Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa, or just Dafa) is, according to the official website falundafa.org, "a high-level cultivation practice guided by the characteristics of the universe -- Truthfulness, Benevolence, and Forbearance."
Cultivation means "continuously striving to better harmonise oneself with these universal principles". Practice refers to the exercises -- five sets of easy-to-learn gentle movements and meditation. Falun Gong followers believe that cultivating oneself is essential; practising the exercises supplements the process.
"Over time, the principles of Dafa unveil the deepest and most profound truths of the universe," according to falundafa.org. "Following the principles, practitioners of Falun Dafa are able to reach very high realms, enlightening to the true meanings of life, and finding the path of return to their origins and true selves."
Followers believe that, while the exercises have deep inner meanings, they also help to reduce stress and can bring great improvements in health and fitness.
Today, Falun Gong is practised and cherished by over 100 million people in over 80 countries.