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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.

Please note: We are still finalizing the dates/location for the 2016 EBQ camp and hope to have the application and registration forms for that very soon.

Quick Links

2015 EBQ Camp Application, Blowing Rock

Other 2014 and 2015 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

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

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 and performance-based exam with Dr. Yang. The performance-based 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:
  • Teaching experience - 80 hours minimum (over 2 years) plus letters of recommendation from clients demonstrating on-going successful classes;


  • Continuing Education - 20 hours that can be fulfilled as follows:

        a. At least 10 hours in programs/seminars/camps/trainings/workshops, etc., offered by The Center For Taiji Studies (or 75 hours of weekly classes at the CTS).
        b. Self-directed study - up to 10 hours participation in other Taiji programs/seminars/trainings/workshops etc. offered by others outside of the Center for Taiji Studies (or 75 hours of weekly classes). Instruction from others outside of the CTS must be submitted for approval in advance.


  • 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 CTS Blowing Rock, NC 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 5-10, 2016, location TBD. Please check back soon for further information. 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. Check back later for registration link, 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. Check back later for registration link, or visit the Kripalu web site.
    (23.5 contact hrs)

  5. Week-long (5-day) training at Esalen, July 31 - Aug 5, 2016. Check back later for registration link, or visit the Esalen web site.
    (23.5 contact hrs)

  6. Weekend (2-day) training at Esalen, Aug 5-7, 2016. Check back later for registration link, or visit the Esalen 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 CTS training event is summarized below. Discounts are available for early tuition and attendace at previous CTS camps and are detailed here. A total cost calculator is available to assist with total cost estimates for the Blowing Rock camp including tuition, meals & lodging, and applicable discounts.

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.

2007 EBT group photo
2007 EBT Group Photo

Teacher Certification Training for Yang Yang's Evidence-Based Traditional Qigong (EBQTM)Program
Tuesday, August 4 - Sunday, August 9, 2015

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

Tuesday, August 4: check-in begins at 3:00, instruction from 6:00-8:30P
Wed-Sat: 7:50 hours instruction
Sunday, August 9: 7:00-9:00A and 11:00A-12:00P instruction/practice - check out by 3:00P.

A tentative schedule
is available here.

Logistics / Cost / Admission / Deadlines


Training will be held at
Blowing Rock Conference Center, 1818 Goforth Road, Blowing Rock, NC,28605.


Directions to the site from Blowing Rock are available here.

There are three basic options for getting to the Blowing Rock conference center from the Charlotte, NC airport: 1) renting a car, 2) ride sharing, and 3) catching the Hickory Hop Shuttle service. All options are detailed on this page.


Meals and snacks will be provided in the conference center cafeteria. Vegetarian options will be available. Dinner will be provided Tuesday, August 4, and breakfast and lunch will be provided Sunday, August 9.


On-site housing options are limited and will be issued on a first come, first served basis. The camp is often full and you are encouraged to submit your downpayment early if your wish to secure desired lodging. There are 4 options for on-site lodging. You may of course also reserve a hotel in Blowing Rock 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.

On-Site Lodging

  • Corriher Lodge. These are hotel-type rooms available as single or double rooms. Note: several available rooms are on the second floor and there is no elevator. You must register early to secure a lodge room. If you absolutely need a lodge room on the first floor, let us know and we will make arrangements with the Center.

  • Cabins. Each has a small kitchen, dining area and living room with fireplace and back porch. There is a master bedroom with queen-sized bed and a second bedroom with two singles and one bunk bed in each cabin. There is a maximum capacity of 24 people in the cottages, and cabin spots are on a first come, first served basis. We will not reserve the master bedroom in the cabins—please reserve a lodge room or off-site hotel room if you require more privacy.

  • Youth Dorms. These units are older and designed for youth and so amenities are limited. Adults and families will most likely prefer Corriher Lodge. Those requesting cabin lodging will be assigned to a youth dorm bed once the cabins are full.

  • Tent Camping. A maximum of 5 tents will be allowed on-campus during the camp. The tents are slightly less expensive than the cabins or dorms, and some may prefer the privacy of tents to the cabins or youth dorms. Those using the tents will need to shower in the shared bathrooms in the youth dorms, cabins, or in the Clapp Gym bathroom shower. Your tent should be able to withstand rain, as rain in the mountains is not unusual. It is *possible* that all on-site lodging will be full and you *may* not have the option of changing to a lodge, cabin, or youth dorm.

Hotel (Commuter) Lodging

We have reserved a small block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express in Blowing Rock (phone 828-295-4422). The cost is $79 plus tax per night—you will need to mention your affiliation with the Center for Taiji & Qigong Studies camp at the Blowing Rock Conference Center to get this price.

Blowing Rock is a beautiful, upscale small town, and there are many other local hotels and bed-n-breakfast areas. If cost is not a primary concern, there are several more luxurious hotels.

All persons staying at a hotel will have to pay a commuter fee for facility use and meals with their tuition.

Tuition Cost:

Tuition: $1100, payable to the Center for Taiji Studies.

Discounts: If downpayment is received before May 1, 2015, a $50 discount will be applied to tuition. Additional discounts are available for any person attending multiple CTS training events.

Lodging and Meal Cost:

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

  • Cabins - $290
  • Youth Dorms - $290
  • Lodge - Single Occupancy - $515
  • Lodge - Double Occupancy - $375 per person
  • Tent Camping - $260
  • Commuter Rate (meals only, non-negotiable) - $155
You will need to select one of the housing options, and roommate preference, when registering. On-site lodging is limited and you are encouraged to submit your downpayment early in the year to secure desired lodging.

Total Cost Calculator:

A total cost calculator is available to assist with total cost estimates including tuition, meals & lodging, and applicable discounts.

Application Process:

Three steps are required for enrollment in the CTS 5-day training event in Blowing Rock, NC. 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. A link to additional logistics/FAQs about camp, including information on final payment calculations, meals and lodging, getting to camp, site map and training schedule, check-in, what to bring to camp, and internet connectivity at the Conference Center, will be provided after submittal of the registration form.

  3. Either downpayment or full payment via check or money order should be mailed within 2 weeks of notification of acceptance to reserve your spot at the training.


Waiver and registration forms and either full payment or a $450 deposit are due two weeks after notification of acceptance. The application will be considered invalid if registration and a deposit are not received within two weeks of acceptance notification. Final payment of any amount due remaining is due by July 20, 2015. All payments must be by check or money order only and mailed to:

Center for Taiji Studies
1408 Mayfair
Champaign, IL 61821

Registration and downpayment must be received by May 1, 2015 to receive a $50 tuition reduction. You may forward the $450 deposit with your registration anytime after May 1, 2015 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 June 1, 2015. If you cancel after June 1, 2015, a 50% refund will be available until August 1, 2015. After August 1, 2015, no refund will be given but you may use the deposit as a credit for future training events.

Non-Taiji Area Attractions:

Blowing Rock is one of the oldest tourist sites in NC, and there are many attractions in the area. The Blowing Rock.com web site contains links to area accommodations, attractions, recreation, arts, shopping, and more.

There is also a Wikipedia article on Blowing Rock with links to Blowing Rock town web site and travel guides.

*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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