Self Care

Where Is The Best Place To Learn Qigong?

By Albert E PerryApr 25, 2022

If your desire is where the best place to learn Qigong might be, perhaps I can provide some insight. I’ve been practicing for over 30 years, and started teaching about 20 years ago. The best place to learn depends a lot on where you live, and if there are any practitioners in the area. Qigong is a bit of an obscure practice, so not every area has teachers available. In Qigong, (pronounced “Chee gung,” the instructors are referred to as Sifu, which translates into teacher.

Qigong: Some Basics

Conceding that some of you are unfamiliar with Qigong, it is a combination of two words. Qi, meaning life force energy and Gong, meaning work or cultivation. In short, Qigong is the cultivation and balancing of our vital life force energy.

Qigong is one of the 5 branches of Chinese Medicine. It uses the same meridian system, or model, as the other 4 branches which include the more well-known modality of Acupuncture. The difference is in the method by which the meridian system is managed.

Acupuncture uses needles to direct the flow of vital Qi through the meridians, which are like channels or circuits. Qigong uses movement, breath and mental intention, or visualization, to either move, cultivate (strengthen), balance or clear stagnant Qi.

The practice is not necessarily physically demanding, but it much more than waving ones hands around and stepping back and forth, although it may look like that at first glance.

Learn Qigong Online Free

YouTube is a great place to find free online Qigong training. The advantage is that you can earn without having a Sifu in your vicinity. My YouTube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/c/AlPerryQiFlow/

Qigong was passed down from Sifu to student without any written reference for more than 2000 years. Thus, there are as many versions of Qigong as there are dialect of language families. How to pick the right version for you is a personal choice.

Various Forms of Qigong

The first question to ask yourself is: What do I want out of my Qigong practice. If you want to achieve physical strength, you’d want some who teaches a more Martial Qigong, known as a hard form. You might look up: Iron Shirt Qigong or Shaolin Qigong. I do not teach or practice this form. Hard forms of Qigong create a lot of holding patterns for the connective tissue. While these forms create strength in the physical body, flow is reduced and longevity as well as general overall wellness can be affected.

I teach a form that is based on Medical Qigong. All the movements and intentions are to balance the Qi in each organ system. I have added Mindset Training to the form. Using visualizations and affirmations, I’ve discovered the Qigong is the ideal modality for mindset training and creating neuroplasticity, or the reprogramming of the brains neurons and their dendrite clusters.

The Daoist philosophy, which formed from the observation of the cycles Nature, is at it’s core about balance. Spiritual Qigong, sometimes called Philosophical Qigong because there is no dogma, is the purist form of this ancient practice.

The Three Treasures to Learn in Qigong

In Spiritual Qigong, cultivation of The Three Treasures is taught to be of great value. These three treasures are called Jing, Qi and Shen. They are cultivated and then stored in a field of energy named the Dantian (Literally: elixir field). There are three of these Dantians. The Lower Dantian is where the Jing is stored. The Middle Dantian is where the Qi is stored. The Upper Dantian is where the Shen is stored.

Jing is the essence we are born with. It’s like a combination of DNA and epigenetics, or the things that affect the programming of our physical body after birth. In both Spiritual Qigong and Medical Qigong, there are exercises that strengthen and concentrate Jing, which then helps refine it into Qi, the second treasure.

Qi animates the physicality of our being while manifesting our emotional being. Qi is also the energy of our emotional body.

Shen which is refined Qi and comprises the spiritual and mental being.

Here we can break that down to strengthening the body which is form, or physical, by using principles which treat the formless or energetic body. We are then, with this practice, treating the whole being, physical, emotional and spiritual.

An analogy

The base of the candle is like Jing, the essence of the candle.

We see that the flame of the candle is like Qi, the working energy of the candle.

Finally, the Light emitted from the candle is like Shen, the result of our energy spent in life, lighting the path for others

The exercises in this practice refine the energies as follows:

Lower Dantian

Refines Jing (our essence from birth stored in the Kidneys) into Qi (Life-Force Energy)

Middle Dantian

Refines Qi into Shen (Spirit, Soul, the Emotions).

Upper Dantian

Refines Shen into Wu Wei (Emptiness or Enlightenment)

Learn Qigong At Home

While it is preferable to learn from a live Sifu, or instructor, there are classes available with instructor assistance that you can take at your own pace in your own home. As in the free classes on YouTube, it’s important to know what you want out of the class.

Qigong is helpful for many types of health issues, including body, mind, emotion and spiritual as well. The practice of Qigong is known as the Longevity Exercise.

Under the stewardship of the NIH (National Institute Of Heath), the National Library of Medicine (NLM) produced a study by the National Center For Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The study stated: “Qigong practices activate naturally occurring physiological and psychological mechanisms of self-repair and health recovery.” The study concluded that Qigong was beneficial for dozens of issues ranging form anxiety to pulmonary disease and falling prevention in the elderly.

What is it that you want from Qigong?

For me, the most important aspects are to maintain my good health well into my old age. I turn 70 soon. To celebrate, my wife and I will be hiking Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

The picture on the right is the last part of the hike on cables which go to the top of the up exposed granite dome. The entire hike is 16.4 miles round trip, The trail climbs 4,800 feet in elevation, from 4000′ to 8839′ at the top.

The point

My point is that few 70 year old men try this. It is not for the casual hiker. It’s rated extremely difficult. I’m doing it for my 70th birthday to bring awareness that Qigong is a way to allow your body to thrive well into your aged years. The hike takes 8 – 12 hours to complete, depending on one’s fitness level.

Perhaps Longevity isn’t important to you. Maybe you want to meditate but you can’t sit still. The purpose of meditation is to become fully present in this infinite moment. Qigong is a moving meditation. You don’t need to sit still to meditate. Qigong keeps your mind in the present moment by using it to create visualizations that reprogram the brain’s neuron network. This not only helps you be calm and centered. It also helps you manifest your true authentic life path, so you can realize your dreams.

Qigong and Brain Health

In light of the positive effect Qigong has on brain health. It has found to be very effective for anxiety disorder and attention deficit disorder. Therefore, if brain heath is what you want from Qigong, then look for someone who addresses that in their teaching.

My favorite course that you can take at home is my Live Life Fulfilled course. It addresses health, well-being and mindset training. It combines the ancient Qigong movements with imagery through visualizations as well as affirmations to reprogram your neurons to work for you. You can find out more about that course here.

The Qigong Institute

The Qigong institute is a wonderful resource to find instructors in your area. You can find them Here. The also have an eBook recently published called: An Introduction to Qigong Healthcare.

This link connects to an excerpt from the eBook which is a compendium of 120+ research studies from the scientific community on teaching, practicing, and legislating Qigong as a health care solution. There’s great information about Qigong in this free excerpt. The entire book is available to you for a donation. Visit the Qigong Institutes website for more information.

Qigong Training

Qigong Training is a discipline more than a series of exercises. To train in Qigong asks you to dig deep into a part of you that is rarely discussed in our culture. You’re asked, when training, to see yourself as more than a physical body.

Qigong and Nature

Maybe you visualize yourself as a mountain river, roaring down seeking the clearest path forward to your ultimate home, the oceans. Perhaps you create yourself as a tree, whose branches reach out into the sky. As the wind begins your branches blow, going with the challenge and not resisting.

We learn from Nature. By becoming Nature in our minds we understand better how the Universe works, and we evolve.

When you begin to learn Qigong, start slow, with simple movements. Synchronizing movement and breath is your first mission. The trick is to eventually see your breath as the engine that moves you, instead of your muscles. The muscles should be supple and quiet. Feel the effort is all in your breath, Inhaling as you pull the body on way, exhale pushing the body the opposing direction.

Qigong Teacher Training

So you want to be a Sifu? Do you love Qigong? What style or form do you practice? What is your motivation for teaching? How can you help your students learn Qigong?

Do you want to make a lot of money? You better choose another field. Do you want to help folks be their best self? Now we are talking. Where did you learn? Does your Sifu train teachers? Try asking. It’s better to teach the form you are familiar with and practice yourself. Then you are authentic in the product you deliver to your students.

I have a teacher training, However my form is unique in that I concentrate on the development of Shen. In that process our body becomes healthier. The primary focus is on Mindset training. Qigong is the modality I use for that.

You can check out the online version of the course. I can’t certify you just through this online portion. It’s a guide, not the entire course. If you are local to the bay area, I would want to teach it in person. I you are out of my area, I would consider teaching zoom. I would need to interview you, however. Contact me through my website.

In Conclusion

I hope this was helpful with finding where to locate The Best Place To Learn Qigong. My life is dedicated to help folks find their best version of themselves. If we can do that, we can make the world a better place for our children, and grandchildren.

Your path is lit for you to find and follow. Simply open your eyes to the doors that open up around you. May you find and continue on that path that has been created especially for you. You are simultaneously unique and one with Source.

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  1. I first came across Qigong when I was on a flight to Beijing and before we landed, the airline provided the opportunity for the passengers to practice Qigong. Although I didn’t know the meaning or the exercises that could be done in the confined space of sitting down, I remember how peaceful and tranquil the music was. And everybody seemed to be so relaxed. 

    I loved reading and learning more about Qigong and would like to include mindful training, so will look at You Tube videos as you suggested. Congratulations on doing the hike in Yosemite National Park! All the best.

    1. Thanks Line!

      You can congrate me when I’ve actually done it..

      We go in August..

      Thanks for reading and commenting on this post!

      I’m happy to be adding Qigong for mindfulness

      Stay well and keep thriving!


  2. Thanks for your informative article on Qigong. I have been curious about it for years but hadn’t seen it explained so eloquently in the past. I am not sure that I’m going to be able to find a local instructor, so I appreciate that you have a youtube channel to help people get started. 

    Good luck with your half dome climb! I imagine that is going to be epic!

    1. Thanks, Aly, for reading and commenting!

      I’m happy to hear that you want to know more about Qigong.

      If you watch a video, an SD begin a practice, feel free to comment with any questions you have, abd I’ll be happy to help.

      Thanks for the good wishes! I look forward to the experience!

      Stay well and keep thriving!


  3. This is the first time that I have heard about Qigong. I was searching for information on body aura’s for a project I am helping my daughter with and found this information on Qigong. 

    I have been exploring the mindset and the importance of daily mindfulness, but find meditating so difficult as I can’t sit still and concentrate. If this is movement-based, it might suit me better and have the same benefits, if not better.

    However, I quite enjoyed your video and was just starting to get into the mountain rain and mist when it ended. I was quite impressed I managed to concentrate the whole time.

    1. I’m happy that you were alive to focus your mind during Qigong, Michel. I find that Qigong is truly a moving meditation, beneficial for mindfulness, general health and well-being.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Keep on thriving!


  4. What a great read about Qigong, at the start, was confused about how to pronounce and then you clarified it too easy understand. My area is not big enough to learn this type of sport, so would have to drive at least hour a way to each class or try learning online through following an instructor and watch video lessons. Thanks for sharing this information with your readers. 

    1. Thanks, Jannette! Qigong has been very good to me and kept me in good health for many years…

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Continue to heal and thrive!


  5. Hi Al,

       I enjoyed reading your information about Qigong. Having never followed any discipline of any kind, I learned a few things.

    I do have a few questions though. 

    Is Qigong helpful in keeping your brain healthy and working properly? If so, which should I start with?

    Is it plausible to start this at an older age? How about mobility issues?

    Thank you,


    1. Thank You, Kathi, for reading and commenting on this article.

      Yes on both brain health and mobility. Qigong exercises are gentle movements, so age is not a factor. I have students in their eighties.

      Start with this video, let me know how it goes. 

      Stay well and thrive!


  6. I love it when I learn something new that I hadn’t heard of before. The term acupuncture and how it is applied is familiar to me. However, you educated me on what is QIgong and how its practice can be used to enhance our daily lives through specific focused and gentle body movements.

    Is there any relationship between Qidong and TaiChi? 

    Thanks for sharing Qigong with us.



    1. Thanks for reading this post and commenting, Edwin!

      I am happy i was able to interest you in Qigong, it’s been very good to me over the years.

      Tai Chi (Which I know as Taijiquan) means Supreme Ultimate Fist. It is a hybrid of Qigong and fighting Martial arts.

      Some of the moves are similar, but the mental intension and visualization are not there.

      Stay well and keep thriving, Edwin!


  7. This is an interesting topic. When I got to your site I had absolutely no idea what Qigong is but it seemed interesting so I had to check it out. Personally if I’m to choose the specific Qigong for me it would definitely be something to enhance my physical ability, probably something like Shaolin Qigong because I want to be able to defend myself when something bad might happen to me. But I guess to obtain power there’s always a price to pay and like you mentioned, “While these forms create strength in the physical body, flow is reduced and longevity as well as general overall wellness can be affected.” so I’ll have to give it much thought before going into it.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Nelson.

      You bring up a great question. If I was coaching you, I would Combine weight resistance training for muscle strength, your choice of cardio for stamina and Qigong for health, wellness and mindset.

      I hope that’s helpful! Keep on thriving!


  8. I have never heard of Qigong practice before. To learn that it is similar to acupuncture but yet different as it deals with hand and body coordination and breathing to maintain good health. In addition that there are different forms of qigong, which are better to practice than other that would not put stress on the body. Interesting article

    1. I’m happy to introduce Qigong to you, Shevonne! It’s been very good to me for may years!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Keep on thriving!


  9. Hi,

    I’m so glad I’ve found this website. I used to do Tai Chi but had a lot of difficulty with hand and body coordination. I’m sure that means I should have done more but after a while I gave up.

    I would really like to do something positive and Qigong looks like it might be the right thing.

    I looked at your YouTube video and that looks like a great start for me, it’s short and straightforward and I can imagine following it and doing it on a regular basis and then moving on to look at other of your videos. 

    I’m massively impressed at how fit and healthy you are, and I know I need to improve.

    Thank you for the work you doand I look forward to seeing more of it.

    All the best


    1. Thank You, Julia, for taking the time to read and comment on this post.

      I’m happy to hear that Qigong resonated with you. It has been very good to me!

      Please comment or ask me questions as you begin your Qigong journey, so I can help you through the procey!

      Stay well and thriy!


  10. Hi Albert, thanks for your post on Qigong. I have a DVD on Tai Chi and have tried a bit from a YouTube. How would you say the two differ, and which is best to help one age in a healthy way? Am I correct in Qigong being more of a mind discipline? Both are good for the body? I would be interested in learning more.

    1. Hi Carolyn. Thanks for reading and responding to this post.

      Qigong, as one of the branches of Chinese Medicine, is a practice for the entire being, body, mind, emotions and spirit. Tai Chi, which I know as Taijiquan, is a hybrid of Qigong and martial arts. It is good for balance and flow, but does not address specific issues. Qigong exercises can be practiced as a preventive medicine, or given as a prescription. I also teach Qigong .as a mindset training. So yes it is good for the mind as well.

      I hope that is helpful.


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