Mahadeva/Matthew will be teaching the Qi Gong class.
Qigong is not just a set of breathing exercises, as it encompasses a large variety of both physical and mental training methods designed to help the body and the mind based on Chinese philosophy.
According to Wikipedia: The central idea in qigong practice is the control and manipulation of qi, a form of energy. Similar representations of this qi concept can be found in other cultures for example, Prana in Vedantic philosophy, mana in Hawaiian culture, Lüng in Tibetan Buddhism and Vital energy in Western thoughts. Some elements of this idea can be understood in the term energy when used by writers and practitioners of various esoteric forms of spirituality and alternative medicine.
The concept of qi as a form of pervasive energy is a fundamental pillar of Chinese Philosophy. This energy is considered to exist in all things including the air, water, food, and sunlight. In the body, qi represents the unseen vital force that sustains life. Qigong practice involves the manipulation and balance of the qi within the practitioner’s body and its interaction with the practitioner’s surroundings. The method and ultimate objective for the practice is dependent on the practitioner.
A person is considered to have been born with original amounts of qi. A person acquires qi from the food by eating, from the air by breathing and from interacting with their environment. A person becomes ill or dies when the amount or type of qi is unbalanced within the body. The practice of qigong is to regulate and control the qi within the body.
In broad terms, according to Taoist and Buddhist philosophy, the regulation of qi is through three interconnected components: the Mind (心), the Body (身) and the Spirit (靈). For Buddhists, the training of the mind is through meditation, contemplation and special exercises. For some Taoists, the training and regulation also include external agents such as the ingestion of herbs and interactions with others. For Confucius scholars the training involved the principle of cultivating virtue (de or te 德”) with virtue being defined according to a Confucian ideal.
The development of traditional Chinese medicine added more details to the role of qi within the human body. In this system, qi travels through the body along twelve main meridians channels and numerous smaller branches and tributaries. Those main meridians also correspond to twelve main organs: the lung, large intestines, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, urinary bladder, kidney, liver, gallbladder, pericardium, and the ‘‘triple warmer,’’ which represents the entire torso region. The amount and flow of qi is affected by a person’s emotional state which is ultimately related to the Mind, the Body and the Spirit. Most qigong practices use this concept of proper qi flow through those meridians as a basic premise.