Throughout China there are many different forms of exercises. One broad form of exercise is qi gong. I say broad because there are many different forms of qi gong. One famous set of qi gong is ba duan jin or eight sections of brocade.
Ba Duan Jin is one of the most popular forms of qi gong. It consists of eight simple exercises that will improve you health and wellness. Each exercise is able to improve organ function, blood circulation, and balance in the body.
Ba duan jin was originated in China sometime around the Song dynasty which was about 1000 years ago. There are different origination stories, but one story is General Yue Fei developed Ba Duan Jin for his soldiers to remain healthy and strong. In our modern times Ba Duan Jin is practiced throughout the world and has been shown to be effective to maintain health and wellness.
At Master Lu’s Health Center in Salt Lake City Ba Duan Jin is taught as part of the Tai Chi class. This post will be an introduction to Ba Duan Jin so you can practice it at home when you can.
Eight Sections of Brocade Ba Duan Jin 八段錦
- Support the Heavens with Two Hands ( Push Sky Touch Earth)
Helps in stretching shoulders, arms, hands, and torso. Aids with breathing and digestion. Helps low back pain. This exercise will improve your heart and spleen function, and improve blood circulation
To do it: stretch with fingers interlocked, stretch to the sky, rise on toes. Repeat three times front and sides. Touch floor—repeat three times front and sides.
- Draw the Bow to Shoot the Eagle ( Bow and Arrow)
Strengthens wrists, hands, shoulders, spine, spleen, kidneys, thighs, and hips. The exercise internally will improve your lung function and breathing.
To do it: open feet to at least shoulder width, bend left knee, right arm straight with hand open. Move to the left, grab, pull back to right side, extend left arm with fist. Repeat other side.
3. Raise the Hand to Regulate the Spleen and Stomach (Yin Yang Arms)
Stretches and strengthens torso and upper extremities. Improves the spleen function and aids in digestion.
To do it: feet together, finger-tips touching. Move right hand up, palm toward the ceiling, circle hand. Slowly bring the hand down to other hand. Repeat with the left hand
- Looking Backwards to Eliminate Illness ( Neck Exercise)
Exercises neck and chest areas. Aids respiration and eyesight. Improves liver function which in turn improves the eyesight.
To do it: both hands on back near kidneys, shoulders straight, slowly rotate head to look behind. Repeat other side.
- Swing the Head and Tail to Eliminate Heart Fire ( Lion Exercise)
Exercises lower spine. Aids neck and upper back, thigh, knees, and ankles. Improves the Kidney channel, helps with back and knee pain.
To do it: Wide stance, sit down. Fists together in front with arms bent, elbows touching. Bend knees twist to the left. Repeat to the right.
- Punching with an Angry Gaze ( Grabbing Energy and Hands Exercise)
Exercises hands, wrists, shoulders, thighs, knees, and ankles. Increases energy levels. Improves Liver and Kidney function and helps with the eyes.
To do it: horse stance, arm extended, open right hand, grab, pull back while thrusting left fist forward. Repeat opposite sides.
- Shake the Back to Eliminate Illness ( Bird Exercise)
Stretches upper extremities. Aids respiration, digestion. Exercises ankles and calves.
To do it: fingers together in front, rise on toes, arms go to side then touch overhead. Bring down. Repeat.
- Hold the Feet to Strengthen the Lower Back and Kidneys ( Open Sky Touch Heels)
Helps lower back and kidney areas, migraine headaches. This exercise will also improve the kidney function.
To do it: Hands crossed in front, hand side-overhead-touch, bring down, touch back of heels keeping knees straight.
Ba Duan Jin is a wonderful set of exercises that will help you improve your health and wellness. As you practice these exercises on a daily basis you will feel a difference and will feel fantastic.
If you are interested to learn more please don’t hesitate to contact Master Lu’s Health Center in Salt Lake City and we are more than happy to help you achieve your wellness goals.