Daoist qigong is a spiritual discipline that cultivates body and mind simultaneously. Originally called daoyin, which means 'guiding the flow of internal energy (qi), it has been practised for over two thousand years in China. Laozi, the founder of Daoism, was said to have been the first to practice techniques of conserving, gathering, cultivating, nourishing, and transforming energies that are the source of a healthy body and a clear mind. The techniques of Daoist qigong were systematized during the Han dynasty (3rd century BCE to 3rd century CE) by the father of Chinese medicine Hua Tu. From then on daoyin, or qigong, has been incorporated into Daoist spiritual practices up to the present day.
The techniques of Daoist qigong can be divided into three categories - outer, inner, and secret.
Outer qigong focuses on physical strengthening, inner qigong with nourishing the internal organs and gathering and conserving energy, and secret qigong with dissolving the duality of mind and body to merge with the primordial energy of the Dao.
No spiritual discipline is complete without integrating its formal practices into everyday life. In this respect, Daoist qigong advocates a lifestyle of simplicity and moderation, encourages the cultivation of generosity, compassion, and wisdom, and fosters the development of honour and respect for ourselves and the world.
Xiantianwujimen is a Daoist lineage founded by Chen Xiyi, the hermit of Huashan, in the 10th century. Huashan (The Grand Mountains) is a chain of rocky mountains rising up from the plains of Shaanxi province in central China, and is home to 108 Daoist shrines, temples, and monasteries. The lineage specializes in using qigong techniques to build the foundation for sitting meditation. The techniques favoured by this lineage include self-massage, tendon-changing, callisthenics, marrow-washing, and breath regulation. A hermit tradition, Xiantianwujimen qigong has been transmitted uninterrupted from the 11th century to the present day. Eva Wong is a 19th generation lineage carrier of Xiantianwujimen Daoism.
Yiquan Zhangzhuan is a Daoist-inspired lineage of standing qigong founded by martial artist Wang Xiangzhai (b.1886). The eight postures of Zhangzhuan are designed to still the mind and gather and circulate internal energy simultaneously. One of Wang Zhangzhai's leading students is internal martial arts master Sun Di, who taught Zhangzhuan, Xingyi (Intention Fist) and Luhe Bafa (Six Harmonies and Eight Methods) in Hong Kong. The student of Sun Di, Eva Wong is a 3rd generation lineage descendant of Wang Xiangzhai.