Qi Gong, (Chi Gung) means “energy work”.
There are many kinds of Qi Gong, which can be roughly paraphrased as the following: “A physically energetic exercise which has a specific physical or energetic effect upon a specific part of the body or mind, performed repetitively with the active participation of the mind, can be called Qi Gong”.
Thus, there are hundreds of Qi Gong “exercises”. All have the goal of powering up the body’s “operating system”, giving you more energy, releasing tension and stress, strengthening systems in the body, calming the mind, and so on. You don’t need any experience to do Qi Gong.
Anybody can do it. You can do chi gung driving, photocopying, or making tea. The ability to be present and aware is crucial, and marks out Qi Gong, Ba Gua and Tai Chi from mere “mindless” exercise (plodding miserably on a treadmill with headphones, eyes sadly glued to TV). It works for me. It works for my students.
I teach a Hun Yuan (Eternal Circle) Qi Gong set, learned from my Master, Ma Bao Guo. Each movement builds on the one before it, slowly coalescing into a very intricate and complex set of movements that really open up and provide the smooth sense of having energy in a calm body. The contrast with the gym couldn’t be greater, where often a sense of being “pumped up” after a session is just one more tension in your life.