The Nei Gong from a Higher Heaven
Nei Gong, which in Chinese means ‘internal work’, is a wonderful series of movements originating thousands of years ago in The Himalayas. Cultivated by the Taoists, these gentle exercises were passed down orally from Master to student, remaining hidden for centuries, hence they are not widely known in the west.
The movements are unique and were practiced to promote longevity, prevent disease, strengthening the immune system, increasing core strength and ultimately developing the spirit, bringing balance to the body’s energetic system.
Nei Gong can be considered a form of energy management. If we imagine the energy in our body is like a bank account, then spending all our energy can leave us with a deficit. By increasing our core reserve of energy, we can increase our internal wealth. Modern day living in the fast lane depletes our energy reserves; doing these gentle exercises regularly helps to build up our core energy and restore the balance.
Heather Hendry is a student of Christel Wilk, Founder of the Tian Yan Nei Gong Centre in Hong Kong, and is introducing this style of Nei Gong to the United Kingdom for the first time. Further information about the origins and philosophy of this ancient discipline, with a gallery of photos and videos, can be found at tianyanneigong.com.
What does a Nei Gong class consist of?
Classes consist of holding exercises called Jing Gong, which collect the energy and help to build up core strength. In order to circulate this collected energy, we then practice one of several Dong Gong, each of which is a very individual and continuous dynamic movement. This flow of circulating energy called Qi or Chi, is a unique form of life energy which flows through the meridian channels to nourish and support the organs of the body, leading to a sense of increased well being.
Each course consists of 8 classes, one per week of two hours each during which we will focus on the practice of various Jing Gong and one Dong Gong. Classes will be kept small to ensure that full care and attention can be given to each student.
Knowing your limit
Although Tian Yan Nei Gong is powerful, its movements are gentle.
The heart of Taoist practice is the 70% rule of moderation. When performing these movements to 70% of your limit, you will not be forcing the body. Pushing to achieve 100% has a natural tendency to produce tension and stress. However as you regularly practice within your comfort zone, you will encourage these tensions to become less and slowly disappear.
Nei Gong movements are suitable from teenage to old age, though it is wise to practice regularly to yield the accumulative benefits.
Some of the benefits of Nei Gong practice
- Builds up core strength
- Strengthens the immune system
- Relieves stress on the emotional, mental and physical level
- Works on back problems, posture, alignment
- Tones and firms the body
- Slows down the chattering monkey mind
- Helps to maintain a healthy weight
- Increases mental clarity, concentration and focus
- Produces relaxation and releasing of muscular tension
- Helps to restore self confidence
- Encourages you to connect with your body and learn your limits
- Creates an internal organ massage
- Regular practice of these movements is an investment in your future as Nei Gong keeps you flexible into old age