Blueskygal | Tucson, Arizona United States | 10/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was introduced to the benefits of Qigong by a good friend a few months ago. I noticed that it had immediate physical benefits. I had been searching for a practice that would help increase my physical energy.
This is a wonderful introduction to Qigong for beginners. I bought the video on the recommendations of the reviewers here and have not been disappointed. Plus it is a very reasonable cost compared to the other options.
Dr. Yang gives very clear and concise explanations of the theory behind the poses. The exercises are simple to do. I have started with the sitting exercises and am doing them morning and night the past few days.
I suffer from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and bought this to improve the energy flow in my body. I have been feeling very weak lately due to lack of sleep and stress and found that the poses gave me immediate benefit by taking a layer of pain off my body. I am sleeping better too. I will check back in 3 months to update the benefits.
Also it became clear to me from watching the DVD that the problems I am having are energy problems. After doing the exercises I could feel the chi flowing in parts of my body that have been blocked -- namely my feet and arms. I also noticed that my kidneys are extremely sore and probably depleted. I was shocked. These exercises made me more aware of what is really going on in my body.
The sitting exercises are great for those who need to take it slow. To the senior gentleman who was upset that Dr. Yang didn't go into modifications. Yes, you are right, but you needn't worry if you can't stretch all the way to your toes. Just stretch as far forward as you can comfortably do. He also says in his analysis that the repetitions are guidelines -- and to do what you can.
A great DVD. I can't wait to see how I'm feeling in a few months. The DVD made me realize that I need to renergize my kidney's and I am buying herbal tea and herbs to assist in that process. I for one am tired of exercise that pushes the body past it's limits. This set of poses works with the body that you have now!"
Excellent program, IF you're already in good shape...
PanDragon | California United States | 09/21/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"At first, I was highly impressed with this DVD. It's absolutely packed with information and bonus materials. It even includes a section of previews for many of Dr. Ming's other instructional videos which must be at least 30 minutes long in itself, and contains such a wide variety of demonstrations of martial arts and chi gung styles, I found it more entertaining than most kung fu movies!
The instructions for both the sitting and standing sets of this exercise are well-presented. But I strongly recommend buying and reading the supplemental book before getting started.
Having purchased many Tai Chi and Chi Gung instructional videos over the years, I have to say this is one of the highest quality productions I've ever seen.
Which is why I'm sad to say that there's a fatal flaw in this production:
Although the 8 Pieces of Brocade is traditionally meant to be easy to learn for almost any age or condition, the flexibility with which Dr. Ming demonstrates a couple of the movements far exceeds what many people can do safely.
Unfortunately, he doesn't offer any "beginner level" advice if you are not able to follow along with him. As he bends from the waist and easily grabs his toes, I would find myself struggling along, wondering if the movement still "counts" if I can only reach my shins...
I decided to ask for advice by posting a question in the "Qigong" section of Dr. Ming's website forum and still have not recieved an answer after almost 3 months of waiting. So no help there either...
I finally answered my own question by finding another instructional video for the 8 Pieces of Brocade, presented by a different teacher, who actually takes into consideration people who no longer have the flexibility of a teenager.
So I must say, knowing that this chi gung form is famous for helping the weak and elderly to regain their health, vitality, and flexibility, and with all the wonderful extra's and quality information available in this DVD, I can't figure out why Dr. Ming never thought to include advice for people who happen to be weak, elderly, or inflexible. There's no help for this in the book either. The way it's presented, you can either follow along or you can't. There's no inbetween.
If not for this glaring (and personally frustrating) over-sight, I would have given this DVD 5 stars without hesitation. But as it is, I felt somewhat cheated by what should have been an easy to follow program.
So, if you're already physically active, practicing Kung-Fu or Yoga, this DVD should be easy to follow and highly beneficial for you.
But if you have a bad back (like me) or arthritis, or similiar inflexibility, I highly recommend looking for a program that presents these exercises more gently and carefully. That way you can get the full benefits without needlessly endangering yourself.
Also, the information presented in the book and DVD, while interesting and accurate, may seem confusing to someone who's completely new to energy exercises like Chi Gung, Yoga, or Tai Chi. For folks who are new to this stuff, I recommend first reading books like "Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body" by B.K. Frantzis and "The Way of Energy" by Master Lam Kam Chuen.
Simple exercises but very effective
cancel | 05/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can only add to the other rave reviews. I have tried other qigong videos, but this is the best one. The explanations are clear, and the quality of the DVD is excellent. There is no distracting background or new age gobbledigook. You can get a good workout in 20 minutes regardless of your age or physical condition. Well worth buying."
Excellent Quality video
cancel | 04/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is nicely produced with very high quality digital footage and sound. the instruction is clear and the movements are simple. There are two complete sets of exercises. the first on is sitting, and it is meant to be done right when you wake up to get your Qi energy circulating. I found this to be a surprisingly powerful set of exercises, and its taught me to be much more aware of the energy in my body. The standing set of exercises is more physical, and after only a few months I have found that it has made me very limber and much stronger. I have more muscle and less fat and I feel 'connected' to every cell in my body. I wake up with more energy than I ever have in my life.The greatest part of this DVD is that after you've learned the movements, and seen them demonstrated, Dr. Yang explains each one and gives additional information about each movement that you can get much more out of your practice."
PanDragon | 06/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was my first Qigong video and it still by far the best I've found. This teacher leaves no questions about how or why to do any of the movements and explains everything with clarity in a straightforward manner. It is very much like a Yoga routine with a more internal focus.The movements are simple and can be done sitting or standing, so it is excellent for all ages. Though it seems too simple to be effective, you'll find that after you practice along with this video, you have stretched and toned your entire body. Just doing this gentle exercise a few times a week for 20 minutes a day, I feel very strong and relaxed, I am remembering to breathe deeply and slowly all day and I have a lot of energy.The poetry and music add a nice touch of class to the instruction and the teacher is an absolute pleasure to learn from."