Category Archives: qigong workout

The Shaolin Secret To Health And Longevity

At the Shaolin Temple we’re required to study sutras and books written by our spiritual ancestors. Many of these teachings are focused on how to increase health and longevity.

“Your body is a treasured gift from heaven and earth. It’s your job to take care of it and nourish it through the practice of Shaolin Qigong. If you make an effort you will definitely see effects: your body will become stronger, you will be free of disease, you will lengthen your lifespan, and enjoy your life.”

Today, scientists are also studying health and longevity. Latest research shows that those who age the slowest have the best organ function and are the least likely to die. This demonstrates how important our internal organs are. Aerobic exercise has been shown to prevent memory loss, heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. Weight training stops our muscles from shrinking as we get older. But what about our internal organs? Because we can’t see them, we tend to only think of them when something goes wrong. But it’s the internal organs that govern the body.

Shaolin Qigong is the only exercise I know that stretches and exercises the internal organs. Kung Fu doesn’t do this, yoga doesn’t do this, and meditation doesn’t do this.The 8 Treasures Qigong is 8 of the most effective movements that the founder of Zen, Bodhidharma (Damo) taught to his disciples. These deceptively simple movements keep our body internally strong which is the key to keeping our mind strong and living well into old age.

I will be 43 this year and I still train as hard as I did when I was 14 because I practice Qigong and do the Instant Health Massage. If you’re a martial artist, MMA fighter, boxer, runner or you simply love to work out, you’ll find that Qigong increases your stamina, power and strength. Qigong optimizes your mind and body.

All you need to do is keep a regular practice of at least three times a week. And finish with the Instant Health Massage. The Instant Health Massage acts as a natural battery charger for our body and increases the effectiveness of our Qigong practice.

“You must temporarily put aside work that is not important and make time for Qigong. Taking care of your life is the most important job you have as a human being.”

Click here for the complete package which includes everything you need to learn The 8 Treasures Shaolin Qigong. 

Live Young: Why Your Internal Workout Is More Important Than You Think


I’ve been interested in the latest research done by scientists who want to discover how to slow the ageing process down. What they have discovered is that we all age at different rates. One of the ways in which they calculate what they call “ageing scores” is by testing how well the organs are functioning. Those with the highest score have the best organ function and are the least likely to die.

qi gong-00339This demonstrates how important our organs are. We notice ageing of our skin but we never think about our internal organs until something goes wrong. Shaolin Qigong is the only exercise I know that stretches and exercises the internal organs. Kung Fu doesn’t do this, yoga doesn’t do this, and meditation doesn’t do this. Aerobic exercise does use the heart but what about the kidneys, liver, gall bladder etc?


Keeping our body strong internally is one of the keys to keeping our mind strong and living well into old age. It’s optimal to keep up a regular practice of at least three times a week. And finish with the Instant Health Massage. The Instant Health Massage is a way of sustaining the energy from our Qigong and clearing any blockages from the body.

As we progress, we move onto massaging with the metal brush. The vibration from this brush is so deep that it cleanses the very marrow of our bones. Red blood cells are produced by bone marrow. It is believed that using the metal brush, cleanses the marrow and this creates new blood cells so that even our blood doesn’t age.

I am in awe of the wisdom passed down from our Shaolin Ancestors. Their desire for a long life was so they could have more time to attain enlightenment. Their motivation was pure. They wanted nothing more than to help all beings find peace in their life. Each time we practice Shaolin Qigong, we connect with their wisdom and  enter the path of peace and longevity.

You can learn Shaolin Qigong and the Instant Health Massage from Shifu Yan Lei via his bestselling book (about to go into its 4th reprint) Instant Health: The Shaolin Qigong Workout For Longevity – also available on Amazon as a kindle.

 And via his DVDs and downloads: The Way Of Qigong Volume 1, 2, and 3

Your Pathway To Zen

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There’s an ancient Buddhist story about a wrestler who wore a precious jewel in his hair. During a match, he received a blow to his head. Without him realizing it, the jewel dropped into his wound. When the wound healed, the jewel was covered by a scar. Every day the wrestler looked for his jewel, never realizing that it was inside him all the time.

This is the same for all of us. Peace and enlightenment are not and never have been outside our mind. All we have to do to access this great peace is come back to our natural state of being.


Just as the wrestler lost his jewel through acts of violence. We lose connection with our natural peaceful state when we give into anger, aggression and other emotions that don’t increase our or other people’s happiness.

Modern life puts a strong focus on looking outwards at some future time when things will be better. What we want – whether that’s peace or a better life – is always out there and one step away. But what this teaching instructs is: we already are what we want to become. It’s already within us. If we look beneath our hurts, disappointments and wounds, we can rediscover our jewel.

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Whenever I feel disconnected from myself or my mind is turbulent I practice Qigong or Rou Quan and it doesn’t take long before my mind goes back to its natural state of peace.

Daily practice of Qigong changes the neural pathways in our brain. The founder of Zen, Bodhidharma gave us a roadmap that shows us clearly how to use Shaolin Qigong and Kung Fu as a pathway to Zen. This spacious peaceful state of mind is not only reserved for Shaolin monks but for everyone, those of any religion and those of none.

Habit energy drags us down. So set yourself small reminders that you’re on the path of the Urban Shaolin Warrior. This can be uplifting pictures and quotes from people that inspire you or – like the Shaolin Monks do – wear a Jade amulet or mala so the reminder is with you all the time. And practice Shaolin at least four times a week, even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, this is much more beneficial than a long once a week practice. And don’t forget to share how you get on in the comments below or by tweeting me.

Instant Health: The Shaolin Qigong Workout is available as a book worldwide & in the USA & Canada an ebook on apple & amazon.

Shifu Yan Lei teaches Qigong as a DVD and download and Kung Fu as a DVD and download. 

Rou Quan is available as a DVD ( bottom of the page)

Jade wrist malas and amulets come from Shifu’s province in China.

Feeling Burnt Out? Five Simple Steps To Unleash Your Energy

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It’s easy to feel sluggish at this time of year especially if you live in a country like here in the UK where it’s cold and grey. But you’re a Shaolin Warrior all year round so here’s my top five steps to keeping active and inspired over the winter months.

1. Get Moving

The more you sit in front of a computer, the less you will want to workout. At the end of your working day your body will tell you that it’s tired and give you another excuse to skip your workout. But if you can motivate yourself to push through your tiredness, once you begin to move, you’ll be surprised to find that you feel energized. This is because movement and exercise unleash your body’s energy. You are born to move. You are not born to sit all day. Your Shaolin Workout brings your body and mind in harmony. It’s only when your body and mind are working in harmony that you can feel truly energized and happy.

2. Use Your Shaolin Workout As A Refuge

We tend to be goal focused and driven in our work so it’s good to take the pressure off when it comes to your workouts. Use your workout as a time to tune out of your daily life and tune into your body. Each of your workouts gives your body a different experience. There is the challenging anaerobic training from the Kung Fu Workouts, and the internal balancing Qigong Workout. As you move through these different workouts be aware of the different energy-producing states and what effect they have on your mind and body. What do you feel when starting the workout? How do you feel when you’ve finished?


3. Be Your Best Friend

The Buddha said that it is our mind which makes the world. When I was young boy at the temple I had the arrogance to disagree with the Buddha and think he was wrong! But now I realize that he is exactly right. We can be in the most beautiful place in the world but if our minds are angry or depressed then we can’t appreciate it. Our life is created by our thoughts. Thoughts can be trained just like muscles. Thoughts are energy so be aware of whether your thoughts are bringing you positive Qi or negative Qi. Tune into the positive and let go of the negative.


4. Wear Jade

If you spend most of your time in front of the computer then balance this out by wearing jade. Alongside Qigong, jade has been used for thousands of years in China as a powerful longevity tool. I know that the West doesn’t have this tradition but the Chinese believe that jade is a living thing that can give us positive Qi. Not only the stone itself but also the carving. When I’m not training I wear a jade Guan Yin. Authentic Jade is from the earth, it contains a life force of its own. But you don’t need to have blind belief. If you stand by a waterfall or on top of a mountain, you will feel very different than if you sit at your computer. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that a computer does not give us longevity energy! 

5. Take One Step Today

These are four simple steps to increase your energy. Take one step each week and then by the end of the month you will have taken all of the steps. Remember, when you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur.

Learn Shaolin Kung Fu and Qigong from Shifu Yan Lei’s DVDs and download

Gobi Desert Jade Buddha Amulets, Dark Green Jade, and Jade Wrist Malas and available from