There are thousands of forms of Qigong (Ch'i Kung) and
Taiji (T'ai Chi).
The forms that are the most simple and easy to access
are Qigong methods that have only a few instructions.
Spontaneous Qigong, for example, is simply a practice of
allowing the body to move about in a random fashion
according to one's inner guidance or wisdom. The cancer
recovery Qigong method developed by Guo Lin in the 1970's is
very simple as well. Both of these forms are profound in
their benefits, with millions of people practicing them in
There are many forms of Qigong that are quite complex
and esoteric. Wild Goose Qigong has two sections with 64
movements in each section. While it is complex and difficult
to learn Wild Goose Qigong is exceptionally beautiful. In
the West we think of geese as loud birds that try to nibble
at your fingers. In contrast, in China, the goose is
considered to be a marvelous creature who flies high into
the clouds to gather cosmic energy and information and bring
it to Earth.
There are a number of different styles of Taiji all of
which are generally considered to be kinds of Qigong.
Traditionally these forms consist of 108 movements. It will
take a serious student from six months to over a year to
learn the "long form". Most styles of Taiji have adapted
shorter forms of 27 movements and 38 movements, etc. While a
strong emphasis in Taiji is health, there is a widespread
community of practitioners whose interest is the martial
arts aspect, usually referred to as Taijiquan (quan
translates as fist or boxing).
In the end the best guidance on how to choose a form
to learn is relatively simple.
If you are healthy and wish to sustain your health and
if you have the time to invest, learning Taiji or one of the
complex systems of Qigong is highly recommended. Or you may
want to begin with a more simple for of Qigong and graduate
to more complex forms at a later time.
If you are unwell you may have the time to invest but
not the energy. To build up your health and heal the disease
that is your challenge you will want to begin with a
practice that is easy to learn and simple to perform. Some
of the most profoundly healing forms are quite simple.
Intelligence (Zhineng) Qigong has several million
practitioners in China and is growing radically because each
student is encouraged to become a teacher. Many powerful
stories of healing are associated with the Zhineng method
because so many people are practicing it.
If you are healthy but also too busy to spare much
time a simple form of Qigong will help you to build power,
endurance and intuition while not asking too much of your
time. Later, as you realize the immense blessing that Qigong
provides, you may elect to deepen your practice with