In an era when most of us have a heightened awareness of the negative effects of overstimulation, the slow, methodical mind-body practice of Qi Gong has become increasingly appealing.
Everyone wants to feel calm and centered in their minds and bodies, right? So why not look into the time-honored healing practices of the ancients to help you reset?
I first heard about Qi Gong (pronounced “chi-gong”) from an acupuncturist and Tao physician-friend in LA who espouses it as part of her weekly wellness routine.
At first, it seemed a little “out there” to me– until, around that same time, I started also seeing Qi Gong workshops being offered at traditional medical facilities and fancy wellness resorts in Europe and America. (First in Austria, then later in New York City.)
As a wellness junkie, I was curious. And once I had an awareness of the word, I soon noticed that various hospitals and outpatient clinics near me were espousing Qi Gong as an effective, gentle healing modality for people receiving all kinds of treatments, from cancer and cardiac rehabilitation to psychiatric help.
Qi Gong, I soon learned, is a method of mind-body training that aims to improve mental health and well-being in the mind, body, and spirit. It originated in Asia over 5,000 years ago, and it has been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. It’s non-invasive, universally safe, and increasingly well-studied.
Today, practicing Qi Gong is a great way to experience a kind of “movement meditation”, which is incidentally very helpful for people too restless to meditate.
If you’ve tried meditation but can’t really get the hang of it, Qi Gong is an excellent alternative that utilizes mindful movement and breathwork to essentially achieve the same quality of mental clarity, relaxation, and ease.
Qi Gong is also a great way to bring energy back into your body after long periods of respite from traditional exercise. (This, in particular, is why even Western hospitals and outpatient rehabs have embraced Qi Gong (and its sister practice, T’ai Chi) as a beneficial healing modality that works well in conjunction with physical therapy.)
Ultimately, the below Qi Gong videos for beginners offer a great, free introduction to what Qi Gong is all about, and they’re easy for beginners to follow.
A quick session of Qi Gong is a great way to relax, clear your mind, improve circulation, and recenter your physical body all at once. Try it and see for yourself!
If you’re new to Qi Gong or curious about it, you can watch any of the videos below and follow along with ease. We think, with time, you’ll grow to love the soothing effect that this practice can have on your mind, body, and spirit. Bookmark this post for easy reference later.
Easy Daily Qi Gong Routine (About 15 Minutes; Great For Beginners!)
Marissa Cranfill is a great modern practitioner of Qi Gong whose friendly demeanor and methodological clarity make her videos very easy to follow. (We’ve linked to another one of our favorites, below.)
In this 17-minute Daily Qi Gong Routine, Cranfill gives an overview of the basic principles of Qi Gong as well as clear, calming instructions as she guides viewers through the movement. The first part of the video focuses on gentle body tapping and brushing to awaken select meridian points (the same energy centers used in acupuncture), while the remaining part moves into sequences that help release negative energy and restore balance.
As a result, this video is excellent for beginners and passionate Qi Gong practitioners, alike.
Basically, it’s the perfect free Qi Gong tutorial for people who want to try Qi Gong for the first time– but you can also go back to it again and again.
FWIW, this is a great video for postpartum and postmenopausal women in need of energy and relaxation. We love the lush, green, relaxation-inducing natural setting and the feminine energy of the whole routine.
From the music to the moves, it’s all very inviting and intuitive. As Cranfill aptly notes when demonstrating a classic Qi Gong move called The Fountain, “resistance to the flow builds stress; going with the flow generates power.” Well said!
10-Minute Qi Gong Video for Improving Circulation & Promoting Ease in the Body
I’m sure that a lot of people on the Internet might be upset at the optics of a white guy teaching Qi Gong, but the practice is meant to be universal. This is not cultural appropriation– Master Qi Gong Teacher Lee Holden has studied the art of Qi Gong faithfully, which is why he’s one of the OG guides helping viewers learn more about this ancient practice through his videos.
That, moreover, is why this video has been around since the dawn of YouTube!
This easy 10-minute Qi Gong sequence is a great energizing morning routine for those looking for a quick AM Qi Gong session to start their day. Like the second Holden video below, it’s ideal for beginners looking to get some basic insight as to what Qi Gong is all about.
Easy 5-Minute, 3-Move Qi Gong Tutorial for Beginners
This easy 5-minute Qi Gong video focuses on three simple Qi Gong exercises: one for relaxation, one for managing stress, and one for restoring balance. It’s super efficient and quick, and you can do the moves anywhere, even with limited space.
Master Qi Gong Teacher Lee Holden structures this so-called “moving meditation” so as to make it exceptionally clear for beginners.
First, views can follow along in a staple Qi Gong exercise called “Knocking On The Door of Life”, which is a way to “knock” pressure points to increase energy, loosen the spine, and release tension. Next, you’ll shake out the body to release pent-up emotional stress, almost like an athlete does before an event (this allows them to transform nervous energy into productive energy).
Finally, the series ends with a Qi Gong exercise called “Open The Flow”, in which Holden demonstrates how to train one’s body to move Qi (energy) like water flowing down a river, effortlessly but powerfully. This final sequence helps views to feel restored, centered, and balanced.
20-minute Qi Gong Practice for Anxiety
Nick Loffree’s nature-based YouTube series focuses on Bioenergetic Health and the various modalities that can be used to address common mental wellness ailments like anxiety, depression, grief, and low energy.
Here, he focuses on using Qi Gong movement to soften the physical, somatic manifestations of anxiety in the body.
Like meditation, Qi Gong can have a powerful effect on the vagus nerve (which regulates your inner feelings of “calm” and “fear”) as well as other mind-body aspects of how anxious feelings arise in the body, which is what the video aims to address and relieve.
If you’re struggling with mild anxiety, this video can be a helpful tool in a larger toolkit. (If you’re experiencing more extreme, acute, and/or chronic anxiety, however, you should consider seeing a therapist. And if you’re having a panic attack right now, go here.)
Ultimately, Loffree’s gentle demeanor and cogent approach to this ancient healing practice makes this video an ideal one to revisit for a calming reset whenever you’re feeling a little frazzled or nervous. (Remember: the body always knows how to re-center itself whenever it’s in distress. That’s the beautiful thing about our innate capacity to heal. 🙂 )
Soothing Qi Gong Video for Boosting Overall Vitality
In this 13-minute video, Marissa Cranfill guides viewers through a Qi Gong series designed to optimize overall well-being.
The focus here is on the low back area which is often referred to in Qi Gong as “The Door of Life”– a metaphor for “opening and gaining access to our vitality,” she explains.
In my experience, this is an excellent Gi Gong video for busy parents. Especially stressed-out, frazzled moms who can’t quite summon the focus to meditate or the drive to exercise; this video captures the gentle essence of both. Thus, it’s a nice way to get yourself back into both mindful breathing and movement when you finally get a break from taking care of others.
We also love that this video takes place on the water, which is visually soothing on its own. The whole experience is lovely. Ultimately, Gi Gong might be easy, but it’s deceptively effective at calming the nervous system and boosting energy at the same time.
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