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Chi Kung (pronounced "Chee-Koong") is the ancient Chinese art of cultivating Qi (or "Chi"). Other common spellings are Qigong, & Chi Gong, but Chi Kung is closer to how it's actually pronounced in China, and the word "kung", meaning "discipline", is the same as used in the term "Kung Fu". "Chi" means "breath" and also "life-force energry", so Chi Kung is the practice of disciplining our breath and life-force energy. Similar to Tai Chi, in its slow and graceful movements, it is easier to learn and practice, and is more directly focused on feeling and directing the Chi.
So what is Qi? Some 2200 - 4000 years ago, the Taoist sages in China developed a theory that all matter - both animate and inanimate, including the air - was alive with a life-force or energy that they called "Chi". Curiously enough, modern science has proven this ancient, intuitive observation to be true. When we break down all matter to the sub-atomic level, we find energy.
Chi can perhaps best be described as a kind of electromagnetism that is all around us and within each of us.
Furthermore, the Chinese, over the millennia, developed methods for the cultivation and directing of internal and external Chi, through deep breathing techniques, specific movements, and mental focus. This art became the practices of Tai Chi and Chi Kung. Chinese Medicine also learned to move this electromagnetic force through the body by the careful placement of metal needles into the fascia along certain energy channels called meridians, in what became known as Acupunture. While skeptics might scoff at these ideas, I would suggest that the proof is in the pudding. All you have to do is feel the Chi between your hands, and feel yourself moving the Chi to know that there is something to this art form. Also there have been many recent scientific studies on the amazing benefits of Chi Kung, and many medical professionals throughout the world practice and teach Chi Kung to their patients.
This form of "moving meditation" succeeds in quieting the mind, while energizing the body, and helping you feel more connected to the universe.
Michael teaches the powerful "Level-1" & "Level-2" "Qigong Healing Forms", from Supreme Science Qigong, as well as "Sunrise Chi Kung", a form Michael created, which emulates the flowing movements of nature and takes your body through it's full range of motion.
Oprah's Dr. Oz, called Chi Kung, "The most powerful longevity exercise".
A: There is no uniform. Simply wear loose-fitting work-out clothes or flexible yoga clothes that allow you freedom of movement.
A: Not for a typical Qigong class. We will be standing during the class, so unless you feel more comfortable having some padding under your feet, it is not necessary. However, if you would like to sit to stretch your legs before or after class, you may want a mat for that. Also, if you are attending a workshop, you will most likely need a yoga mat &/or blanket.
A: So long as we're not on the beach, it's no problem. You can practice with a chair behind you, in case you need to sit down. Most, if not all of these exercises can be performed sitting on the front 1/4th of your chair.
A: While I respect the Chinese teachings and traditions, I also respectfully disagree with what I perceive as rigid attitudes about qigong traditions and lineages. I believe rigidly sticking to traditions is contradictory to the Taoist philosophy upon which qigong is based.
I mostly teach Supreme Science Qigong (Levels 1 & 2), which was developed by American instructor, Jeff Primack. Jeff developed his style, after years of studying with several Chinese Masters of various lineages, primarily by combining the exercises that had the strongest Qi feeling.
I have also begun teaching a style that I have developed on my own, called Sunrise Chi Gong. Inspired by the sunrise, the waves crashing on the beach, the gentle movements of the trees in the wind, and the graceful movements of the birds, Sunrise Chi Gong flows through 8 exercises, that gracefully take your body through its full range of movement, and align the energy through the Chakras. While admittedly, the Chi feel is not quite as palpable in the hands, it is a bit more of a work-out than the Level-1 SSQ Form, and its exercises are less static and more flowing.
After 2 years as a practitioner, Michael Raphael began teaching Qigong in January of 2009. Prior to moving to Florida, he taught in Texas for two years, including large workshops in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, as well as regular weekly classes in Dallas, at locations including the Center for Spiritual Living and the Dallas Meditation Center. He is Certified as a Level-2 Facilitator by the Supreme Science Qigong Center, to teach the Level-1 & Level-2 Qigong Healing Forms, as well as Advanced Qigong Breathing Techniques. One of the qualities that is often most appreciated by his students is the way he explains this etherial art, and the Taoist philosophy behind it, in rational and scientific terms, and the way he leads students using a calming, meditative voice. While he is specific about practicing the forms correctly, he tries to allow new students time to learn the specifics on their own from listening and observing before he manually corrects their form.
Since moving to Miami in 2011, with his family, he's taught Qigong to many students at various beaches, the Yellow Green Farmer's Market in Hollywood, Pamuya Center in El Portal, and for several years at the Chakra Samvara Center on Hibiscus Island.
Michael is also available for private lessons at your location.
Michael, I was uplifted into new understandings and feelings through your workshop in Dallas, TX. I am so grateful for that experience to know the power of the Qi that is always with me that I have the ability to channel at all times. Thank you and I wish you amazing success in sharing your healing talents with the world.
Thank you so much for reaching out to Houston. Your Breath Empowerment workshop was amazing! I received lots of knowledge that can be used personally and in my practice. I would definitely love to attend again,you are a fabulous vessel of instruction! Thanks for spreading the love.
Michael I loved the Qigong workshop here in Dallas.I experienced a serenity and oneness with the earth that I have never experienced before. Since then it has increased my connection to our planet and those around me. You are truly a kind and gifted healer and teacher. Blessed be in Miami but you will be missed here in Dallas! Please email me if you have any workshops or concerts back here.
Really lucky to have you as my first Qigong teacher. It was truly amazing to FEEL a huge amount of Qi every time I practice with you. I love that strong Qi texture/feeling. And I believe that I could never got that without you leading, though I have some experience of Qi practice. I am looking forward to seeing you again in Miami. I'll keep practicing! Wish you the best. And I'm sure you are the best :-)
I am a Level I Certified Qigong Instructor, Certified by The Supreme Science Qigong Center, Miami, Florida. Michael Raphael was my Qigong Instructor when he was here in Texas. I also assisted him with his Workshops in Dallas, and Houston,Texas. Michael Raphael is a gifted and dedicated Qigong Instructor. I consider it an honor to have been a student of his. I miss him here in Dallas already, but I know he has new horizons and opportunities to explore in Florida. By all means, I highly recommend grabbing any opportunity to learn and practice Qigong with Michael Raphael. Namaste
I loved your Qigong workshops. I experienced love, peace, joy, and healing. I was really surprised that most everyone in your workshops were excited with the amazing power of Qigong. I have friends who have family members who have serious diseases, and are discovering Qigong is incredibly healing, and prior to their illnesses, Qigong did not interest them at all. Qigong is so misunderstood, and extremely powerful. I am surprised that my posture is improving everyday because of my daily practice of Qigong. And when I need to get out of a funk, I can with Qigong.