What is Tai Chi and Qigong

Bamboo has the characteristics of strength, ideality, modesty, nobility and gentlenessThis information describes Qigong (Chi Kung), Tai Chi, and general information about Bending Tree's programs. To find the program and class appropriate for you in the Hampton Roads area, cliclk

What is it?

There are many forms of Tai Chi and many spellings. Qigong (or Chi Kung) is known as "the mother of Tai Chi," and it was developed before the martial arts influence. When Qigong mixed with martial arts, it became Tai Chi.

The Chinese believe to "strain is not to gain." They also believe that one must have a strong mind/body connection to feel "inside the body" and recognize when energy is "out of balance." The practice of this "moving meditation" will enhance the mind/body connection and allow one to have more of a connection with the internal body. Qigong and Tai Chi are exercises as well as meditations. You will move every muscle, joint, bone, and organ of the body but in a slow and methodical way. Breathing techniques will enhance your practice. The exercises specifically for the joints will help you maintain your flexibility and regain some of the lost flexibility. This is a very gentle program and therefore is perfect for rehabilitation. One should always consult one's Doctor before starting a new exercise program. If your Doctor doesn't know about Tai Chi, ask him to find out (perhaps even share this website with him or her.)
This moving meditation will help you to develop focus and concentration but also to build the feeling of peace and harmony. For all of you who are suffer from worry, or perfectionism, Type A personality, and stress illnesses, this is the practice for you!

The movements cited above are part of a Qigong form called "The Longevity Tree," a 36-step moving meditation form that combines meditation, exercises and breathing techniques to create a mind/body/spirit connection. Deep breathing will enhance your exercise. This form is a great place to start studying the art of internal energy, as it teaches the basics in internal energy meditation movement and then progresses to an intermediate level and senior level. Having graduated from one form, the student has many options available in the program for continued study.

The Qigong program is a comprehensive one. It allows the student to pace themselves as to their interest and their time available. All levels of students are welcome. If all you want to do is practice and have one form, you will find a program here to suit you. Some students choose to repeat the form so as to concentrate less on the mechanics of the movements and more on the "flow" of energy. Students who choose to do this, may do so at 50% of the cost. Some students choose to go on and learn another form or some of our supplementary practices.

Advances classes are available after discussion with the instructor. There are other options in the program to continue your practice as well. We offer a summer "High Inner Chi" program, sunrise and sunset practices, and the Master's Retreat in the fall. When graduating from the Longevity Tree course, students may join the graduate study program which allows the student to continue work on their form at no cost while aiding the teacher in the classroom. It is a wonderful experience to be working on your own form and helping others discover the great benefits of Qigong as well. Students may enter into the "Instructor Training Program" and eventually be certified to teach. It is all up to the student as to how far and how fast they choose to learn and practice. But first just start with having the practice just for your own use. That is the greatest gift Qigong and Tai Chi has to offer.


  • Qigong helps to improve your overall health, body flexibility, balance and breathing.
  • You will exercise every joint, muscle, bone and organ in your body in a slow and methodical way.
  • To have even one Chinese moving meditation form for your use as you age will be a gift to your mind, body and spirit.
  • Qigong is an excellent practice for almost anyone!
  • People who learn and practice Qigong report wonderful results in pain management, stress reduction, increased energy and flexibility, better sleeping and overall improved health.

To find out how Tai Qigong changed the teacher's life, and to read about other students' experiences, see the Student comments and the Instructor Link on the Other Info menu.