Why do my students and I get such amazing results?
One of the biggest secrets is not just what we practice, but how.
And also how long.
You may be surprised to hear that we don’t practice for hours at a time. Instead, we typically practice for about 15 minutes per session.
Somehow, we seem to get better results practicing for 15 minutes than many qigong and tai chi practitioners do practicing for an hour!
But how is this possible?
The answer is simple: It’s because of something called the 5-Phase Routine
But what’s so great about it?
Quality over Quantity
Qigong is a form of mindfulness meditation, or at least it should be.
In my tradition, we Enter Zen in the beginning of each session. This means that we enter into a gentle and relaxed state of mind.
Staying in this Zen state of mind for 15 minutes is totally doable. But staying in a Zen state for 60 minutes is hard.
By keeping your practice session short and sweet, you keep the quality of the Zen mind much higher.
This has a compounding effect that pushes the effectiveness way up. It allows for powerful results that aren’t possible with a lower quality session.
There are countless styles of qigong, and different categories as well, like Medical Qigong, Martial Qigong, and Spiritual Qigong.
But all of these styles and types utilize 3 different ways of cultivating the energy:
Most qigong routines only incorporate one or two of these. The beauty of the 5-Phase Routine is that it incorporates all three categories — in every session.
The single most important factor for success in these arts is consistency of practice.
If you don’t practice regularly, you won’t get good results. Period.
The 5-Phase Routine is doable for everyone, no matter how busy you are.
What if you’re already consistent with a daily practice routine like yoga, or sitting meditation?
Great. Keep those habits. Since this routine is only 15 minutes, it should be easy to insert into your daily schedule.
The 5-Phase Routine
Below are the details for the 5-Phase Routine that I teach.
Phase 1: The Opening Sequence
- Stand upright and relax.
- Find your center
- Relax from head to toe.
- Relax twice as much.
- Smile from the heart!
Purpose: To enter into a Zen state of mind so that we can successfully cultivate energy in Phase 2.
Phase 2: Dynamic Exercises
- Enjoy 1-6 Dynamic Exercises (like Lifting The Sky)
Purpose: To get the energy (or qi) flowing.
Phase 3: Energy Flow
Purpose: To circulate the energy (or qi), thus allowing the body to heal.
Phase 4: Consolidation
- Flowing Stillness
Purpose: To consolidate the benefits gained in Phases 1-3.
Phase 5: The Closing Sequence
- Thinking Gently of Dantian
- Rubbing the Hands
- Warming the Eyes
- Patting the Eyes Open
- Washing the Face
- Combing the Hair
- The Point Massage
- Rubbing Coins
- 24 Heavenly Drums
(Click here for a video of the closing sequence)
Purpose: To help us transition back from a deep meditative state, and also to bring energy to the face and the eyes.
The timing of the 5-Phase Routine should be dynamic. In other words, the time spent on each phase will change slightly from session to session. Sometimes, the entire routine will only take ten minutes, and sometimes it will take twenty.
Most importantly, follow the 3 Golden Rules. The 5-Phase Routine is not a chore to be endured; it is a wonder to be enjoyed.
The 5-Phase Routine is an effective way to get results with qigong whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner.
I teach the details of the 5-Phase Routine in my flagship online program called Qigong 101: The Art of Healing for Busy People.
Got questions about this routine? Post them below! Mindfully yours, Sifu Anthony I’m Anthony Korahais, and I used qigong to heal from clinical depression, low back pain, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. I’ve already taught thousands of people from all over the world how to use qigong for their own stubborn health challenges. As the director of Flowing Zen and a board member for the National Qigong Association, I'm fully committed to helping people with these arts. In addition to my blog, I also teach online courses and offer in-person retreats and workshops.