8 Section Brocade Qigong. Lead by master Larry Ping.
八段锦由八节组成 ，体势动作古朴高雅 ，故名。八段锦形成于12世纪，后在历代流传中形成许多练法和风格各具特色的流派。这种健身法既有肢体运动也有气息调理。是导引健身术的一种。八段锦与五禽戏、易筋经和太极拳一样，都是中国民间广为流传的健身方法。“八段锦”这个名字，一般认为有两层意思：一是表示这是一种集锦多种练习方法的功法；二是表示练习时动作连绵，像织锦一样。Translation of this name is difficult: 段 can be “section”, “piece”, “posture”, however the word 锦 has nothing to do with the qigong postures. Direct translation of 锦 can be brocade or tapestry. Many people translated 八段锦as “8 Section Brocade”, though this is not the best translation, let’s use it here until we can find a better one.
The 8 section brocade is a fascinating qigong form with a long and colorful history, Marshal Yue Fei created the 8 section brocade (also known as the Ba Duan Jin) in the 12th centaury – To improve the vitality of his soldiers. There are sitting position 8 section brocade and standing 8 section brocade. The above video is the standing 8 section brocade.
2 Hands Hold up Sky
Draw bow shooting hawk
Up Sky & down Earth
Turns from Side to Side
Touching Toes then Stretch
Punch with an angry Gaze
Bounce on the Toes
Standing 8-section brocade.
Section 1: Two Hands Hold up the Sky (Shuang Shou Tuo Tian)
Benefits: balances clears and makes the triple warmer/heater meridian (sanjiao) flow properly in balance which is primarily associated with endocrine system and our fight or flight response, an unhealthy triple heater can result in issues such as ADD, Chronic fatigue, Anxiety and panic attacks as well as insomnia and tinnitus, practicing this qigong will benefit all these conditions.
Stand relaxed with fingers interlinked palms facing you
Inhale slowly and raise your hands to overhead palms still facing you.
stretch in this movement and go onto your tiptoes
hold your breath for a few seconds
lower yourself back on your heels
now move your body left and right (imagine you are standing between two walls of glass so you cant move forwards or backwards, you can only arc left and right – so that you become the shape of a crescent moon –imagine the guy in the picture stretching left and right in that position- that is exactly what you must do.
Repeat this 7 times
Section 2: Draw the bow to shoot the hawk
Benefits: balances and replenishes the kidney meridian, strengthens your root through the low horse stance, strengthens lower body
stand in a horse riding stance, ie wide legs like in the picture
your arms are at your sides, bring them up and cross them in front of you
extend your left arm out and put your index finger out(this motion should look like you are drawing a bow) while simultaneously drawing your right hand back as if pulling on a bowstring(see picture)
now feel your chest open as you draw the bow, your backs shoulder blades should come together like you are trying to squeeze a cigar between them
with your index finger out you should feel a weird tingling in your finger, this is stimulating to the vagus nerve and is a health benefit of its own.(for longevity)
Section 3: Up Sky And Down Earth
Benefits: Spleen and stomach meridian
stand in horse riding stance (ma pu) slightly, not as intensely as drawing the bow
place hands in a position as if you are holding a beach ball with one hand on top and one below
raise your top hand until its in the position in the picture above your head
with your other hand you put it palm facing the floor fingers facing your leg(pity it doesn’t show this in the image)
now create a nice stretch with your hands
swap hands to do opposite side
Do this 7 times on each side
Section 4 – Gazes Backwards
Benefits: Cures energy depletion and consumptive illnesses, as it works the entire spine much like a wringed out cloth, it gets rid of nagging stiff muscles and pinched nerves, this exercise really improves your vitality, focus and energy levels, it also wards off aging and is very beneficial for back pain all along the spine.
1. go down into horse position(or riding horse)
2. raise your right hand to heart level with your palm open(imagine having your hands in a prayer position – then remove the left hand and relax it at your side – this is the position your right hand should be in.
3. exhale and rotate your body left twisting your spine relaxedly – as far as it will go comfortably.(hey don’t strain, relax)
4. follow this movement up by moving your head to look back (left) Ie continue the movement you made with your body simultaneously with your head.
5. inhale as you come back to the central position
6. repeat with the other side of your body ie now use your left hand and twist right.
7. Do 10 reps 5 each side.
Section 5 – Bear Turns from Side to Side
Benefits: this exercise directly increases your life force and energy, affecting longevity personal power and health.
stand in horse stance with your hands on your hips at 90 degrees
you should face north when doing this exercise
turn left while pivoting your waist to face right(90 degrees from facing forward)
now go back to facing forwards
do the same to the left,
basically you face left and right but in a low horse stance position, you can move your legs to accommodate.
Section 6 – Touching Toes then Stretch
Benefits: stimulates the yin meridians and the governing vessel so most of the lower meridians and all the solid organs of the body, check above for the illustration
begin with a relaxed stance not too low ie not horse stance
bring your arms to your lower dantien(navel area) as if you are cradling a tennis ball in both hands and bring it slowly up to your middle dantien(heart) area,
exhale slowly as you push out with both hands going forwards from this point (as if you are pushing someone
bend forward at the hips but keep a straight back (this will pull your hamstrings)and go down as low as you can, and try touch the floor with both hands- all the while exhaling
feel the earth energy(yin) and inhale as you bring it back up with you, trace your inner legs beginning with ankle and calf area and up past inner thighs & groin back up past the lower dantien(inhaling all the way and pulling the earth energy with you) back to the heart area
put your hands on your lower back in the kidney area and massage gently bend backwards and look up as you do so
Section 7 – Punch with an angry Gaze
Benefits: strengthens and revitalizes the liver. Engenders courage and fortitude
stand in horse stance but not too low
face forwards and raise both arms to the hips
clench fist gently and raise your elbows (as if you have just picked up a barbell and are at the bottom of a bicep curl)
pivot towards the left with your whole body(without changing your footing, so you twist to face 90 degrees left
Simultaneously punch, now you can adjust this to your mood, if angry then punch hard and forcefully allowing your angry energy to be thrown out as you exhale at the point of hitting. If you are calm, then do a relaxed qigong punch.
do this on both sides for 5 reps each side
Section 8 – Bounce on the Toes
Benefits: Bouncing on your toes, aside from a good calf workout is said to help rid the body of many diseases and stimulate healing and immune system. This makes sense even in western medical theory as it would stimulate the lymph to flow the bouncing
stand with your legs about shoulder width apart
slowly raise yourself to your tiptoes
bounce down with reasonable force; allow yourself to bounce on your heels
keep doing this for about 21 repetitions
you should feel the force of the movement throughout your body, obviously don’t do it so hard you hurt yourself in any way, just bounce lightly.(but feel the impact through the body)