Ba Duan Jin 八段錦 (Eight Pieces of Brocade)
This is a complete set of qi gong exercises that was passed down from ancient China. The term “Ba” in Ba Duan Jin means the number eight. “Duan” means section. Jin refers to brocade - a rich fabric, usually silk, woven with an elaborate design especially one with a raised overall pattern. This set of qi gong exercises was deemed by the ancients to be one of their favorite techniques of exercising due to its simple and elegant nature. It was given this name because the eight movements are graceful and have a rich set of benefits woven into each movement. These movements are relatively simple and can be practiced at any place or time. It is also easy to remember, easy to learn and easy to train. The method of training is flexible – it could be fast or slow, learned by people of all ages. .
As with other qigong forms, Ba Duan Jin helps to balance the yin and yang energies in the individual by regulating the qi and the internal organs. This is accomplished by focusing on the harmonization of the breath, movement, and spirit. As attention is brought to each part of the body in relation to the breath and movement, the qi is brought through the meridian channels to the organs regulated by those meridians to enhance the circulation as well as the vitality of that area. The end result is a strengthening of the muscles, bones and tendons making the body more flexible. .
In addition, the ability of the individual to focus is enhanced and the expression of the spirit is unencumbered. The overall benefit is an external life reflective of the harmony and strength developed internally, a life of harmony, vitality and longevity. The unison of the body, mind, and spirit is what we should aim to achieve when practicing qigong/kung fu. .
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