Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Qigong for Beginners|
Director: Michael Badertscher
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH AND WELL BEING AT ANY AGE OR FITNESS LEVEL — These easy-to-learn moving meditations will help you boost your immunity and live healthier and longer. Qigong s gentle, flowing poses, deep breathing... more »
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Practically identical to previous version and more expensive
Brian B. James | Atlanta, Ga | 05/20/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This appears to be identical to Qigong Beginning Practice. I have
Qigong Beginning Practice and purchase Qigong for Beginners in the hope that it would contain different material. Save your money and buy the earlier and cheaper version, Qigong Beginning Practice.
Updated Jul 12 2009. Hard to imagine that after 18 months years we are still using the Qigong Beginning Practice DVD 2 - 3 times a week. It's a life changer for us old folks.
Not just for beginners!
Mike F. | Georgia, USA | 05/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the best Qigong videos available, for the practices as well as the production quality. And the price is great too, seeing as you're basically getting 2 DVD's worth of material for the price of one. The instructors, Francesco and Daisy Lee Garripoli, are very pleasant and peaceful to watch and follow along with. Francesco's sincerity is apparent in every movement.
Disc 1 consists of the practices. The first part is the Wuji Short Form and consists of three exercises (totaling about 15 minutes): Wuji Swimming Dragon to loosen the joints, Dragon Pearl to increase lung capacity and develop core strength, and Bagua Xun Dao Gong to stretch and strengthen the legs (that's how they're described on the back cover). These three exercise alone are a nice workout by themselves.
Next follows the Wuji Long Form, which is about 40 minutes. There are 18 exercises in this routine - an opening and closing movement and 16 inner movements (all with Chinese names like Rou, Chai, Jian, Tuoa, etc.). Once learnt, you're instructed to do the inner 16 in a random order each time you practice. Of course, you don't have to do the entire set every time, you can choose whatever exercises you want (I certainly have my favorites). As another reviewer noted, there are a lot of detailed arms-out-in-front movements and a lot of upper body focus and emphasis on stretching with the arms (more so than most Qigong I've seen or done), and a few movements are a bit complicated, which turned me off a little at first, but I have grown to love these practices anyway. They are great for the spine, and especially if you carry a lot of tension in the neck, arms or back. It's also been helpful with digestive issues and tension in the lower abdomen (there are a lot of waist twisting movements). I feel stronger every time I practice. It is truly a whole body workout and you will feel it in the best possible way.
The practices conclude with the Shaolin Self-Massage techniques, which are typically done at the end of a session, although they can be done by themselves as well: Face Washing, Scalp Massage, Ear Massage, Eye Energizing, Sinus Energizing, TMJ Relaxing, Leg Stimulation, Kidney Energizing, Rag Doll Shaking, and Toss Off Stagnant Chi.
There is also an inspiring 13-minute interview with Francesco Garripoli on Disc 1. The entirety of Disc 2 is an hour-long Qigong documentary produced by him. It's been a while since I've watched it but I thought it was excellent. In one part, you can see the 90-something year old Chinese master that taught Francesco the Wuji form doing a few of the movements. Then there is another interview with Francesco talking about the making of the doc.
The only drawback to this DVD set is that Disc 1 does not have a menu where you can go right to a certain exercise; instead you have to manually skip through each chapter, but considering how otherwise fantastic the DVD is, that's not a big deal to me. I can't understand giving it a low rating for that alone; you'd have to push as many buttons to navigate a menu anyway. I do think a practice matrix (like on a few yoga videos I've seen) would have made it absolutely perfect. Or even better, a function that automatically scrambled the inner 16 Wuji exercises so you get a different order each time you play it (since you're encouraged to do them randomly). But that's a small complaint overall. Also, although this DVD is titled as if for beginners, it's really not. It's for any level. In fact, some absolute beginners might be turned off by the relative complexity of some of the movements as well as the number of practices. If you want simpler, shorter practices check out the Garripoli's other 2 DVD's ("Qigong For Cleansing"and "Qigong For Stress Relief"), also quite good."
Qigong for beginners --DVD from Gaiam
Suzanna Leigh | vashon, WA USA | 05/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The gentle excercises and information on how they benefit were exactly what I need. The CD is set up so that I can usually skip to the excersize I want or go through a set of excersizes as part of my morning routine."
Something Is Missing
G. Smith | 11/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I would agree that this DVD contains some good instruction. However, something is missing. Like most reviewers on this post, I am a beginner in the study of Qigong. I personally have no business challenging Mr. Garripoli, nor do I want to. But somewhere in my research about which DVD would be my best introduction to the vast world of Qigong I heard or read something that seemed imperative. I believe it was Mr Garripoli who implied this. The key to the movements is not the physical motion. The emphasis should be focused on the breath and visualization (connection) of the flow of Qi through the movements. Without these, the movements are simply just movement.
Although breath and visualization are mentioned throughout the video, I feel that there are times when these are neglected leaving me to guess on what the motion suggests or how to breath.
Further, it would be a huge asset to include a segment with each movement being performed in there entirety without the pause for instructions. This could be used as a stepping stone between the early stages of learning the moves and breaking away to do your complete program without guidance.
I still believe that this DVD is worth owning. I do agree that if you can get the Beginning Practice Version do so. It is the same content for less money."