In class, I tell people not to be shy with their questions. Oftentimes if a student has a question, at least one more student has the same question. So taking the time to answer these things often benefits everybody, regardless of their level of training. Recently somebody asked me why it was that they felt so much Qi flow while doing one qigong pattern and so little while doing another. Another student asked if it was okay to do vigorous Qi flow with patterns that don't necessarily generate a lot of energy flow...and a blog post was born.
The 18 Lohan Hands are a diverse set of qigong patterns which can be used for a variety of therapeutic purposes. But some exercises are much better at stimulating a vigorous Qi flow, like Lifting the Sky or Carrying the Moon, whereas the energy generated in patterns like Big Windmill or Plucking Stars can often be more subtle. Does this matter? To a fresh beginner, yes. To a student with just a little more experience, no. Why is this?
An experienced student (actually it doesn't even take that much experience) has built up enough energy that they need less repetitions of a given pattern to generate a Qi flow compared to a raw beginner. For them, exercises like Carrying the Moon initiates a very strong Qi Flow and other, less intense patterns still generate a pretty strong flow. A relatively newer student hasn't quite built up enough energy flow, nor enough experience with the skill of Qi flow that they can apply that skill to any pattern.
Fortunately Cosmos Qigong is highly time and cost effective, so if that student practices diligently, they too will quickly build up sufficient Qi flow. But while they're still getting there, it's only natural that they will have a much easier time feeling their own energy while doing patterns which are much more effective to this end over ones that are less so. I had the same experience as a new student over 10 years ago.
So what about once you've built up sufficient energy flow? Can you apply that to any exercise? Absolutely. Different patterns are helpful for different conditions, so being able to apply Qi flow to those patterns will greatly expedite the healing from that particular ailment. If qigong is the vehicle that gets us to the destination of health, Qi flow is the engine. In our weekly qigong class, we learn the skill of Qi flow and how to apply it to the qigong patterns practiced in Shaolin Wahnam Cosmos Qigong. Students learn how to practice safely, as well as identify and correct any deviations for joyful and effective practice. If you'd like to learn more about our classes, this link will take you to everything you need to know.