You already know how powerful and transformative the path of the yogi can be. The arrival of yoga in western cultures has allowed millions of new students to benefit from the practice’s ancient wisdom. So much so, that in many cities and towns the market for yoga teachers is over saturated.
This blog post will explore how Qi Gong can enhance and expand the yogi’s journey, both personally, as well as within the path of teaching.
Ancient Origins and Modern Experiences
While Indian yogis were cultivating wisdom about the nature of the universe and themselves, Daoist sages were on a similar path of personal exploration several thousand miles away in China. In fact, Daoist sages and Indian yogis made many trips between their respective regions to share their teachings. These exchanges led to two different paths that each integrated insights and wisdom of the other.
Both Yoga and Qi Gong share a value of cultivating your highest, authentic self, as well as learning from the universe to grow and share. In different ways, each practice works with the body, heart, and mind to fully harness our gifts as humans. From the understanding of prana and qi, chakras and meridians, yoga and Qi Gong mirror one another in innumerable ways.
Every curious seeker will find great enrichment in exposing themselves to new ways of experiencing the world. It’s similar to traveling; sometimes it’s great to explore a new place, and then return home with renewed inspiration and clarity. Often, the places we visit reveal new possibilities and change our lives.
One aspect that many yogis appreciate in Qi Gong is the emphasis on healing and vitality. As one of the Five Branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong teaches a way of relating to the body that is truly transformational for health and wellness. While yoga also teaches practices for health and vitality, most yogis find that Qi Gong adds to their knowledge in powerful and important ways.
Another unique quality of Qi Gong is its ability to bring sensitivity and awareness to what is taking place within. By teaching us to really slow down and check in, Qi Gong enables a greater attunement that can be taken back to any yoga practice.
There are countless other ways in which Qi Gong can add to the yogi’s personal journey. However, because Qi Gong doesn’t have the prevalence that yoga has in western cultures, many have yet to be exposed to the powerful, ancient wisdom. Herein lies another opportunity for practicing yoga teachers.
More Ways to Offer and Give
There are many reasons your students decide to show up and practice with you. Some are working through emotions, others releasing physical tension, and others yet are caring for an injury, just to name a few. Having knowledge of Qi Gong gives you more to offer each of your students. Better yet, learning Qi Gong will enable you to attract students who otherwise would pass on by.
Knowing Qi Gong immediately differentiates you and allows you to offer something special. Students pay close attention to the energy and intention of their teacher. A Qi Gong background instills an unspoken understanding that will be transmitted in any yoga practice. Even if you just kept teaching yoga and didn’t try to “market” your Qi Gong experience, you’d naturally connect on a deeper level with your students.
In addition to the enrichment of your existing yoga classes, being a certified Qi Gong teacher allows you to teach many more classes. These can be yoga classes that integrate elements of Qi Gong, or even full-on Qi Gong classes.
Imagine teaching a yoga class that focuses on the Five Elements healing practices. Or perhaps a class that cultivates the Three Treasures of mind, body, and spirit. As a teacher who is well versed in both yoga and Qi Gong, the possibilities are endless for creativity and uniqueness.
Many of the additional classes you can teach will resonate with an entirely new audience who you’ve never taught before. For example, many older or elderly folks feel that yoga is too physically challenging for them to practice. This means that a huge segment of our population is missing out on the emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga.
Qi Gong can easily be adapted to suit the physical abilities of any individual. At Lee’s classes in Santa Cruz, California, there are many students who are in their 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s. By offering yoga or Qi Gong classes that are well suited for older populations, you’re able to provide a valuable gift where no other options exist.
Becoming a Qi Gong Teacher
As a yoga teacher, you’re on a path of personal growth and helping others. Part of helping others means learning and expanding in the ways that empower you to have the greatest positive impact. Not only does being a Qi Gong teacher set you apart, it opens possibilities for more classes, deeper connection, and further reach.
At Holden QiGong, we’ve recently released a self-paced, online Teacher Training Program. The course can be taken from your own home and includes all of the teachings to become a fully certified Holden QiGong Teacher. In addition to lifetime access to the material, the course also includes weekly, live Q&A calls with Lee.
To learn more and experience Lee’s unique teaching style for yourself, we’ve put together a free sample class specifically for yoga teachers. This is a great opportunity to experience another powerful approach to the lessons you’ve already been practicing. You’re here to learn and grow, so check out Lee’s class below and enjoy some Qi.
By Ian Drogin