I have been practicing an advanced form of qigong for almost 5
years now. The name of this practice is Falun Dafa.
Have you ever heard of or seen Tai Chi? Falun Dafa is
similar and yet very different. It is similar in the sense that
is has slow and gentle movements. It is dissimilar in the sense
that it is easy to learn. There are only 5 gentle exercises to
that are so simple and easy to learn that a small child or an
extremely elderly person could still learn and do them.
Another major advantage that Falun Dafa has is that it is free to
learn and practice. There are no class fees or ongoing monthly
dues to pay. You can download video instructions from a Falun
Dafa web site or you can learn from an actual volunteer
The volunteer instructors can be found in almost every major city
around the world. And they won’t charge anything to teach you
this wonderful, energizing, health promoting exercise practice. I
know this for a fact because I also serve as a volunteer
instructor in the Kansas City area.
So what have I obtained from the practice after 5 years? That’s
an easy and exciting question to answer. After just two months of
this practice, a nagging and recurring back pain that I had for
many years went away. I was able to stop getting back treatments
from my chiropractor. That was 5 years ago and I haven’t needed
any further treatment since.
What is exciting about the above example is that previously I
tried many things to alleviate my back problem. Nothing else
I’ve always been relatively healthy with only minor health issues
throughout my life. I have met other people that had more severe
health issues that also received total relief from practicing
What do the exercises entail? Let’s talk about them here.
What I’m about to describe is from my own experiences, if you
would like a more accurate description and explanation of the
exercises, please reference a book by Li, Hongzhi, the man who
brought Falun Dafa out to the public. The name of his book is
Falun Gong. You can get a copy of his book for free from the main
Falun Dafa web site, falundafa.org.
The first exercise is a gentle one that involves stretching from
head to toe. To perform one cycle of the exercise takes about 3
or 4 minutes. It is done from a standing position with the knees
and hips relaxed, until the gentle upward stretch that
accompanies each of the exercise’s movements.
When practiced this 3 or 4 minute exercise is usually repeated
three times. In normal circumstances, it takes about 12 minutes
to repeat this exercise a total of three times.
The second exercise is a standing stance with 4 positions. Each
position is held for a length of time that can vary depending on
the ability of the practitioner. In the beginning it would be
fine to just hold each position for maybe 1 minute each or even
less, depending on the person’s ability and comfort zone.
Advanced practitioners might work up to as long as 7 minutes or
more for each position. However, you can gradual improve your
time according to your own wishes and abilities.
The third exercise is a gentle exercise where you move your arms
up and down in front of the body. In the first half of this
exercise the hands go in opposite directions. In the second half,
the arms go in the same direction. Each repetition of the
takes about 3 minutes. Generally, when practiced, people will
repeat this exercise three times, for a total duration of about 9
The fourth exercise is similar but different in that the hands
trace a path around the entire body. The path travels along the
front of the body and then up the back of the body. The hands
reach about the level of the mid-back before being brought in
front of the body again. The path is traced for a total of 9
times constituting one repetition of the exercise.
The fourth exercise is generally repeated three times when
practiced. When done this way the total time to repeat this
exercise three times is about twelve minutes.
The fifth exercise is done sitting down in the cross-legged
position. The leg cross can be simple “Indian” style or slightly
more advanced depending on the ability and comfort zone of the
There is a sequence of hand gestures at the beginning and there
are positions to hold. The duration of holding the hand positions
can vary. Once again, how long is determined by the person
practicing. Both how long you hold the hand positions and the
overall duration of the exercise are entirely at the discretion
of the person practicing.
In the beginning a person might only practice the fifth exercise
for a few minutes. Advanced users may practice for an hour or
longer. Again, it all depends on the ability and comfort level of
the person practicing.
These are very simple explanations of the exercises. For more
detailed and accurate accounts of the exercises read Falun Gong
by Li, Hongzhi. Or alternatively, you can download his
instruction videos from the main Falun Dafa web site mentioned
Mr. Li also has another book called Zhuan Falun, which to my
understanding expounds on the characteristics of the universe:
Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. I wrote that with the hyphens
to underscore that this is one characteristic and not three
separate ones. Again, that is my understanding about them and
much more profound understandings can be found in the book Zhuan
Because you can practice Falun Dafa with others in a group
setting without being charged any initial or recurring fees, it
seems like the perfect alternative to other exercises that charge
money to participate in. Exercising with a group or alone is fine
and each person may have his or her own preference on that. It’s
enjoyable either way.
I personally practice it both ways. On the weekends we do have a
group practice here in the Kansas City area and you are welcome
to come join us if you are in the area. Fortunately, many cities
throughout the United States, Canada and around the world have
similar group practices. You don’t have to come to Kansas City to
enjoy this wonderful practice.
I have one last item of note. It seems that some people can’t
stand to see others enjoy something good. And this is no
different. The current person that runs China, Jiang Zemin, is
terribly furious at people who practice Falun Gong for no logical
reason that anyone can come up with. He brutally persecutes those
who practice it in China.
If you want to learn more about the persecution of Falun Gong in
China, there is a web site that you can visit, faluninfo.net.
They even offer suggestions to help end the persecution if you
are so inclined.
I do hope you get the chance to experience what I have from the
practice. The health of my body and a deep sense of peace and
well being are some of what I have obtained.
This article is for information purposes only. The information is
not meant to give advice or attempt to prevent, treat or diagnose
any health problems. If you have or think you might have any type
of health condition, please consult your primary care physician
immediately. Consult him or her before taking up any form of