Baduanjin Qi Gong (Eight Section Brocade)
with Peter Chen

Baduanjin Qi Gong is the most popular Chinese Qi Gong Form. It is used as exercise for more than 1000 years to improve health. The Baduanjin as a whole is broken down into eight separate sections, each focusing on a different physical area and Qi Meridian. It is very easy to learn and very convenient to practice. With my experience, Baduanjin practice not only has its own great benefits, but is also complimentary to Tai Chi practice. We also teach this form and often use it as a warming up exercise in our Tai chi Class.

 


  

 

 

Ba Duan Jin Qi Gong (Eight Section Brocade)

Eight section Brocade is the most popular Chinese Qi Gong Form. It has been used for more than 1000 years to improve health. This form has eight separate sections; each section can help a different physical area and Qi Meridian. It is very easy to learn and very convenient to practice.

Detailed Instructions

Ready Position

  • Stand upright, feet together, arms alongside the body.
  • Relax, breath naturally, focus your mind on Dantian. Look forward.
  • When you feel relaxed and peaceful, take a step to the left and keep relaxing the body continuously.
  • Slowly open the arms, palms facing backward. Hold a ball in front of the lower abdomen.

Key points and breathing coordination:

  • Relax, breath naturally. Explain how to relax from the top of body to toes.
  • Focus your mind on Dantian. Explain where Dantian is and how important it is to focus on Dantian. 
  • Inhale when hands are open; exhale when hands return. 

 

Section 1: Hold up Heaven to Regulate the Triple Warmers

  • Raise both hands above the head with the palms facing upward, as if holding up heaven.
  • Then gently perform curve movements with both hands and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat it six times.
  • This section is said to benefit the Triple Warmers, which is the passage for water and nutrients throughout the body.

Key points and breathing coordination:

  • Explain what triple warmers are.
  • Stretch completely when arms are held upwards , hold your breath for 2 seconds when fully stretched
  • You can also raise your heels when you raise your hands to hold up the heaven.
  • Hands go back to the neutral position with a relaxed and peaceful mind when hands return.
  • Inhale when hands raise, hold breath when body is fully stretched, exhale when hands return.

 

Section 2: Draw the Bow to Shoot the Eagle

  • Separate the legs and bend the knees, with arms crossed in front of the chest (left arm outside).
  • Left hand makes a pistol shape and points to the left, right hand forms a hook to pull as if drawing a bow;
  • Move the right hand to the right side and separate the hands.
  • Move both hands back to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the right side.
  • Repeat it three times on each side.
  • This section benefits the lungs by expanding the chest. It can also help the neck and shoulders.

Key points and breathing coordination:

  • Stretch completely when drawing the bow. Explain the shape of the hands and Horse step.
  • Hands go back to the neutral position with a relaxed and peaceful mind.
  • Keep the body upright when arms are moving.
  • Inhale when crossing the hands, exhale when drawing the bow, inhale when opening the hands, exhale when returning the hands.

 

Section 3: Separate Heaven and Earth to Harmonize the Spleen and Stomach

  • Standing upright, let the palms face up. Raise the left hand with the palm facing upward; the right hand moves downward with the palm facing down.
  • Move both hands back to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the right side.
  • Repeat it three times on each side.
  • It contributes to the ascending of spleen-qi and the descending of stomach-qi, thus promoting the digestive functions.

Key points and breathing coordination:

  • Explain that the spleen Qi needs to ascend and the Stomach Qi needs to descend as a normal function.
  • Stretch completely when hands are pushing up and down.
  • Go back to the neutral position with a relaxed and peaceful mind when hands return.
  • Inhale when hands are pushing up and down, exhale when hands return to starting position.

 

Section 4: Wise Owl Gazes Backwards to Heal Diseases and Injuries

  • Slowly turn the head to the left side as far as possible, at the same time, rotate arms widely and stretch them.
  • Hands return to starting position.
  • Repeat on the right side.
  • Repeat three times on each side.
  • This section is said to benefit those with various kinds of diseases and injuries by enriching the essence and blood, calming the mind and promoting organ function.

Key points and breathing coordination:

  • Explain “Wu Lao Qi Shang”.
  • Stretch completely when eyes gaze backwards.
  • Go back to the neutral position with a relaxed and peaceful mind when hands return.
  • Keep the body upright and don't turn when the arms are moving.
  • Inhale when rotating and gazing backwards, exhale when returning.

 

Section 5: Rotate the Head and Sway the Buttocks to Expel the Heart Fire

  • Taking a horse step, raise hands up, and then drop palms down slowly until they’re resting on thighs.
  • Look down and lean the upper body forward. Swing the head from right to left, then back to the middle. At the same time, swing the buttocks from left to right and then back to the middle.
  • The upper part of the body lowers down slowly.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Repeat three times on each side.
  • Swaying the head can send down heart-fire while swinging the buttocks can help the kidney-water to ascend to meet the heart-fire.
  • Return to the neutral position.

Key points and breathing coordination:

  • Explain the heart fire and Kidney water.
  • Move slowly, evenly and gradually with a smooth rotation.
  • Inhale when hands are rising up, exhale when palms are dropping down. Inhale when leaning the upper body forward; exhale when swinging the head from right to the left. Inhale when swinging the head back to the middle; exhale when the upper part of the body lowers down in the middle line.

 

Section 6: Hands Hold the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys and the Back

  • Raise both hands above the head.
  • Both hands press down to chest level.
  • Rotate hands and thread fingers behind your back. Bend forward while the hands are moving down from the back to the toes.
  • Raise hands above the head again when the back is straightened.
  • Repeat six times.
  • This section can reinforce the kidneys and strengthen the waist and the knees.
  • Return to the neutral position.

Key points and breathing coordination:

  • Explain the relationship between the Kidney and the Back.
  • Stretch completely when arms are raised.
  • Go back to the neutral position with a relaxed and peaceful mind when hands return.
  • Keep the knees straight when back is bending.
  • Inhale when raising the hands up; exhale when dropping the hands down to chest level. Inhale when rotating the hands and threading them to the back, exhale when moving the hands from the back to the toes.

 

Section 7: Glare and Punch to Help the Liver Qi Flow Smoothly

  • Taking a horse step, pull both hands in and form fists next to the waist.
  • Punch with the left fist with the eye of the fist facing up.
  • Rotate the left hand and pull it into the waist.
  • Punch the right fist with the eye of the fist facing up.
  • Repeat three times on each side.
  • This does not only help increase general vitality, but also helps to release the anger and helps the Liver Qi flow smoothly.
  • The left foot takes a step to join feet together. Stand upright, with arms alongside the body.

Key point and breathing coordination:

  • Explain the relationship between the Liver, anger and Qi stagnation.
  • Do not lean forward while punching.
  • Inhale when pulling the hand in; exhale when punching with a fist.

 

Section 8: Bouncing on the Toes to Smooth the Qi Flow

  • Raise the heel.
  • Land with a gentle rocking motion.
  • Repeat six times.
  • The gentle shaking vibrations of this section are meant to smooth and settle the Qi flow after doing the previous seven sections.

Key point and breathing coordination:

  • Land the heel with a gentle rocking motion instead of a hard landing.
  • Inhale when raising heels, exhale when landing heels.

 

Closing position

  • Open the arms, palms facing backward.
  • Perform a curve movement until hands are resting on the lower abdomen. Left palm over right palm for females, and right palm over left palm for males.
  • Drop the hands naturally; stand upright, with arms alongside the body.
  • Relax, breath naturally, and mind focus on Dantian. Look forward.

Key points and breathing coordination:

  • Collect Qi back to Dantian. Relax, breath naturally, focus mind on Dantian.
  • Inhale when opening the palms, and exhale when returning the palms. Inhale when putting the feet together; exhale to finish, and then more natural breathing afterwards until you walk away.
  • We’re almost at the end of our class. We hope that this lesson can help you open the door of the Eight Section Brocades treasure house. Please keep learning and exploring so that you can get more benefits from your future practice.

 

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