also connected to the practical concepts of acupuncture and other oriental healing arts.
The secondary (but by no means lesser) principal aim of qigong is to foster a calm and tranquil mind, done by focusing on precise execution of these exercises. Through learning qigong movements correctly, one is provided with practical avenues for learning about such things as balance, alignment, fine scale motor control, rhythm of movement, the genesis of movement from the body’s vital center, and so on. Many practitioners receive benefits in terms of correcting poor postural, alignment or movement patterns which contribute to tension, injury, and difficulties with aging.
The Five Animals of Qigong
The Wudang Five Animals of Qigong is an ancient Taoist exercise designed to improve health and longevity. The movements of this particular exercise are based on the movements of the five animals: the dragon, the tiger, the leopard, the snake and the crane.
Each animal corresponds to a specific internal organ, and therefore each animal movement improves the function of the given organ. The dragon improves the kidneys, the tiger improves the lungs, the leopard improves the liver, the snake improves the spleen, and the crane improves the heart. Thereby, dedicated practice of qigong restores balance to the internal organ system. When the internal organs are in balance, the body is able to function at its optimum efficiency, thus improving the overall health and longevity of the practitioner.
Wudang Five Animals Qigong exercises are also developed to open up the joints, lengthen the tendons and strengthen the muscles. Naturally, the practice improves functions of the respiratory and circulatory systems as well – these are especially important as they allow the body to deliver fresh oxygen-rich blood to all the extremities of the body as well as assisting in the elimination of deadly toxins, which are known to contribute to aging and illness. If practiced regularly, these exercises can reverse the aging process so that one can enjoy the benefits of a healthy body and mind well into their later years.