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Qi Mind, Qi Body

It is not unusual today to see people in the park standing with their arms held out in front of their bodies looking into the distance. They are diligently working to develop their mind intent and expand their awareness through the practice of an internal system of Gong Fu known as Yiquan (pronounced ‘ee-chwan’). What you are witnessing is a form of standing meditation known for its simplicity and commonly referred to as the “style of no styles”. This makes it relatively easy to perform and apropos for a beginning student of the internal energetic arts.

Yiquan is translated as “intention practice” or “mind fist.” Regular practice helps to reduce stress and draws a practitioner into a tranquil and peaceful state of mind. It produces a clear and focused mind with increased concentration, creativity and productivity.

As a spiritual practice, Yiquan works toward nourishing your spirit (shen) thereby bringing one more into the present moment, increasing intuitive and psychic capacity and developing mind intent (yi).As a health practice, it cultivates free and abundant flow of vital energy (qi) through releasing energetic blockages. It also builds health by balancing yin and yang energy and promoting song which is a profound form of mind-body relaxation. As a martial art, this internal practice endows a practitioner with the uncanny ability of “super listening qi” through increasing energetic awareness and ability to differentiate one’s energy from that of another.

During the practice of Yiquan it is normal for “qi sensations” to emerge. This signifies that qi is moving freely within one’s body and energetic blockages are being opened and released. Some common qi sensations include a feeling of heat or cold, trembling, shaking or subtle pulsating or vibrating within a specific area.

Simply witness any sensations as they arise and refrain from attempting to control them. Allow ample time and space to fully process these sensations and feelings. They are normal, last a short time and are primarily energetic in nature, even though they may seem physical. Throughout this process, allow development to happen naturally. Forcing oneself to feel or make something happen is counter-productive and only delays results, so follow your inner guidance and listen carefully to the needs of the body.

If you desire learning how to apply the intent of your mind in order to unite your mind, body and spirit, be sure to find a well-trained teacher to guide you in the practice of Yiquan. Do your best to relax, stay in the moment and work toward creating greater qi flow within your body. The more you begin to relax, the more you will feel qi flowing. This will empower you to guide internal energy and external movement. Yiquan is a form of mindfulness training – one that sets you on the path of healing through activating, moving and cultivating the flow of qi. It allows what is essential within your body to naturally unfold and empowers you to break through a lifetime of habits and old movement patterns.

Shoshanna Katzman, L.Ac., M.S. has been director of Red Bank Acupuncture & Wellness Center in Shrewsbury, NJ approaching thirty-five years where she provides acupuncture, Chinese herbal consultation in addition to Taiji and Qigong lessons. She is author of Qigong for Staying Young: A Simple 20-Minute Workout to Cultivate Your Vital Energy and co-author of Feeling Light: The Holistic Solution to Permanent Weight Loss and Wellness. Shoshanna has been working on Center of Power: Life Mastery through Taiji for over six years and will be releasing it soon. It is a comprehensive curriculum guiding one in the energetics of this ancient exercise along with over 130 videos. For more information call or text 732.758.1800 or send an email to


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