Good day, Folks. Happy late summer and early fall to you!

Every yogic or mystical tradition has its own armory of techniques and practices but at bottom there are really only a few tools needed for genuine progress along the spiritual path. Of these, you are most likely already covering the bases (if in doubt, you can check the Level 1 — Foundations page accessible via the Neidan Yoga menu item).

However, although all approaches make use of energy in some format, not all acknowledge or explain how to use energy in its most basic form as qi. You can think of energy as a spectrum — like a rainbow. At the upper levels, it is similar to what the yogis call prana. At even subtler levels it is energy that mingles with the mind so thought itself can direct this force. But all this cool stuff does no one any good at all until she or he is advanced along the path. 

To get advanced, you have to work with energy in the form of biological electricity in and just around the body. This is what the Daoists have referred to as qi for thousands of years. By far, the Daoists have the clearest, cleanest and most effective approach to developing this energy from beginning levels up through intermediate level skills and even further on. Once you're at an intermediate level though, you can jump ship back to your favorite tradition (Hindu yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, etc.) as all yoga systems are great at explaining advanced practice (with some personal tutoring from a guru or mentor).

Bottom line? Learn and practice qigong. Start anywhere but then work towards learning more refined skills as taught by genuine Daoist teachers. Bagua Zhang circle walking to an intermediate level plus learning to sense and direct qi with your hands is sufficient to prepare you for success with advanced meditation. It's the truth.