GENTLE PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND CHI KUNG (QIGONG)
What is the difference between gentle physical exercise and chi kung?
— Carolina, Spain
The main difference is energy flow.
When someone performs gentle physical exercise, there is no energy flow. When someone performs chi kung, there is energy flow.
It is energy flow that gives the benefit of chi kung, not the techniques he performs. For example, if a practitioner overcomes his illness, or attain good health and vitality, it is due to his energy flow, not due to the chi kung techniques he performs.
As gentle physical exercise does not result in energy flow, it does not overcome illness, or give practitioners good health and vitality irrespective of for how long and how beautifully he has performed the chi kung techniques. This, indeed, is the situation with more than 80% of people all over the world who say they practice chi kung. What they have practiced is gentle physical exercise, not chi kung, though they have employed chi kung techniques, and most of them do not realise it.
How is it that if they have employed chi kung techniques, they still do not have the benefits of chi kung, like overcoming illness and attaining good health and vitality? It is because they do not have energy flow. In the same way, a lot of people today practice Taiji techniques, but they do not have the benefits of Taijiquan. It is because they do not have internal force and combat application. Actually they have not practiced Taijiquan, which is an internal martial art, though they think they have; they have practiced only external Taiji forms. Similarly many people have not practiced chi kung, which is an art of energy, though they think they have; they have only practiced gentle physical exercise.
The above is taken from Question 2 April 2016 Part 2 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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