Nei Gong 內功
Qigong is internal training. We call this Nei Gong 內功. Nei 內 means inside and together with Gong 功, Nei Gong means internal training. But what does internal training mean? It means that the purpose of all our movements and meditation is to work on the inside of the body, like the Qi, the blood, the internal organs, the Jinglou 經絡 (channels) and acupuncture points, that is the internal body. It is not about training the muscles and power. However, if we do our Nei Gong correctly or muscles will develop naturally and we will develop some power and strength. Just as in Ying Qigong 硬氣功 – Hard Qigong. We must understand the internal training as this is the most important part, that is why in Hard Qigong we develop the internal body first and the we can develop power. In the end, both parts come together. This is quite different from weight training that only concentrates on the external body, power and looking good. It does not consider the Qi, the internal organs, Jinglou and acupuncture points.
The character for Nei 內 has two parts the outer part is 冂 – Jiong. This means outside the city, like the countryside, and it also looks like a door. The inner part is入Ru, which means in, and it also looks like a person walking. So Nei means inside the city.