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Embrace the Air Elemental in Qi Gong

air qi gong

Just as the wind carries your whispers across vast distances, the Air elemental in Qi Gong flows through your body, circulating Qi and harmonizing internal energy pathways. 

Air is the breath of life.  Do you recall your first introduction to Qi Gong theory?  There are three pillars or fundamental regulations: posture, breath/air, and mind with intention.  In Qi Gong, the Air elemental guides the flow of Qi through our bodies.  It is linked to our breath, the essential life force, and plays a crucial role in harmonizing our internal energy.

The Air elemental represents the transitional phase between seasons, embodying the qualities of change, movement, and transformation.  By attuning ourselves to the rhythm of the Air elemental, we cultivate a sense of fluidity and openness, allowing for growth and renewal.  Air moves all the other elements.  It is a catalyst for change and transformation like Spirit. It is wild and free.  It is akin to our true nature.

Air itself is not considered an element because it is made up of a variety of gases: nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen.  It is a mixture.  We exhale carbon dioxide for the plants and trees to breathe and they gift us their release of oxygen.  We pull oxygen from the Air and they pull nitrogen.

Skin is the sense organ of the Air Elemental.  Your hands that reach out are its’ organ of action.  In this blog, I will be referencing to Air instead of Wind/Space.  To me, they are intertwined.

Your breath is the bridge to the Air elemental.  Breathing techniques connect your physical body and the more subtle realms of energy within.  Breathing cultivates mindfulness, regulates emotions, and channels Qi with intention.  Awareness of breath can change your mind and change consciousness.

The Essence of Air in Qi Gong

Air, embodying change, and movement is not just about the physical breath.  It is about the energy that flows within us and the universe.  Through Qi Gong, we learn that our posture, breath, and mindful intentions are key to balancing this elemental force.

How to Harness the Air Elemental

Let us explore how to connect with the Air elemental and enhance our Qi Gong practice.

Flowing movements mimic the fluidity of air, encouraging suppleness and flexibility in the body.  Allowing the breath to initiate movement releases the flow of Qi.  When providing a session to Pulmonary Rehab outpatients, I never use the word breath.  It stimulates anxiety rather than flow.  Encouraging the movement with a storyline relaxes the mind.  For example: “Crane rises from the waters and looks to the horizon…” It is my verbal que to rise of the hands.  This concept is encouraged to include flow of movement.  Have you ever noticed when teaching a sequence, people tend to hold their breath?  Introducing a story which includes nature is pleasant for them to follow.  It is a relatable muscle memory.

Connecting with Air

  • Breath as a Bridge: Your breath is the key to connecting with the Air elemental.  Through various breathing techniques, we can regulate emotions, cultivate mindfulness, and guide Qi flow.

  • Movement and Storytelling: Use flowing movements and stories to encourage relaxation and breath awareness.  For instance, visualize "a crane rising from the waters" to guide your movements, making the practice more engaging and natural.


Simplifying Breathing Techniques

Breathing is at the heart of Qi Gong.  Here are a few techniques to get you started:

  1. Natural Breathing: Simply observe your breath without altering it.

  2. Abdominal Breathing: Breathe deeply into your abdomen, then exhale slowly.

  3. Reverse Breathing: Inhale by drawing the abdomen in, and exhale by expanding it.

  4. Three-Part Breath: Inhale into the lower abdomen, ribcage, then upper chest; exhale in reverse order.

  5. Guided Visualization: Inhale positive energy and exhale negativity.


Choose the breathing technique that resonates with you at the moment.  Keep in mind that breathing is a dynamic and personal aspect of your practice, and you can experiment with different techniques to discover what works best for you. Consistent practice of mindful breathing will deepen your Qi Gong experience and enhance the flow of energy throughout your body.


The Air elemental teaches us about flow, change, and the vital role of breath in Qi Gong.  By practicing mindful breathing and integrating movement with intention, we can deepen our connection to the world around us and foster inner harmony. Explore these techniques and find what resonates with you, enhancing your journey through Qi Gong.


Elemental Harmony: Air and Fire

Air complements Fire, symbolizing inspiration, and transformation. Incorporate both in ceremonies or practices, like smudging with sacred plants (tobacco, cedar, sage, sweetgrass) to honor these elements and their gifts.  If a fire is not allowed in your area, then smudging with the plant directly will do.


You can include Fire and Air Elementals in the following Lakota ceremony:

“I stand in the direction of the East and give thanks for the gift of tobacco.  I stand in the direction of the South and give thanks for the gift of cedar.  I stand in the direction of the West and give thanks for the gift of sage.  I stand in the direction of the North and give thanks for the gift of sweetgrass.  I smudge with all four sacred gifts, and I give thanks for this life, and to all who share it with me.”


Have you engaged in play with the elements?

Your breath contains the winds of change that can embrace the journey to inner harmony.  Harnessing this elemental is not an easy task.  The quality of Air is freedom and constant change.  I invite you to do your Qi Gong practice outside on a windy day and let the Air elemental guide you.  Is there a similar sensation as the wind blows through you like air through blades of grass?  You will not be disappointed.  It will cue you.


Why not review my past blogs and incorporate your deeper connection to the natural world through the elementals.  I invite you. Let me know of your discoveries.  I would be delighted to hear from you at:


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