Yuan Qigong in Africa

Interview with Louise Pannell from REN XUE Africa


Louise Pannell is a YUAN QIGONG and REN XUE Teacher, Co-founder and director at REN XUE Africa based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She holds weekly classes – online and in-person, and supports the development of REN XUE in Africa.


How did you find REN XUE and what made you become a teacher?

Louise Pannell: I was working with Zayn. We were Pilates instructors at a local studio and had been working side by side for about 10 years. One year Zayn came back after a Christmas break and shared that he’d been to New Zealand for Level One Yuan Qigong Teachers Training. He asked if I was interested in learning the method and I said I’d love to, because I’d had some pretty incredible experiences with a different form of Qigong, about 14 years before that.

From the very first Tian Yuan class I loved YUAN QIGONG for how it made me feel. It immediately became part of my daily practice. It was about two years later, that Zayn mentioned YUAN TZE, the founder of YUAN QIGONG and REN XUE, was never again going to be teaching the six teacher training levels in person. I already felt a close connection with YUAN TZE though I’d never met him. I’d only seen a picture or two of him, that Zayn had shown me. Everything in my heart just said ‘I’ve got to get to New Zealand! I’ve got to be taught directly by YUAN TZE 

The fact that when I arrived in Rotorua, the Level Five material unexpectedly dovetailed with a significant and recent chapter of learning in my life, added to the sense of destiny. So that was the start of my choosing to become a YUAN QIGONG and REN XUE teacher. From the outset my decision wasn’t as much about the mechanics of teaching or the identity of ‘being a teacher’, it was more about helping people to experience life with less suffering through this efficient and complete Qigong system.

Louise Pannell, Zayn du Plessis and Gary Simons (co-founders and directors of REN XUE Africa)


What’s your wish for your students and the REN XUE AFRICA community?

Louise Pannell: It is that each of us, students and teachers alike, would experience a true path to the stable presence of our True Self, with all the gifts that comes with that. Of course I understand that that’s a process and the length of time to full Realization will differ for each of us. But, we have already had a taste of how the journey itself brings increased health and well-being, and a significant reduction in anxiety and mental/emotional disturbance for people living in quite uncertain, challenging times. My particular wish for the REN XUE AFRICA community, is immediate access to deeper states of calm and peace, and more harmonious relationships in their families and across all communities. 

More than that I would love for REN XUE AFRICA to grow in depth and breadth to have the teacher capacity to serve the rest of Africa. It’s a vast continent and the languages and cultures are so diverse. I trust that one day we will have all languages and cultures on the continent represented within REN XUE AFRICA. 

Meanwhile, I trust that one day we will have teachers teaching at companies, schools, old age homes and eventually even find a way to introduce REN XUE and Yuan Qigong to prisons because there may be a more true and sure way for these people to change their forward trajectory. And they seem to me to be the most forgotten ones.

REN XUE AFRICA is however open to anything which could expand its footprint in an integral way, staying true to the original principles, theories and methods.


Visit REN XUE AFRICA on Ren Xue TV!


What do you like most about REN XUE?

Louise Pannell: It’s such a whole package! First and foremost is the completeness, the depth and breadth of the teachings which encompass Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit. These are not superficially dealt with. The teachings can take one very far, always with extremely clear and wise guidance from YUAN TZE and the experienced global community.

I love the personal growth and development it offers. I love the mingling and connecting with people who are committed to, I’m going to call it, a True Path. I haven’t met anybody in the broader community who is in it for self-aggrandizement. That adds to the sense of authenticity of purpose. 

It goes without saying that I experience YUAN TZE, his teachings, and his work as a rare treasure. His wife Melissa translates his work with deep sincerity, skill and humility, in itself true to the intentions of REN XUE. 

Lastly, I love the way that it works so quickly for people. It’s incredible to me that people can drop into a practice and in 30 minutes they’ve already accessed something in themselves that was always whispering there, though it may not have had much opportunity to show itself before.


What would the African REN XUE practitioners find if they join the global community?

Louise Pannell: Oh my word! Warmth, openness, support and without meaning to be presumptuous, the shimmerings of a hope for what it might be like for true humans to connect with each other in ever growing communities. We are all on this path. And people make mistakes, but there is a genuine desire within people in the community to continue transforming the old unhelpful ways ~ and consistent, clear tools are there for everyone, within the REN XUE teachings, guiding everyone‘s direction.

In addition, there is much life wisdom and experience among the members of the community, offered with true respect and humility. I have learned so much from them and continue to do so.

It goes without saying that there are Yuan Tze’s workshops, different teachers‘ classes and workshops across the world, with ongoing in-depth training for those already qualified. Whether practitioners wish to simply deepen their knowledge for their own life development purposes or to become teachers, everyone is accommodated and supported with equal commitment and integrity. 

We invite you to start your journey!

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This interview was conducted by Anke Sonnentag from REN XUE of the Americas.






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The REN XUE Community is a global, deeply connected community dedicated to the journey towards realization and wisdom. Health, happiness, and sense of wellbeing are often the first treasures along the Ren Xue pathway. As a Ren Xue practice develops and deepens, we gain tools for opening our hearts to ourselves and to the world. Mental clarity and the ability to focus improve. We better understand our thought patterns and can begin to change those that do not promote a harmonious life.

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