Often when the topic of Qigong or the internal arts comes up, people will have certain images in mind. Senior citizens practicing slow movements in the park is probably the one that comes first. However, just like many things in life, a little information is a dangerous thing. You're only seeing a tiny part of the whole picture. Yes, practice is often slow in order to refine movement and feel every part of the exercise so that your positioning, breathing, and body control/structure is perfect. It's no different than playing a piece of music slowly and properly to make sure it's being done correctly and you're not just rushing through it sloppily with your speed hiding all your mistakes. It is this attention to detail that gives you the ability to learn proper body coordination, connection, breath control, and structure / rooting which is vital to ALL forms of exercise! Just like a building without a strong foundation, working out without these attributes is a recipe for disaster. Take a look around a typical gym and you're sure to see people with bodies like wet noodles with no structure whatsoever. You'll also see people holding their breath during exercise or huffing and puffing like they're going to vomit or die! These people clearly never learned proper body structure and breath control.
A common mistake is to think that there is a separation between Qigong/internal arts and external muscular/cardio training. They are ONE concept and when properly understood, you can't train one without the other. If you look at a top level sprinter, swimmer, gymnast, skater, weightlifter, etc. you're seeing someone who understands these concepts even if they don't know it! Once you learn how to control and root your body properly, every other exercise you do will be vastly improved. Essentially, you are training ALL DAY LONG! When you understand these concepts, you are constantly rooting your body and practicing deep stomach breathing even if you are doing simple things such as going for a walk or shopping. And when it's time for a workout, it's just a slight gear shift that you have to make in order to get into the right frame of mind. Viewing exercise in this way (simply an extension of what you're doing anyway all the time) completely changes the way you see the exercises and challenges ahead of you. It becomes more like a game. And even if you're doing intense exercise and no matter what other people watching you may think, in your mind it IS a playful game. This understanding will not only allow you to succeed in reaching your goals but you will have far less stress in doing so!
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