Qi Gong and Tai Chi

What is Qigong (气功)?

Qigong is a mind-body-spirit practice that improves one's mental and physical health by integrating posture, movement, breathing technique, self-massage, sound, and focused intent. Qigong opens the flow of energy in meridians used in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. It enhances our ability to feel the Life Force underlying the physical world and to deepen our communication with it.


Physically, slow gentle Qigong movements warm the tendons, ligaments, and muscles; tonify vital organs and connective tissue; and promote circulation of bodily fluids (blood, synovial, lymph). Thousands of studies have shown qigong effective in helping to heal life challenges ranging from high blood pressure and chronic illness to emotional frustration, mental stress, and spiritual crises. 

 

Ba Duan Jin 八段锦

Ba Duan Jin 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 Ba Duan Jin is primarily designated as a form of medical Qigong, meant to improve health. This is in contrast to religious or martial forms of Qigong.

Tai Chi 太极拳

Tai Chi is often described as "meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion." There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. You can get started even if you aren't in top shape or in the best of health.


In this low-impact, slow-motion exercise, you move without pausing through a series of motions named after animal actions. As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, focusing your attention — as in some kinds of meditation — on your bodily sensations. 


Tai Chi differs from other types of exercise in several respects. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched. Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.


Tai Chi 24 Forms (太极拳24式)

(Another popular form of Qigong)

1. Commencing Form 起勢
2. Left and Right Part the Wild Horse's Mane 左右野馬分鬃
3. White Crane Spreads Its Wings 白鹤亮翅
4. Left and Right Brush Knee and Push Forward 左右摟膝拗步
5. Playing Lute 手揮琵琶

6. Repulse Monkey Left and Right 左右倒卷肱
7. Grasp Sparrow's Tail Left 左攬雀尾
8. Grasp Sparrow's Tail Right 右攬雀尾
9. Left Single Whip 单鞭

10. Wave Hands Like Clouds  雲手 
11. Left Single Whip  單鞭
12. High Pat on Horse   高探馬
13. Right Heel Kick  高探馬
14. Strike to the Ears with Both Fists  右蹬脚
15. Left Heel Kick  雙峰貫耳

16. Left Lower Body and Stand on One Leg 左下勢獨立
17. Right Lower Body and Stand on One Leg右下勢獨立
18. Fair Lady Works with Shuttles右左玉女穿梭
19. Needle at Sea Bottom海底针

20. Fan Through the Back閃通背
21. Turn Body, Deflect, Parry, and Punch轉身搬攔捶
22. Apparent Closure如封似閉
23. Cross Hands十字手
24. Closing Form收勢