Next workshop is being held in Galway, on Sunday 26th January 2020
12pm to 3.30pm, cost is €37 when paid in advance (€45 on day)
Call John 086 8377147
(Please note that places can only be reserved when paid for in advance, no refund available after 12 days before event)
The Baduanjin qigong(八段錦) is one of the most common forms of Chinese qigong used as exercise. Variously translated as Eight Pieces of Brocade, Eight-Section Brocade, Eight Silken Movements or Eight Silk Weaving, the name of the form generally refers to how the eight individual movements of the form characterize and impart a silken quality (like that of a piece of brocade) to the body and its energy. The Baduanjin is primarily designated as a form of medical qigong, meant to improve health.
What is Ba Duan Jin?
The term “Ba” in Ba Duan Jin literally means eight, which refers to the fact that it is composed of eight body movements. “Duan” means that the positive benefits of Ba Duan Jin can be achieved through the continous practice of each of the movements. “Jin” means silk, and how Ba Duan Jin is similar to the exquisite luxury of silk. In the earlier times when the method was first witnessed by the ancients, they deemed it to be one of their favorite techniques of exercising due to its simple yet elegant nature. The eight movements are graceful and flows like silk. Because the style of the qi gong exercises is smooth and practical, that is why it was called Ba Duan Jin.
Characteristics and Health Benefits of Ba Duan Jin
The main features of Ba Duan Jin:
In the eight steps of Ba Duan Jin Qigong, seven Chinese characters represent each movement. These characters are unique because each describes the general purpose and main function behind each movement. The Chinese characters also contain Chinese medicine theory, which explains how the primary function of Ba Duan Jin is to help regulate internal organs and to balance yin and yang.
The Role Of Ba Duan Jin
Ba Duan Jin is based on Chan (Zen) Buddhism and traditional Chinese medicine theory. It satisfies its goal of balancing yin and yang by regulating qi, strengthening tendons and improving bone strength. Through the practice of Ba Duan Jin, one can expect to improve and strengthen health, gain spiritual cultivation and even promote longevity.
In the first and second movements of Ba Duan Jin, the most important feature is to promote circulation (raising, sinking, entering and exiting) of qi in order to balance yin and yang in the body. The circulation of qi is essential in preventing diseases: according to Chinese medicine, it is much easier to prevent diseases than it is to cure existing ones. The first step of Ba Duan Jin is the starting movement as well as the ending movement of the entire sequence. The importance of the first two steps is that it helps adjust and regulate qi in the body.
The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth steps of Ba Duan Jin are primarily used to regulate the body and qi. The movements will help treat internal and external damage to the body including regulating inner health by balancing the Chinese medicine theory of “cold and heat”, which is the extremity of yin (cold) versus the extremity of yang (hot.) These movements also alleviate pain brought upon by chronic illnesses. The purpose of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth parts of Ba Duan Jin is to promote treatment for the body. The seventh and eighth steps are strong movements specifically used to control the flow of qi into the dan tian.
According to Chinese medicine theory, an indicator of good health is the unison and balance of the human body and spirit. This harmony of body and spirit is what we need to achieve in order for us to remain or become healthy. The benefits of Ba Duan Jin are expressed through adjusting breathing to make the process of breathing smoother, unity of mind and qi (breathing), strengthening muscles and tendons to make the body more flexible and the unison of mind and body. The regular practice of Ba Duan Jin will help bolster your spirits, maintain essence and preserve qi. These three elements are connected due to the fact that they are all dependent on each other. Qi (breath), body (form) and spirit (heart) together constitute an organic whole. In order for us to be healthy, we must train our body, mind and breathing to work in harmony by practicing Ba Duan Jin. This unison is what we should aim to achieve when practicing kung fu.
The 8 Steps of “Ba Duan Jin”
1. Two Hands Reach up to the Heavens to regulate San Jiao (Triple Burner)
2. Drawing the Bow to Shoot the Hawk
3. Raise hand on each side to adjust the Spleen & Stomach
4. Turn head back to help prevent diseases and injuries
5. Sway the Head and Shake the Tail to help get rid of the “Xin-Huo” Symptoms
6. Two Hands Hold the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys and Waist
7. Clench the Fists and Glare Fiercely (or Angrily) to Improve Strength and Qi
8. Bouncing (7 Times) on the Feet, Toes, Heel to Help Prevent Disease