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5000 years ago, ancient spiritual tradition of India spoke of a universal source of all life. The energy called prana. This universal energy is the breath of life moves through all forms to give them life. Yogis work with this energy with breathing techniques, meditation, and physical exercise to produce altered states of consciousness and longevity
3,000 years ago, the ancient Qigong masters in China were practicing their meditative discipline to balance and invigorate the human energy field. They called this vital energy that pervades all forms, both animate and inanimate, Qi. The Qi is the vital energy of the body; while gong means the skill of moving this Qi and working with it. Practitioners use mind control to move and control the Qi to not only improve health and longevity, but also to enhance awareness, psychic powers, and spiritual development. The ancient Qigong masters also developed Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and the martial arts. In addition, they made the first model for acupuncture. Acupuncturists insert needles, or use moxa, or put magnets at specific acupuncture points to balance the yin and yang of the human energy field. When the Qi is balanced, the entity has good health. When the Qi is unbalanced, the entity has poor or impaired health.
The Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical teachings written about 538 B.C., calls these energies the astral light. Later on, Christian paintings and sculptures show a halo around the head of Christ and other spiritual leaders. Similarly, we see this halo on statues and paintings of Buddha, and also see energy or light coming from the fingers of many of the gods of India.
The word, yoga, is derived from Sanskrit, one of the world's most ancient languages. In its simplicity, yoga means: "a bringing together of the parts in order to create a union or balance of a person's body, mind, and spirit."
No one knows exactly when Yoga began, but it certainly predates written history. Stone carvings depicting figures in Yoga positions have been found in archeological sites in the Indus Valley dating back 5,000 years or more. There is a common misconception that Yoga is rooted in Hinduism; on the contrary, Hinduism’s religious structures evolved much later and incorporated some of the practices of Yoga. (Other religions throughout the world have also incorporated practices and ideas related to Yoga.)
The tradition of Yoga has always been passed on individually from teacher to student through oral teaching and practical demonstration. The formal techniques that are now known as Yoga are, therefore, based on the collective experiences of many individuals over many thousands of years. The particular manner in which the techniques are taught and practiced today depends on the approach passed down in the line of teachers supporting the individual practitioner.
In ancient times, Chinese people had already started to cure arthrosis (joint disease) with dance or movement. In theSpring and Autumn Period(770-476BC), people gradually summarized dao yin shu (medical gymnastics), tu na shu (breathing techniques), and other physical activities to prevent and cure the disease of people.
In 1974, at the Ma-Wang-Dui Tombs inChangshaof Central China'sHunan Province, China's archaeologists found a dao yin picture. It was China's earliest extant painting of healthy movement, created at the end of 3th century BC. The picture shows more than 40 gymnastic movements, which include four aspects in medical gymnastics: breathing movement, body movement, instrumental movement, and the relationship between medical gymnastics and arthrosis curing.
Daoyin, or "xingqi," is a kind of callisthenic exercise combining breathing with bodily movements mimicking animals. Dao means to regulate qi, or vital energy, by guiding its flow in the body. Yin means to limber up the body and limbs through physical movements.
"Epigraph on Circulation of Oi," an inscription on a piece of jade of the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), shows that people at that time already knew how to nourish qi and guide its flow in the body. Monographs on daoyin began to appear in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24). The daoyin diagrams painted on silk, unearthed from Tomb No.3 of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) in Changsha, Hunan Province, are the earliest extant and most complete paintings on ancient callisthenics. The paintings depict in color 44 persons of both sexes and different ages doing daoyin movements of various descriptions. Hua Tuo, a famous physician of the Period of the Three Kingdoms (220-280), adapted over 140 daoyin routines into five groups of movements mimicking tigers, deer, bears, apes and birds to create a set of exercise called Five Animal Play. By the Song Dynasty (960-1279), daoyjn had developed into baduanjin (eight-section brocade), which has remained popular to this day. Other exercises like wenbaduan and yijinjing, which appeared in the Ming (1368-1644) and Oing (1644-1911) dynasties, are a blend of qigong and massage.
Daoyin exercises have proved very effective in prolonging life. Dougong, a blind musician during the reign of Emperor Wendi of the Western Han Dynasty, kept practicing daoyin until he died at the ripe old age of over 100. Sun Simiao, a noted medical expert of the Tang Dynasty (618- 907), performed daoyin three times a day and lived to an age of 110. Lu You, a celebrated scholar of the Song Dynasty, was still going strong when he was well over 80. No wonder daoyin was called an art for achieving longevity in ancient times.
Chi Kung (qigung) is a healing art for strengthening or enhancing health that was very likely developed out of the ancient exercise of Daoyin. Daoyin is discussed on many ancient relics, and reference is made on bronzes of the Zhou Dynasty (1100-221 B.C.). Chi Kung literally translated means Breathing Exercise, and to this day the quality of breathing and method of practice is essential in Chi Kung.
Qigong is Part of Prehistoric Culture
What is qigong? A lot of qigong masters are trying to address this question, but what I have to say is completely different. A lot of qigong masters talk about it at one level, while I’m talking at a higher level about how to understand qigong, and it’s nothing like how they understand it. Some qigong masters say that qigong has a 2,000-year history in our country. And others say qigong has a 3,000-year history. Some say it has a 5,000-year history, which would be about the same as the history of our Chinese civilization. And there are people who say that if you go by historic artifacts it has a 7,000-year history, which goes way beyond the history of our Chinese civilization. But all the same, the date doesn’t go much beyond the history of this civilization. Now, according to Darwin’s theory of evolution, man first evolved from aquatic plants into aquatic animals, then he climbed onto land, and later up into trees, then he came back down and turned into an ape, and then finally he evolved into modern man, who has culture and thought, which puts human civilization at only about 10,000 years old, if you figure that way. Go back a little further and there wouldn’t have even been quipu record-keeping, and they would have worn leaves and eaten raw meat. Go even further back, and maybe they wouldn’t even know how to make fire, and they would have been those totally savage, primitive people.
But something just doesn’t add up...
Originally posted by endrun
Yoga and Qigong are not cultures, they are spiritual practices. Those who practice Kundalini yoga say that it goes back at least 40,000 years. Don't know if that's true, but that's what they say.
I thought the Aborigines had the oldest cultures known to humankind?
Originally posted by Hollywood11
Qigong and Yoga are most certainly cultures, and they are older than the "Clovis" people.
As explained here, Qigong and Yoga are remnants of the prehistoric civlizations that were more knowledgable than any civilization today. The idea of the Clovis being the first in North America has also been debunked a long time ago.
Why do you think many governemnts consider these systems to be national treasures and cultural treasures? These systems are the heart and soul of all Asian culture.
Also, many things that people consider to be true cultures, are in fact simply human inventions, whereas Yoga and Qigong are actually beyond human levels and come from very high dimensions originally. In this sense they are not only human cultures, but true universal cultures. Thus we can call them cultures correctly, whereas primitive tribal living and dancing around fires painting your body is not true culture.
Facial structure and all looks just like modern humans... shave 'em and give 'em a tie and you can't tell the difference: