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Center for Taiji Studies

EBQ Teacher Certification
Dr. Yang Yang's Evidence-Based Qigong Teacher Certification Training
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Evidence Based Qigong (EBQ): The Essential Mind/Body/Spirit Foundation
Level I Qigong Certification

This course is open to persons of all backgrounds and levels of ability interested in learning and experiencing the mind/body/spirit root common to all Eastern energy practices. Instructor certification is offered for those interested, but the desire to obtain certification is not a requisite for attendance.

Quick Links

2016 EBQ Camp Application

Other 2015 and 2016 EBQ Training Events


What is Qigong?
What are the benefits of Qigong practice?
What do you mean by "spirit" or "spiritual exercise"?
Relation to Yoga
Benefits of Qigong for Yoga practitioners and instructors
Relation between Taiji and Qigong
(i.e. "Why is this course a prerequisite for Taiji certification?")

Course Logistics and Certification Requirements

Is the intention to become a certified instructor a requisite for the training
What are the training requirements for teacher certification?
What are the recommended instructional materials for the training and certification?
When/where is the next teacher certification training event?
How do I apply for the next teacher certification training event?
How much does it cost?
Who can I contact for more information?
Are there any area attractions at the next training event for the significant other not interested in Qigong?
Yang Yang at 2007 EBT teacher certification

Master Yang Yang

Alice Brown Dodds photo

What is Qigong?

Qigong is mind/body/spirit integrative exercise. Understanding this is the beginning point for efficient practice, and essential for realizing the maximum potential benefits of practice.

The term "qigong" was first popularized in the 1950s in China. Before then, the myriad different aspects of qigong were known mostly by their descriptive names: Tu Na (exhaling and inhaling), Dao Yin (guiding and conducting), An Qiao (massaging), Lian Yang (refining and nourishing), Xiu Lian (cultivating and refining (virtue)), Xiu Zhen (cultivating truth), Jing Zuo (tranquil sitting), Ming Xiang (meditation), Cun Si (mind-visualization), Guan Xiang (observing-imagining), Xing Qi (circulating qi).* Though there are myriad different qigong exercises, all must be understood in light of the ultimate purpose: mind/body/spirit integration.

Any mind/body/spirit integrative practice is qigong. Even walking (or light jogging) with knowledge and engagement in mind/body/spirit integrative principles is a qigong exercise. Conversely, walking (or any physical movement) with the mind and spirit disengaged (e.g. while talking on the phone or listening to mp3s), though perhaps valuable aerobic exercise, does not approach the depth of qigong exercise. Similarly, "taking deep breaths" can be a simple physical strategy to relax or calm down, but is not qigong. Integrating physical breathing instruction, however, with other mental/spiritual integrative principles can be a fundamental aspect of some qigong exercises. (There is a tendency in America to over-simply and misrepresent qigong as "breathing exercises." Though breathing can be a point of emphasis in some qigong exercises, in many fundamental qigong exercises the traditional teaching is to "be natural" and to forget about the breath completely. In other words, focus on the breath can be one technique of mind/body/spirit integrative exercises, but is not a defining component of qigong.)

Understanding qigong as mind/body/spirit integrative practice is also the key to understanding why it is so widely beneficial.

* Liu Tianjun, Chinese Medical Qigong. Singing Dragon: Philadelphia. 2010.

What are the benefits of Qigong?

Traditional Chinese qigong practice includes all of the benefits of natural postural alignment AND physical movement/exercise AND and meditation.

Physical exercise and benefit: Principles of natural postural alignment in sitting, standing, lying down, and moving postures improve circulation, reduce myriad types of pain caused by poor posture (e.g. back, knee, neck, and shoulder pain), and promote injury avoidance. Physical movement yields cardiovascular health improvements common to moderate aerobic exercise, as well as improvements in balance, range of motion/flexibility, bone density, and lower body and core strength.
Mental exercise and benefit: Emphasis on intention and other mental principles of practice directly exercises the connection between the central and peripheral nervous systems, yielding physical mind/body integrative benefits of agility, force control, and improved motor skills as well as cognitive benefits from learning new movement. The exercise of meditation yields improvements in mental clarity and focus and (the very important) practice of behavioral modifying psychological principles and values in meditation yields a positive mental attitude and reinforces philosophical understanding and awareness that develops through spiritual awakening.
Spiritual exercise and benefit: Self-awareness, or realization of one's true nature, and understanding of the world and one's relation and interaction with the world, are integral to understanding the traditional teachings that "relaxation and tranquility are the reasons why qigong can heal you." Qigong masters are often revered as wise persons in Chinese culture, in recognition of their peaceful bearing and philosophical understanding of life. See the section What do you mean by "spirit" or "spiritual exercise?" for more information about spiritual benefits of qigong practice.


It must be understood that there is a synergistic relation between methods and benefits of practice. Different exercises may directly yield a specific therapeutic benefit, but it is the integrative, holistic aspect of traditional practice that affords deep, and lasting, benefit. As one example, qigong exercise can significantly reduce stress and yield all of the therapeutic, and preventative, benefits of stress reduction. Physical exercise alone can also reduce stress, however without the corresponding behavioral modifying psychological/philosophical/spiritual aspects of qigong practice, the stress will return. It is understanding and practice of the integrative, holistic aspects of qigong exercise that will more deeply, and effectively, reduce stress. The same is true for any mood disorder (sleep, PTSD, ADHD).

In medical terms, the mechanisms of Qigong benefits are often systemic, and not localized. Through mind/body/spirit integrative exercise we are restoring the natural balance of the nervous and immune systems, which, through the work of the scientific field of psychchoneuroimmunology (PNI), we now know are biologically interconnected and in constant two way communication through both direct innervation of lymphatic tissue and biochemical signals. (It was not that long ago that conventional Western medicine held that the immune system was completely independent of the nervous system.) In understanding this systemic mechanism, we can understand how qigong can be beneficial to a wide range of nervous and immune system disorders. Published pilot study research has shown that this EBQ program is significantly effective in improving older adults' immune response to flu vaccination after only three weeks of practice, three times a week.

In the end, qigong practice yields a sense of holistic well-being that is difficult to communicate intellectually - it must be experienced to be understood.

Though the potential benefits of qigong are many, it must be acknowledged that qigong is not a pill. The "dosage" of qigong is dependent upon many factors, including curriculum design, instructor aptitude, and student understanding and effort. The depth of mind/body/spirit engagement, and therefore the therapeutic "dosage" of qigong, is dependent upon an intensity of effort that is considerably different, yet equally important, as the intensity of aerobic exercise. It is traditionally taught that five minutes of high quality qigong practice is better (i.e. yields a higher dosage) that one hour of incorrect practice.

What do you mean by "spirit" or "spiritual exercise"?

The spirit is that which motivates and vitalizes our being. It is that which perceives and comprehends, not only intellectually through mental functions of logic and reason, but senses intuitively. The spirit is the gateway to a feeling of oneness with something that is greater than our individual identity/ego - a sense that we are the ocean and not a wave. It is thus the source of awareness, wisdom, compassion, love, tranquility, and joy.

Spirituality, then, is exercise in understanding our true nature and relation to others and to the world. It is the most practical thing imaginable, as it is the path of realization of awareness, wisdom, compassion, love, tranquility, and joy today.

What we do not mean is religiosity. Religion is an institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices that requires a commitment or devotion to a shared faith. Qigong is not in any way a religion. It does not require, nor espouse, any particular system of religious beliefs or practices. Qigong does not demand faith in any dogma; it is a path of experiential knowing, rooted in more than a millennia of experience and trial and error. Spirituality recognizes what all great teachers have taught: that God is within you, that you are always united with God (however you may define this indefinable concept). However, core spiritual and philosophic principles common to the world’s spiritual traditions, such as understanding of the duality of nature and necessity of overcoming ego and "looking within," are an essential aspect of Qigong. In qigong, one looks within to experience what is, not what one thinks, or has been told, should be.

Relation to Yoga

The root of the ancient yoga tradition is mind/body/spirit integrative exercise - from this perspective, yoga and qigong are interchangeable terms. Indeed, qigong is often referred to as "Chinese yoga."

There is a great deal of difference in qigong and yoga instructor's understandings of their respective arts. Indeed, in my book I quoted from the classical yoga sutra "performed in all states and stages, on all planes of mind" when describing qigong practice. As long-time practitioners, however, we know that the essential foundation, as well as the ultimate purpose, of yoga and qigong is the same. The Chinese word "qi" is identical in meaning to the Sanskrit "prana." The meaning of the word yoga - union - is exactly the same as the Daoist principle of oneness.

Benefits of Qigong for Yoga Instructors and Practitioners

Yoga instructors have stated the following benefits of supplementing their teaching/practice with this qigong curriculum:

  • qigong provides new material to teach to existing students, without adopting "competing styles" of yoga practice
  • broadening the curriculum attracts a potentially wider student base
  • qigong is low impact relative to some styles of yoga - good for beginners, older students, or other practitioners who are physically unable to adopt more rigorous yoga postures
  • traditional qigong is an energy nurturing, restorative exercise, and may be attractive to those who do not enjoy, or believe, the "no pain, no gain" mentality of some exercise regimens. (We often remind our students that the qigong approach is "no pain, more gain.")
  • the relaxation and tendon/core strengthening benefits of qigong can complement and deepen the practice of yoga.
  • some instructors have found that experimenting with prana or qi through qigong has enhanced their understanding of the holistic mind/body/spirit root of training
  • environmental conditions, as well as student's physical capabilities, sometimes preclude lying down exercise: traditional qigong is performed in standing, sitting, and lying-down postures (one teacher specifically noted the difficulty of teaching yoga at a women's prison and in some settings for current military and veterans)

Relation between Taiji and Qigong

(i.e. "Why is this course a prerequisite for Taiji certification?")

Taiji form (if done correctly) is one kind of qigong practice. Taiji, however, is a complex, multimodal exercise and traditional training includes much more than slow, choreographed, physical movement. Other qigong exercises are part of the essential foundation of efficient taiji practice.

Entering the Taiji Circle - a brief personal story from Dr. Yang: Dr. Yang’s teacher, Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang, taught him that certain qigong exercises are essential to "enter the Taiji circle." Dr. Yang first met Grandmaster Feng in Shanghai in 1982. Grandmaster Feng was there at the invitation of the Chinese government as a principal representative of the Chen style at the historic first "all-family taiji master" gathering, and was invited to stay and teach in Shanghai after demonstrating. By that time, Dr. Yang had won the Shanghai all-collegiate taiji tournament three years running, had been selected as "best overall martial artist" after the last tournament, and was teaching taiji at the Shanghai Chen style research association. Dr. Yang met Grandmaster Feng in his hotel room, where Grandmaster Feng invited him to show his taiji ability in friendly "push-hands" practice. Though Dr. Yang was in his 20s and Grandmaster Feng was in his late 50s, Yang was unable to stand in front of Grandmaster Feng, who repeatedly, but gently, threw him away. As Dr. Yang says, he was glad it was a small room. Grandmaster Feng told him directly "boy, you are the champion, but you have not even entered the Taiji circle yet," to which Dr. Yang replied "Master Feng, how do I enter the circle?" Master Feng's answer was that traditional taiji practice is much more than choreographed form and that he needed to practice and understand the foundational qigong, or mind/body/spirit integrative exercises.

EBQ Course Logistics and Level I Qigong Certification Requirements

Is the intention to become certified a requisite for the training?

Certainly not. Some of the attendees are interested in pursuing instructor certification, while others are just interested in learning. The camp is a mix of absolute beginners, intermediate, and long-time practitioners.

What are the training requirements for teacher certification?

A. Minimum Training Hours

  • 32 contact hours with Dr. Yang. Contact hours with Dr. Yang may be fulfilled by: 1) five day intensive EBQ training offered through the Center for Taiji Studies, or 2) combined weekend and 5-day training events at Kripalu Yoga Center in Stockbridge, MA or Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA.
  • 100 hours of self-practice. After completing the home study you may request a certification test with Dr. Yang or a Senior EBT Instructor.

B. Testing Requirements

Testing will consist of a written exam and a performance evaluation with Dr. Yang or one of his senior instructors. The performance evaluation test may be completed via Skype. Certification is performance based and standards are high - attendance at a training event does not guarantee certification.

C. Re-certification Requirements

Recertification is a crucial aspect of quality control, and will be required every two years after initial certification. Recertification shall consist of:
  • Continuing Education - At least 10 hours in programs/seminars/camps/trainings/workshops, etc., offered by The Center For Taiji & Qigong Studies (or 20 hours of weekly classes at the CTQS); OR

  • Recertification through examination: A performance exam and interview with Dr. Yang, or a senior instructor, may be used for recertification.

Note: The Center for Taiji and Qigong Studies reserves the right to modify re-certification requirements as deemed appropriate for effective quality control.

D. Instructional Materials

The following materials are highly recommended for certification examinations and personal knowledge:


Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are available for the training events at Kriplau Yoga Center [Nurses, Massage and Body Workers (NCBTMB), Athletic Trainers (BOC), Yoga Alliance (YA)], and Esalen Institute [Psychologists, MFTs and LCSWs, Nurses, and NCBTMB practitioners, and acupuncturists.] CEUs are not currently available at CTS training events, but will be added in the future.

When and where are the next EBQTM training events?

Note: click on the links below for registration information for the Kripalu and Esalen workshops. Instructions for registration for the 2016 CTQS combined EBQ/EBT camp are detailed here.

  1. Weekend (2-day) training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health , Nov 13-15, 2015. Visit the Kripalu web site for registration and further information.
    (8 contact hrs)

  2. The next 5-day CTS training event will be July 15-20, 2016, at The University of Scranton, Scranton, PA. This 5-day course will provide all 32 contact hours required for EBQ certification. This course will also offer course material for those wishing to complete the second week of training required for Evidence-Based Taiji (EBT) certification.

  3. Weekend (2-day) training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, June 17-19, 2016.
    Registrations and further information or visit the Kripalu web site.
    (8 contact hrs)

  4. Week-long (5-day) training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, June 19-24, 2016.
    Registration and further information or visit the Kripalu web site.
    (23.5 contact hrs)

  5. Week-long (5-day) training at Esalen, July 31 - Aug 5, 2016.
    Registration and further information or visit the Esalen web site.
    (23.5 contact hrs)

  6. Weekend (2-day) training at Esalen, Aug 5-7, 2016.
    Registration and further information or visit the Esalen web site.
    (8 contact hrs)

  7. Weekend (2-day) training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, November 11-13, 2016. Check back later for registration link, or visit the Kripalu web site.
    (8 contact hrs)


Total expenses, including tuition, travel, meals, and lodging for all 5-day events are calculated to be equal at all locations, though travel, meals, and lodging costs will vary depending on venue. Click on the links above for registration and cost information for the Kripalu and Esalen venue locations. Cost for the next 5-day CTQS combined EBQ/EBT training event is summarized below. Discounts for the CTQS camp (but not the Esalen or Kripalu camps) are available for early tuition and attendace at previous CTQS camps.

Testing: Each private certification performance evaluation (60 minutes) with Dr. Yang or a Senior EBT instructor will cost $250 (if testing in person in NYC and if a studio rental is required, a $45/60 min studio rental fee will also apply).

Additional Information

You can email us with questions, or if you want to speak to a person call Scott at 347.989.3388.

2015 EBQ/EBT group photo
2016 EBQ/EBT Group Photo

Teacher Certification Training for Yang Yang's Evidence-Based Traditional Qigong (EBQTM)Program
Friday, July 15 - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This five-day intensive training event will provide all contact hours required for EBQ - Level I Qigong instructor certification. Split-course material will also be provided for those wishing to complete the second 5-day training for Evidence-Based Taiji (EBTTM) certification.

Training Schedule

Friday, July 15: check-in begins at 3:00p, instruction from 7:00-8:30P
Saturday-Tuesday: 7:50 hours instruction
Wednesday, July 20: 7:00-9:00A and 11:00A-12:00P instruction/practice - check out by 3:00P.
A pdf of the schedule
is available here.

Logistics / Cost / Admission / Deadlines


Training will be held at The University of Scranton campus, Scranton, PA. Training will be in either the gym or Leahy Hall (Kane Forum), and on-campus housing will be in Pilarz Hall.

A campus map is available here. Pilarz Hall is building #36 (denoted as the location of the fitness center), and Leahy hall is building #6.


The University of Scranton is located in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the center of the city of Scranton. The campus is 2 hours from New York City and 2 hours from Philadelphia and is easily accessible by car, bus or air. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre International Airport (AVP) is only a fifteen minute drive from campus.

Directions to the University of Scranton campus are available here.


Meals will be provided in the "Fresh Food Company" Dining Hall on the third floor of the Denaples Center (building 38 on the campus map.) Vegetarian options will be available. Dinner will be provided on the first evening (Friday, July 15), and breakfast and lunch will be provided on the last day (Wednesday, July 20).


There are two options for lodging:

  • On campus lodging: Condron Hall is a new dorm facility with suite style housing: two rooms with two single beds each are connected by a shared bathroom. All suites are air conditioned. Linens/pillows are provided. All room reservations will be single occupancy (one person per room, two persons per shared bathroom) unless you specify that you wish to share a room with someone. The price is the same whether there is single or double occupancy. All campers will be housed together in two floors on Condron Hall. there is a common kitchen on each floor, and a small refrigerator can be rented for $45.

  • Commuting: You are welcome to arrange your own lodging at nearby hotels and commute to camp.

You will indicate your housing preference on the registration form. If you elect to stay on-site, we will make all reservations/arrangements for you and the cost of the lodging/meals will be included in your payment to the Center for Taiji & Qigong Studies. If you elect to commute from a nearby hotel, you will need to make the reservations with the hotel yourself. Commuters will be charged a commuter fee for facility use and meals with tuition payment.


A total cost calculator is provided below to assist with cost calulations.


Base tuition is $1100, payable to the Center for Taiji & Qigong Studies. Available tuition discounts are detailed below. Lodging and meal costs are additional to tuition.


The following tuition discounts are available. The maximum discount is early regisration + EITHER EBQ/T certification OR previous 5-day camp attendance from 2013-2016:

  1. Early registration: ($50) If downpayment is received before April 1, 2016, a $50 discount will be applied to tuition. AND;

  2. EBQ/T certification: ($200) Those with current instructor certifications are eligible for an additional $200 discount. OR;

  3. Previous 5-day camp attendance (2013-2016): ($100) Those that have attended a 5-day training camp with Dr. Yang from 2013-2016 are eligible for a $50 discount.

Note: those attending the 48 form camp immediately following the EBQ/T camp are eligible for an additional $200 discount for 48 camp tuition.

Lodging and Meal Cost:

The following costs are for the entire 5 day training period, inlcude lodging and meals, and are in addition to tuition:

  • On campus dorm lodging (single room with two beds): $370
  • Commuter Rate (meals and facilty use fee only, non-negotiable): $185

Total Cost Calculator:

To use this calculator:

  • Tuition: Select "1100" for EBQ/EBT camp tuition; AND
  • Meals & Lodging: Select "370" if you are staying in a dorm room on campus, or "185" if you are commuting; AND
  • Early Registration Discount: "50" for early registration if downpayment was remitted prior to April 1, 2016; otherwise select "0"; AND
  • EBQ/T Certification Discount: Select "200" if your EBQ/T instructor certification is current; otherwise select "0"; OR
  • Multiple Camp Discount: Select "100" if you have attended a 5-day from 2013-2016; otherwise select "0".
  • Either the EBQ/T certification or mutliple camp discount must be set to "0" - you cannot apply both
  • Click on the "Total" button to calculate total amount due

Note: If you are also attending the 2016 48-form camp, calculate the cost of that separately on the 48 camp page. If a companion will be travelling with you that will not be attending the training, they will have to pay lodging (if staying in a campus dorm room) and meals (if dining with the group) separately.

Tuition: Meals & Lodging: Early Registration Discount: EBQ/T Certification Discount: Multiple Camp Discount:


Application Process:

Three steps are required for enrollment in the CTQS 5-day EBQ/EBT camp. They must be completed in order:

  1. Interested persons must first submit an application. Space is limited to ensure adequate training with Dr. Yang, so you are encouraged to apply early.

  2. An acceptance notification will be emailed to you which will include links to first a 1) waiver/license form, and then a 2) registration form. Both forms are necessary to complete registration.

  3. Either downpayment or full payment should be paid within 2 weeks of notification of acceptance to reserve your spot at the training. The application will be considered invalid if registration and a deposit are not received within two weeks of acceptance notification.

Payment Options

You may reserve your spot with a downpayment of $450, or pay the entire amount due initially.

There are three options for payment:

  • check or money order, payable to Center for Taiji & Qigong Studies, and mailed to: Center for Taiji & Qigong Studies, 1408 Mayfair Rd, Champaign, IL 61821

  • PayPal account: If you have a PayPal acount, you can transfer the fee to the CTS paypal account. A 3% convenience fee will be added for this payment method. Email Scott at scott"at symbol"centerfortaiji.com to request the CTS account email address.

  • credit card: we can send you an invoice through Paypal which you can pay by credit card. A 3% convenience fee will be added for this payment method. Email Scott at scott"at symbol"centerfortaiji.com to request an invoice payable by credit card.

Please note that final payment is due by July 1, 2016, or with your registration if registering after July 1.


Registration and downpayment must be received by April 1, 2016 to receive a $50 tuition reduction. You may forward the $450 deposit with your registration anytime after April 1, 2016 to reserve your space at camp, but after that date you will not be eligible for the $50 tuition reduction.

If for any reason you must cancel your reservation, your deposit will be refunded, less a $35 application fee, until May 10, 2016. If you cancel after May 10, 2016, a 50% refund will be available until July 1, 2016. After July 1, 2016, no refund will be given but you may use the deposit as a credit for future training events.

Final payment is due by July 1, 2016, or upon registering if registering after that date. If an amount remains due at camp, that amount may be paid by credit card only and will be subject to the 3% convenience fee.

Additional Logistics

A link to additional logistics/FAQs about camp, including information on final payment calculations, a ride-sharing spreasheet link, check-in, and what to bring to camp will be provided in June 2016.

*The "Center for Taiji Studies" and "Dr. Yang's Evidence-Based Traditional Taiji (EBTTM) and Evidence-Based Qigong (EBQTM) Programs" are trademarks of the Center for Taiji Studies (CTS). All rights reserved. Dr. Yang Yang's EBTTM and EBQTM programs and methods of instruction are the unique product of his lifelong practice with top traditional masters of China, over 30 years of experience teaching Taiji & Qigong in China and America, and his research in mind/body wellness. The combined curriculum and methods of instruction constitute the valuable and proprietary intellectual property of Dr. Yang Yang and/or the CTS. Certification is entirely at the discretion of Dr. Yang Yang and/or the CTS and may be withheld or withdrawn at any time by Dr. Yang Yang and/or the CTS.

License/certification to teach Dr. Yang Yang's program, and to use CTS trademarks and/or servicemarks in advertising/promotion, is limited to instructors with current certification. Certified instructors will be required to sign a written agreement indicating that they will appropriately attribute the EBQ and EBT programs to Dr. Yang Yang and the Center for Taiji & Qigong Studies, and that they will not modify the program to create another program offered under a different name

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