7 Tips for Getting Back On Track With Your Qigong

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Have you gotten off track with your qigong practice?  If so, you’re not alone.  Building a longterm practice is hard. I see this problem again and again in students, and I struggled with it myself too.

The good news is that if you sincerely want to get back on track, you can do it.  These tips may help.

1. Know that Everyone Struggles

Sooner or later, everyone faces this issue.  Even the most disciplined students go through phases where they stop practicing. It’s just human nature.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”- Thomas Edison

The sooner you acknowledge that failure is part of the learning process, the sooner you can get yourself back on track.  I’ve failed, and so have my top students.  What makes us successful is that we accept failure as part of the process.

2. Read a Book

Never before in history has so much quality information on these arts been available for so cheap. Get some books on qigong, meditation, or whatever inspires you.

Even bad books can sometimes inspire you to practice.  After reading a bad qigong book, I feel like I need to go practice to cleans my palate!

3. Do the 2-Minute Drill

I originally developed the 2-Minute Drill  for students who had stopped practicing.  For whatever reason, it was too difficult for them to jump straight back into the 15-Minute Routine.  The 2-Minute Drill, however, was something they could manage.

Do you have 2 minutes?  Of course you do.  That’s why the 2-Minute Drill works so well — because it’s doable.  I recommend that you set a goal to do the 2-Minute Drill every day for 30 days.  If you fail, then just try again, without beating yourself up (see tip #1).

4. Take a Class

Take an online class, or a live class. Learn some new techniques. Discover a new teacher.

Learning gets the juices flowing. Being in a group is also helpful.

If you can’t find a local class, then sign up for a workshop or a retreat! Don’t just think about it. Register. Put it on your calendar. Commit!

5. Create Space

Is there room in your life — physically and metaphorically — for these arts? Is there a clean, comfortable place where you can go practice whenever you want?  If not, then maybe you’ve just found the missing puzzle piece.

Years ago, I moved into a beautiful apartment overlooking a park in New York City.  My friends helped me move in, and I asked them to leave the master bedroom empty.

“Why leave it empty?” a friend asked.
“Because that’s the practice room,” I replied.
“But it’s the nicest room in the apartment!”
“Yep.  And that’s why it’s going to be the practice room.”

I created space for my practice.  At the time, this was a big shift for me because I had been cooped up in tiny apartments for years, making it difficult to practice during the winter.  As soon as I gave myself a nice practice space, things started to change for me.  Suddenly, I found it easy to practice!

We have a room for everything — eating, sleeping, watching TV — but we have no room for Mindfulness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

If you don’t yet have a place to practice, then create one.   It can be a room, a porch, a gazebo in the back yard, but it must be comfortable, it must be convenient, and it must be readily available.  Your space should be inviting, and it should entice you to practice.

6. Talk to Your Sifu

Sometimes, what you need most is a little support from your Sifu.  Even if you probably know what he’s going to say, it can be reassuring to hear it.  Your Sifu often has exactly what students are desperate for — perspective.

If you know me, then you know that I don’t just teach; I cultivate relationships with my students.  Even though I’ve taught thousands of people, I know almost all of them by name.   (If I don’t yet know your name, then I promise to learn it quickly if you start talking to me!)  If I’m your Sifu, then you have a relationship with me.  Use it!

If I’m not your sifu, then I encourage you to go talk to yours.  As a Sifu, I can almost guarantee that yours will be happy to hear from you, and happy to help.  (If not, then it might be time to find a new teacher.)

7. Read My Blog

My blog helps me to address subjects that are meaningful to my own students. And guess what? Lots of students struggle with practicing, so it’s a common theme on my blog.  In many ways, my blog is for you!

Blogs are great because they are dynamic.  For example, you can scroll to the bottom of this post right now and leave a comment.  (Yes, it’s really that easy.)  And I will respond to that comment, creating a conversation.  And because that conversation is public, it helps to create community among all the people reading.

If you aren’t on my email list, then get on it so that you can receive updates about new blog posts. 

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 to use qigong for their own stubborn health issues. I teach online courses, and also lead in-person retreats and workshops.

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14 Responses to 7 Tips for Getting Back On Track With Your Qigong

  1. David Burch January 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    I’m one of the student who flies into Gainesville, FL every year to attend Sifu Anthony’s Qigong, Kung Fu, and Tai Chi workshops. With driving and layovers it takes me over twelve hours to get to Florida.

    I only attend about once a year because that’s all I can afford. By the time I add in air fare, hotel, and car rentals, I haven’t been able to reduce the cost of a trip below $1,000. I don’t consider that to be expensive as I am able to learn enough from one workshop to practice for the upcoming year.

    I do wish that I lived in Gainesville, FL and could drop in on classes. With Sifu’s unlimited plan I could attend as often as I liked for around what one trip costs me now.

    • Sifu Anthony January 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Thanks, David. Your investment is certainly paying off. Keep up the good work!

  2. Fred Chu January 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    I can definitely say that I envy anyone that lives in Gainesville who can just pop into one of Sifu’s classes!

    I can’t believe just how accessible Sifu and Sigung are; they’re literally an email away! Other sifu’s that I’ve trained under in the past would only speak to me in person; if I had a question about a point in practice, I was out of luck for the next 1-4 months before I saw them again.

    I can also attest to the importance of having a good space. Last semester, I’d wake up at 5:00am and bike to campus so that I could have a particular courtyard all to myself without distractions. I’m more often doing my daily practice at night. Because I sleep on the floor (well, the carpeted floor!) and I have everything up on a bookshelf or suspended from the ceiling, I have an excellent floor space in which to practice. I have to wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that my cat and my roommate’s cat spend so much time in there! =)

    • Sifu Anthony January 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Good stuff, Fred. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad that you found a space to practice your Kung Fu!

  3. kyogi January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Sifu Anthony,
    I have ben reading Chi Kung for health and vitality by Master Wong Kiew Kit.
    I saw you web site and that helps gave me hope to make my plans of coming to Gainsville.
    Do you please have a DVD that I can purchase to continue practising the Qigong stated in the book while I plan for my trip to learn details from you?
    Last year I suffered from Sciatica with very cruciating pains but due the simple practices from the Chi Kung book I became well to the surprise of everyone around me.
    Now I have problem with periodintal disease which i need to deepen my practise. My dentist tried to help but still my gums are still painfull. Please let me know if a DVD from you will deepen my practise while I budget for my trip to Gainsville.
    Light and Gratitude.
    Kyogi

    • Sifu Anthony January 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Dear Kyogi,

      I don’t have any DVDs. Learning from DVDs can be problematic because it emphasizes physical form rather than energy cultivation. I recommend that you continue learning from my teacher’s books, and also take advantage of my free downloads. Come down to learn from me in person, or consider coming to Costa Rica to learn from my teacher.

      You may be inspired to know that one of my student’s overcame a so-called “incurable” periodontal disease. You can read his testimonial here: http://flowingzen.com/testimonials/

      All the best,
      Sifu Anthony

      • kyogi January 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

        Hello Sifu Anthony,
        Thank you so much for your inspiration message.
        I am working on it so hard to come over to Gainsville.
        If by dealing with Grandmaster’s book alone with such a marvelous result; how is it like to have the actual experience with a teacher. you will definitely see me there.
        God bless you for helping mankind the way you do.
        I really appreciate your reply.
        Thanks again
        Kyogi

  4. Amy Morrow April 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    I am greatful to be a patient of Christina’s (in St. Pete) who talked me into taking your course at The Vinoy in St. Pete a couple of years ago. I just recently (after many failed attemps of practicing the 15 minutes daily) incorporated the 2 minute drill into my everyday life. I am eager to learn the Five Animal Play to help with some underlying issues and wondered which book I should purchase from your website? BTW, I am coming up to Gainseville (for a graduation) this weekend and will be popping in to check out the studio. I’m very excited! Thanks for making this website available…it’s a jem!

  5. Amy Morrow April 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    I am greatful to be a patient of Christina’s (in St. Pete) who talked me into taking your course at The Vinoy in St. Pete a couple of years ago. I just recently (after many failed attemps of practicing the 15 minutes daily) incorporated the 2 minute drill into my everyday life. I am eager to learn the Five Animal Play to help with some underlying issues and wondered which book I should purchase from your website? BTW, I am coming up to Gainseville (for a graduation) this weekend and will be popping in to check out the studio. I’m very excited! Thanks for making this website available…it’s a gem!

  6. Frank Thompson September 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Dear Sifu Anthony,

    I save all of your emails and I am happy that I saved this one in January, 2012. My practice has been like one who is learning to drive a “stick shift” car. You give it the gas and let out the clutch. If you do it too fast or too slow, the engine dies, and you start over. In some cases, frustration takes over and one decides it’s easier not to learn to drive a stick shift.
    I have also felt as if I have let you down when actually, I’ve let myself down! The problem has been back pain increasing rather than decreasing. I know you have said to work through it, but like the stick shift driver, the pain overwhelms the desire to continue.
    I appreciate your idea to do the 2-minute drill every day. I can do that! I will do that! Thank you so very much.
    Frank

    • Sifu Anthony October 19, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      Frank, you haven’t let me down. I hope to see you next time I’m in Arkansas.

  7. Sonia Green June 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Thanks for making this practice easy and so enjoyable! The review section is really useful. 3 weeks ago I had a lot going on and started to let my daily practice slip. I’m back on the horse now and appreciate your support, which encourages me with a light hand without guilt – no pressure. I love coming to the studio – lucky me! with love and thanks..

  8. Bill Putman November 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    This is excellent advice. And I couldn’t agree more with #4. Mapquest tells me I am currently 1031 miles away from Flowing Zen studio. I look at the weekly schedule and think how wonderful it must be to have access to Sifu Anthony’s teaching and those classes on a regular basis. It is costly and time-consuming (but absolutely worth it) to travel to workshops in Florida. But I also think that in order to study and practice qigong and tai chi at a distance one must develop a certain resolve and discipline that is beneficial. One must also be creative in making use of available resources, e.g. Grandmaster Wong’s books, Sifu Anthony’s articles and videos, and the like. I look forward to my next live and in person workshop and hope my fellow students in or near Gainesville appreciate and take full advantage of their opportunities!

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