• The best is always to find a good teacher in your area that you can afford and have access to for regular instruction. It’s worth repeating that a good teacher who can do the material that they are teaching and are willing and able to give you feedback on what you do with his or her material is the very best way to try and learn something about qigong or the internal Chinese martial arts [ok, about anything for that matter]!
• Next best is the modern innovation of following along in an online course -- particularly in terms of learning qigong methods and solo forms This is an option that is worth exploring for those who don't have a suitable teacher in their geographical locale.
• Next best option for instruction is to buy an instruction dvd and while the quality of actual instruction on these [and I have watched hundreds in the last 20 years] varies from the simplicity of just repeating smaller sections which isn't much better than trying to copy en masse to more detailed instruction. An example of the latter that I would personally recommend is the excellent four dvd set on the traditional Sun-style 97 Posrure form produced by Tim Cartmell.
• Next best is trying to copy what you see on any of the many Youtube™ offerings but, as with instructional dvds, the biggest drawback is the lack of feedback so it is easy to go astray. You do remember that valuable old saying "Miss by an inch; miss by a mile" and that certainly applies to qigong and martial arts forms.
•Finally, the worst option is to try and teach yourself from illustrations in a book. While a book is fine for theory and history, the real problem with still photos is that they don't convey the connectivity of the movement that link those b&w or colour frozen moments in time. On the other hand, I wish I had a video of the form I taught myself from a book on tai chi and kung fu written by the infamous Bruce Tegner back in the 1970s. Now that would be hilarious viewing…
Copyright Michael A. Babin ©2019