The Baduanjin (八段錦) is one of the most common forms of Chinese qigong used as exercise.Ba Duan Jin is an independent and complete set of fitness exercises that originated in the Northern Song Dynasty and has a history of more than 800 years. The ancients likened this set of movements to “jin”, meaning colorful, beautiful and luxurious! The modern Eight Duan Jin has been changed in content and name, and is divided into eight sections, each with one movement. No equipment, not limited by the venue, easy to learn, save time, the effect is extremely significant; the effect is suitable for men and women, young and old, can make thin people strong, fat people lose weight.
Ba Duan Jin Qigong exercise is increased muscular strength and the development of the pectoral muscles can assist in providing a graceful figure. The use of the core muscles will help in the prevention and treatment of kyphosis and scoliosis along with some common chronic diseases such as cervical spondylopathy, pain in the lower back and legs, and stomach ache. With persistent practice, the Ba Duan Jin can also tone the brain, strengthen health and prolong life.
The movements are gentle, relaxed and gracefully extending on the basic of a well balanced stance. The movements are continuous, like flowing water or floating clouds, to instill calmness in the practitioner’s body and mind. This help to smooth the internal circulation of vital energy and improve ones health fitness.
It is a good combination of strength and relaxation or dynamism and inertia helps to maintain balance between Yin and Yang, the two principal opposing and interactive aspects, of the body as described by traditional Chinese medicine.
It is also helps to improve circulation in the channels and collaterals, and smooth the actions of the joints and the blood circulation. All this has obvious effects in strengthening the body and improving the health.
The Baduanjin traditionally contains both a standing and seated set of eight postures each. In the modern era, the standing version is by far the most widely practiced.
Two Hands Press the Heavens
This movement opens the Three Burners and increases circulation throughout the body. With the arms stretch to the heavens it is the most Yang movement in the form. While pressing the heavens we must always remember that we are connected to the earth so we do not float away.
Draw the Bow to Shoot the Vulture
This movement opens the chest and lungs while teaching us to drop our breath into the dan tien. As we shift our stance from side to side feel the interplay of yin and yang. Our eyes are open wide to see the target in the distance.
Separate Heaven and Earth
Our hands spiral up and down from our center. Heaven, Human and Earth are all apparent. We must drop our breath to the abdomen while lifting the top of our head.
Wise Owl Gazes Backwards
The movement of the arms activates all yin and yang organs to build immunity. We must be careful not to loose our center as we move though the inhale. The exhale is brief but grounding.
Swimming the Head and Lowering the body to relieve stress
Here we empty the fire from our heart to calm the spirit. We sink more and more into bliss with each exhale. Do not loose the root as the head dips.
Moving the hands down the back and legs and touching the feet to strengthen the kidneys
First we stretch the Du Mai opening from our tail bone though our spine to the top of the head. Then we reach down to touch the bubbling spring at the base of our feet. The kidneys are massaged vigorously the the end of this movement.
Thrusting the first and making the eyes glare to enhance strength
We strengthen the tendons trough the Liver and gallbladder. Legs become stronger with each movement. Exhale slow to work. Inhale fast but deep.
Raising and lowering the heels to cure diseases
We bounce 9 times clearing the channels and strengthening the Kidney Jing to end this form. All of the meridians are clear.
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