Qi Gong allows us to constantly learn from the world around us.
Sometimes, this means paying attention to the universe. Other times it means pausing to listen to the lessons of animals and nature. And then, there are dragons who can also be our guide.
Dragons… powerful, mysterious creatures that have appeared in mythical tales for thousands of years, are also important in Qi Gong. In fact, ancient Chinese sages developed extensive Qi Gong practices dedicated to cultivating their unique qualities and gifts.
Even though dragons (might 😉 ) not exist on planet earth, their archetype and energy are very real indeed. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of Swimming Dragon Qi Gong, as well as four primary benefits that the practice offers.
What Is Swimming Dragon Qi Gong?
Lee first learned Swimming Dragon Qi Gong during a trip to China. One of his first teachers was a 106-year old woman who described it as, “the practice of longevity.”
Swimming Dragon Qi Gong focuses on flowing, serpentine-like movements that are wonderful for cultivating both physical and internal resilience. Although the exact origin is unknown, we do know that there were several forms that evolved through various lineages over the centuries.
Most Swimming Dragon practices engage the entire body and generally work with spiraling movements. Today, it is most commonly practiced for its benefits of resiliency, but in ancient times, it had martial applications for combat as well.
Swimming Dragon practices are easy to learn and people often experience their benefits in a very short period of time.
Here are four primary benefits Swimming Dragon practices offer.
1. Clears and Cleanses Stagnation
Swimming Dragon Qi Gong focuses heavily on full-body body spiraling movements. Energetically, these spiraling exercises free up and “squeeze out” stagnant energy from the internal organs. Imagine using your hands to wring murky water out of a wet towel…
Physically, this helps to undo knots in the body and releases tension from the muscles. Mentally and emotionally, the process does the same with negative thoughts and old feelings. If someone is experiencing stagnation in their heart or mind, Swimming Dragon is an excellent way to move the energy and release it in a healthy and constructive way.
Many Swimming Dragon exercises have the effect of massaging the organs. The rotating movements exert gentle pressure on different parts of the body. Because each organ is associated with a different kind of Qi, the practice has the ability to cleanse the entire energy system.
The cleansing process also activates the body’s healing energy and allows it to circulate freely, including between all three Tan Tiens. This delivers an abundance of Qi to all the cells in the body.
2. Improves Flexibility and Strength
Full-body spiraling movements provide another wonderful benefit for the physical body: they improve your flexibility and strength.
Pay attention to how it feels to gently twist your upper body in one direction. You’ll notice this movement stretches a vast network of connected muscles in your back, shoulders, arms, abdomen, and even your legs.
In Swimming Dragon Qi Gong, we pay special attention to rotating and spiraling movements that focus on stretching lines of tension in these parts of the body. This leads to increased flexibility and a blissful feeling of being loose and relaxed. Of course, it’s always important to focus on gentle movements so you don’t injure yourself.
In addition to flexibility, Swimming Dragon also increases your strength. Just as part of your body relaxes into the rotating movements, another part is actively engaged in order for rotations to take place. As Lee describes, “there is a push and a pull.” When you integrate the quality of flow, it feels like one effortless movement as your entire body finds harmony and grace.
3. Boosts Internal Power
In Qi Gong, the combination of strength and flexibility leads to another amazing gift: resilience.
Swimming Dragon Qi Gong is a powerful practice for cultivating resiliency. This applies to both the physical and energetic body.
Those who have practiced the Five Elements may notice that the qualities of Swimming Dragon are pretty similar to the qualities of the Wood Element, which is not a coincidence. The dragon is closely associated with the Wood Element.
Because Swimming Dragon practices massage and activate Qi in the organs, it can have numerous benefits for various organs. Some of the internal benefits for the organs include opening the lungs and diaphragm, stimulating the kidneys and balancing Jing energy, regulating digestion, improving intestinal health, balancing hormones, and connecting the heart and kidneys (fire and water), which balances Yin and Yang energy.
4. Increases Longevity
All of the benefits mentioned above have the natural result of increasing longevity!
It should be no surprise that if your body becomes more resilient and your organs are healthier, it’s easier to live a long time. After all, most people meet their fate when various parts of their body cease to work properly. If every part of your being stays healthy and resilient, there’s a good chance that you’ll live for many years.
Today, the quest for longevity is one of the primary reasons that many people practice Swimming Dragon Qi Gong. While all Qi Gong practices are great for prolonging life, Swimming Dragon is especially helpful.
Not only does Swimming Dragon help with longevity, but it also allows you to feel stronger, more flexible, and more full of energy as you age. As Lee says, “don’t just add years to your life, but also life to your years.”
If you’re interested in learning Swimming Dragon Qi Gong practices, be sure to check out our pre-recorded Qi Gong for a Balanced Nervous System and Longevity Workshop.
Swimming Dragon Qi Gong Workshop
On Sunday, August 15th, 2021 Lee Holden will put theory into practice by offering a special Swimming Dragon Qi Gong workshop.
The Swimming Dragon Qi Gong workshop will teach students how to cultivate the energy of the Chinese dragon, which embodies the qualities of prosperity, resilience, and harmony. In fact, Lee will be sharing many of the same exact practices that he learned from his 106-year-old teacher.
After completing the workshop, you’ll have a set of exercises and practices that you can use for the rest of your life. Click here to learn more about how Swimming Dragon Qi Gong can help you experience longevity, strength, and resilience.