Early Bird Discount offer and Ends on August 15th. Save up to $400 off

Early Birds Discount Ends :

0 Days
0 Hours
0 Minutes
0 Seconds
0
0 items
No products in the cart.
0
0 items
No products in the cart.

Baduanjin Qigong

Category: Date: 20 August 2022 Comments: 0

Baduanjin Qigong 

Baduanjin Qigong - A woman practicing Baduanjin Qigong in a park

What Is Baduanjin?

Definition

Baduanjin translates to “8 Pieces of Brocade”, “8 Golden Treasures” or “8 Pieces of Silk“. This qigong practice has a gentle approach and moderate movements which can be done by anyone. The movements of Baduanjin Qigong promote health and healing, as well as cultivate energy. 

There are multiple versions and variations of this qigong system. Today, the Baduanjin Qigong is one of the systems of qigong used in some hospitals in China for patients as a tool to enhance their healing process. 

 

History of Baduanjin Qigong

The Baduanjin Qigong or 8 Pieces of Brocade was known to be created by Marshal Yue Fei who was an army general around 1127 – 1279 A.D. Marshal Yue Fei created this qigong practice to help the soldiers of warfare. He wanted the soldiers to have the practice to help them heal. The Baduanjin Qigong is also one of the standard forms of qigong by the CCP. This is also one of the most popular medical qigong today. 

 

Principles of Baduanjin Qigong

The Baduanjin Qigong helps in circulating energy to help produce maximum health benefits. It is done with movements and physical postures, breathing mechanics, and, concentration and focus. The movements in this qigong are balanced and are done symmetrically on each side. The focus of these exercises is to allow energy flow in the meridians or energy pathways of the body. This helps one have more balanced well-being.

Preparation

During any qigong practice, we want to begin with Zhan Zhuang (Standing Qigong) to help us connect with our life source. It is also optimal, to begin with, some breathwork techniques to help clear out our energy. 

Routine

The Baduanjin qigong exercise can be done in one sequence or done by doing one or several exercises in your qigong exercises. 

 

Baduanjin Qigong Exercises

Both Hands Hold up the Heavens to Balance the Triple Warmer

Principles

The movements in this Baduanjin qigong exercise help circulate the energy in the body through the Triple Burner. The Triple Burner is a Traditional Chinese Medicine organ that does not have a physical manifestation. The main function of this organ is the distribution of energy. It also helps in the synthesis of the functions of Zang Fu organs. This exercise consists of movements that stretch the arms above the head which contract the muscles and when released it relaxes and helps the qi circulate in the energy channels of the body. 

 

Movement 

Here are some movement key points of this Baduanjin qigong exercise:

  • First, both hands interlock at the bottom, and then slowly reach upwards. 
  • When the hands reach the louder level, the hands rotate outwards until both palms are facing heaven, in the other direction. 
  • The hands and the arms continue to reach upwards until it reaches the fullest extent. 
  • We hold that position with the breath, and then we gently release the hands and the arms to the side with a gentle exhale as well. 

 

Drawing the Bow to Left and Right Shooting the Vulture

Principles

This Baduanjin exercise helps improve the respiratory system. Particularly, this exercise connects to the lungs. The palm and fingers organize in such a way that it stretches the lung meridian which ends in the thumb, as well as the large intestine meridian which ends in the index finger. 

 

Movements

Here are some movement key points of this Baduanjin qigong exercise:

  • This Baduanjin qigong exercise uses both the horse stance and the bow stance. 
  • For the movement of the arms, first, both arms cross with the elbows over the chest. 
  • After the body turns to the side, one arm “pulls the bow” and the other arm stretches to the side seems like an “arrow”. 
  • The arm that stretches sideways will fold the pinky, ring finger, and le finger.
  • The index finger and thumb are stretched out. 
  • The other arm is bent by the elbow with the hands by the chest and with all the fingers folded, as if drawing a bow. 
  • After this, we shift to the other side. 
  • While shifting, both arms stretched sideways. 
  • The arm that was stretched in the first round will gather towards the other side.
  •  And then, both arms will cross. 
  • After that, we just shift the bow and arrow arm. 

 

Look Back to Prevent the Five Diseases and Seven Injuries

Principles

The movement of this Baduanjin qigong exercise has a deep twist in the torso. This also gives a good contraction to the spine and the organs to release any toxins and blockages. The movement of the arms has a gentle lift and release to allow the energy to flow into the head, which helps improve the function of the brain to moderate emotions. This also helps improve eyesight by stretching the optic nerves, which helps in improving the delivery of information in the eyes. 

The “five diseases” refer to the diseases that can occur in the 5 pairs of Zang Fu organs. The “seven injuries” refers to imbalances or injuries in the body caused by the 7 emotions which are: joy/happiness, anger, anxiety/worry, desire, grief/sadness, fear, and shock. In Chinese medicine, it is known that emotions can affect the organs, and vice versa, the organs can affect the state of our emotions. 

 

Movement

Here are some movement key points of this Baduanjin qigong exercise:

  • First, both palms are within the hip-width distance. Hands are in well-spring palms position facing upward by the lower dantian as if carrying a ball.
  • The upper body, the torso along with the head, twists to the back.
  • When the body is twisted at its maximum towards the back, the hands lift upwards going above the height of the head.
  • When it reaches just above the head the hands will reverse to face the earth.
  • The body releases the twist and goes back to the neutral center. 
  • And then, both hands release to the center of the body.
  • After this round, we do the same thing on the other side.

 

Separating Heaven and Earth to Balance the Spleen and Stomach 

Principles

This Baduanjin qigong exercise also has a deep stretch in the torso that gives a good contraction to the spine and the organs, specifically the spleen and stomach. This helps in releasing any toxins and blockages which improves blood circulation and improves digestion. It also stretches the arms in opposite directions, upward and downward. This gives a good long stretch of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments as well as opens up the energy channels in the arms.  The movement of this exercise also helps open up the spine and energy channels that run in the centerline of the body. 

 

Movement

Here are some movement key points of this Baduanjin qigong exercise:

  • This exercise starts in a low stance. 
  • As the upper body, the torso along with the head, twists to the back, the arms cross over the chest. 
  • The upper body reaches the fullest extension of the twist. 
  • After this, the body then switches to the opposite side, and the arms release their crossed position.
  • The arm facing the opposite direction of the twist, goes behind the neck, while the arm facing the direction of the twist goes in the lower back.
  • When the body faces sideways in the other direction, the entire body stretches upwards. 
  • The upper arm stretches upwards, while the lower arm stretches downward. 
  • The upper hand is bent, facing heaven, while the lower hand is bent, facing the earth.
  • After this, the body releases to the neutral center, as the hands gather in the middle of the torso.
  • Both hands face each other. 
  • Then, we do the same thing on the other side.



Sway the Head and Shake the Tail to Calm the Heart Fire

Principles

The movements of this Baduanjin Qigong exercise help open up the chest, which helps contract the lungs, and open up the heart. In Chinese medicine, the heart fire is the excess accumulation of qi in the middle dantian, caused by incorrect lifestyles such as poor diet, irregular sleeping habits, excessive work, and stress. It is also known that the lungs connect to the heart, and the lungs receive this accumulation of heart fire. The relationship of the elements that connect to the lungs (Metal) and the heart (Fire) is a controlling cycle. Fire controls metal, so the movement in this exercise integrates these elements, and helps balance the excess heart fire in the middle dantian. 

 

Movement

Here are some movement key points of this Baduanjin qigong exercise:

  • This exercise uses both the horse stance and the bow stance.
  • First, sink into a horse stance, with hands gently resting over the knees without the tension of weight. 
  • Next, transition into a bow stance.
  • And then, gently twist the entire torso along with the head to face the back. 
  • When you reach the full stretch of your torso, release your upper body rotating towards the other side.
  • Keep your upper body low, perpendicular to the ground with your face parallel to the earth as you switch your upper body to the other side. 
  • When your upper body reaches the fullest extension to the other side, switch your bow stance to the other direction. 
  • After this, gradually lift the upper body until the spine is straight towards the sky, facing the same direction as where your knee is facing. 
  • Now, gently twist your upper body again towards the back, the same thing as you did to the other side.
  • This finishes one round on each side.
  • After this, release your upper body, and then you can repeat. 

 

Hold the Feet with Both Hands to Strengthen Waist and Kidneys

Principles

This Baduanjin exercise has a very good full-body stretch from the upper body to the lower body. Also, this exercise helps stretch and compress the Kidneys. It opens up and warms up both the front line and back line of the body. This also helps wake up the spine and the entire body. 

The movement in this Baduanjin qigong exercise helps in promoting circulation in the kidney through compression and relaxation. Through the stretching and compression of the kidney, we also release blockages and help qi flow in the spine in the centerline of the body. By placing the hands on the lower back we also stimulate the Ming Men. In Chinese medicine, the kidney is known to hold the Yuan Qi or our Original Qi. By stimulating this organ we cultivate and preserve our original qi which helps strengthen and protect the body.

 

Movement

Here are some movement key points of this Baduanjin qigong exercise:

  • First, stretch the arms up, reaching for heaven.
  • Allow the palms to face upwards connecting to heaven. 
  • Make sure you reach the fullest stretch of your arms, as you keep your gaze towards your palms. 
  • While maintaining the position of the arms and the hands, bend the entire upper body forward reaching towards the ground or as low as you can.
  • Let the gaze continue to connect to the palms. 
  • When the upper body reaches its lowest extension towards the ground, allow your head to fall heavily to the ground, connecting to the earth and letting go of control.
  • Use the hands to gently grab the ankles,
  • After this, reach forward with your head aiming to look forward with your gaze. 
  • When you reach the fullest stretch of the head, allow the head to come back, connecting again to the earth. 
  • Slowly rise, one vertebra at a time, while brushing our hands on the sides of the legs. 
  • Once you have straightened the body, allow the hands to go behind the kidney or the lower back.
  • Use the hands to support the upper body as the body bends backward.
  • The knees slightly go forward and the glutes are engaged to reduce injury. 
  • Feeling the stretch in the front line of the body, and contraction in the back line of the body. 
  • Rise, gently, one vertebra at a time, and then repeat. 




Clench the Fists with Angry Eyes to Strengthen the Body

Principles 

Most of the Meridians or the energy channels of the body end in the fingers and the toes. This Baduanjin exercise gives good compression and release of the fingers which helps pump the energy in the meridians. That movement helps release any stagnation in the energy flow in the meridian pathways. This helps warm up the arms, the hand, and the fingers which helps strengthen the body. 

In Chinese Medicine, the liver connects to the eyes and governs the muscles. The movement in this Baduanjin qigong helps strengthen the liver qi through the movement of the eyes. This exercise also helps store the qi in the muscles. Overall, this exercise also helps improve health and vitality and elevates the spirit. 

 

Movement

Here are some movement key points of this Baduanjin qigong exercise:

  • Sink into a horse stance.
  • Put both the hands into knuckles, resting by the side of the hips.
  • Stretch one fist forward, with the fingers/palms facing downwards, as the torso twists forward. Move the arm with the torso.
  • Release the fist, and then reverse the fist by closing one finger at a time, and then rotating the wrist so that the fist now faces upwards, towards heaven. 
  • This will be done in 2 directions, towards the front, and towards the sides. First with one hand each, both left and right arm doing the front side and sideways, and then with both hands doing the same moves together, front side and then sideways. 

 

Bouncing on the Toes to Cure Diseases

Principles 

This must be the easiest among the 8 Baduanjin qigong exercises but is also as powerful as all the rest in smoothening the qi flow in the body. This includes bouncing on the foot and letting go of the body. This helps ground the energy that has been accumulated during qigong practice. By contracting the toes, we also help contract the meridians that end in the toes and when we release it we also stimulate energy flow in those meridians. This helps in balancing the energy in the organs which connect to those meridians as well. 

 

Movement

Here are some movement key points of this Baduanjin qigong exercise:

  • The movement of this Baduanjin qigong exercise has a gentle release of the feet to the ground to release old energies and stagnation in the body.
  • This release also helps ground the energy accumulated during qigong practice. 
  • The entire body shakes out as well, allowing blood and qi to flow in the energy pathways of the body. 
  • The body is relaxed and maintains proper posture and alignments throughout the exercise. 

 

Baduanjin Qigong Variations

As mentioned earlier, there are different variations of the qigong. There are no better versions than the other, however, it is important to learn from someone well experienced in this system. Even though there are variations in the movements of the Baduanjin Qigong, all the principles are similar. Focusing on knowing the principles of the exercises, maintaining a proper mind, and consistent practice are optimal to make this qigong exercise most effective. 

Meridian Qigong is a great alternative to the Baduanjin. Try it:

 

 

Share This Post

Leave a Comment