BADUANJIN – Standing 8 Pieces of Brocade
1. PRESSING THE SKY WITH TWO HANDS
Double hands hold up the heavens to regulate the Sanjiao (Triple Burner); Sanjiao passes Qi freely and smoothly. Illnesses disappear. Reverse hands to face the sky and raise both arms. Straighten your chest, straighten your waist and swing to both sides. Stand upright and be steady. Practice long, the body becomes strong and you will feel happy.
PURPOSE: To regulate the organs and to promote qi circulation in the body.
Stand naturally with your feet parallel and shoulder width apart and your hands at your sides. Close your eyes, and follow your natural breath cycle. Notice how this is able to center and relax you. Then, open your eyes and gaze softly forward. Continue breathing naturally and smoothly. Imagine extending your spirit, like a cat ready to pounce on a moving string, lightly to the head. Then, imagine dropping your qi and rooting to your lower dantian. Begin inwardly practicing this while you begin to round the back, lacing the fingers, drawing up, while rooting the qi to the dantian. Just by bringing awareness to this point helps direct the qi. Slowly raise your interlaced hands, turning them palm up when they reach the heart. Press the palms above your head. Lift the heels and then lower the heels with your breath. Slowly tilt your body to the left, then the right. Then straight up again. Finally, lower your hands in front of your body to complete one round. Keep the lower back straight. 24 repetitions.
Health Benefits – This exercise helps to increase lung capacity and relieve fatigue. It also aids in strengthening the muscle and bones of the back.
This movement opens the Three Burners and increases circulation throughout the body. With the arms stretch to the heavens it is the most Yang movement in the form. While pressing the heavens we must always remember that we are connected to the earth so we do not float away.
Correlations: Chinese Meridian System: Triple Burner
Trigram: Chien, Heaven
Phase: Intense Yang
Collateral Meridians: Lung, Large Intestine
2. DRAWING THE BOW AND LETTING THE ARROW FLY
Left and right open (bend) the bow like shooting a hawk, two arms strong and firm to strengthen the kidneys and waist. Bend the elbow horizontal to the shoulder, your mind trying hard to pull. Hand arrow aims at the target, use the eyes to stare. Left and right shoot for twenty-four. Ride the horse and squat down to increase efficiency.
Step out in ma bu, squat down in horse stance. Keep your back straight and tuck your buttocks under. This emphasizes the kidney area increasing qi circulation there. In doing this, you not only are strengthening your waist muscles, but also increases the qi circulation in the kidney area which is in your back near your lowest ribs. Relax your hands and lift them up to the chest area. Bring your palms together (not touching), then separate them with the right hand moving near the right nipple. While the left hand extends to the left as if you were pulling a bow to shoot a hawk. Your eyes stare to the left at a very distant point. Concentrate the mind so that you really feel that you are drawing a very strong bow. This concentrated mind is the source of the qi movement. Then stand up and lower your hands circle them up to the chest and repeat the same process on the other side. 12 in each direction.
PURPOSE: To strengthen the waist and the kidneys.
3. SEPARATING HEAVEN AND EARTH
To adjust and regulate the spleen and stomach, you must lift singly spleen and stomach. They will gain peace and harmony, and sickness will be cured. Lift the arm and stiffen the palm, use the force to rock. Extend and develop the tendons and muscles. Make the spleen and stomach comfortable. Right hand lifted high, left hand dropped down. Left and right extend and rock the tendons and channels alive.
PURPOSE: To adjust the spleen, stomach and liver.
Stand so that the feet are parallel and shoulder-width apart. Then bring the hands to the front of the stomach with the palms facing up. Raise your left hand above your head and press upward, palm facing up. At the same time, lower your right palm down to your right side and press down slightly. Then change your hands and repeat the same process. Feel resistance, but don’t tense the muscles. 24 repetitions.
When you repeatedly raise one hand and lower the other, you loosen the muscles in the front of the body. When you stiffen the palms, don’t tense the muscles, but rather extend your force through the hands so that the arms stretch out all of the way. This stimulates and strengthens the tendons and muscles.
Reversing your arms repeatedly stretches and relaxes the body, gently rocking the qi channels alive. This up and down muscle movement increases the qi circulation in the stomach, spleen and liver.
4. WISE OWL GAZES BACKWARD
Five weaknesses and seven injuries – wait and see later, they’ll be gone! Train long, exercise long, tendons and bones strong! Injuries from over-exertion are all because the internal organs are weak. Straighten the chest and rotate the head to take a good look at the rear. Stand straight. Good for curing organ ailments.
PURPOSE: To cure the ailments of the five yin organs (Spleen, Heart, Lung, Liver, Kidneys) and injuries from the seven emotions (joy, anger, melancholy, worry, grief, fear, and fright).
Stand comfortably with both feet parallel. Place your hands on your hips. Lift your chest slightly, from the inside. Do not thrust the chest out. Turn your head to the left and look to the rear as you exhale. Then turn your head to the front as you inhale. Repeat this motion as you turn your head to the right, exhaling. Return your head to the front and inhale. Place your hands on your lower back completing the same head turning as previously done. Finally, move both hands to the chest with the palms facing up, pressing the elbows and shoulders slightly forward. Repeat the head turning. As you exhale, lead your chi from the lower dantian to the yong quan at the base of the foot. Then, lead the chi back to the lower dantian as you inhale and return your head to the front. Repeat each section 12 times.
Strong emotions not only cause disturbance in the organs, but, in traditional Chinese medicine theory, tend to block qi in the head. When you turn your head from side to side, you loosen up the muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and chi channels which allows chi in the head to flow and even out. Additionally, as you are training your feelings and spirit to be centered and neutral, you’ll be able to avoid excessive or extreme emotions and their negative effects. In this form you turn your head to look behind you as if looking at all the negative things you have left behind. It is important to really look to the rear so that the qi keeps moving. If you merely turn your head, without intent, qi will stagnate in your neck.
Practicing this piece regularly will regulate the qi in your organs and head, repairing the damage caused by strong emotions and helping you to avoid all illnesses. The poem also implies that this piece can cure old injuries. When you practice you use your mind to lead the qi from your lower dantien to the bubbling well cavaties in your feet and into the ground. This smooths out the qi circulation in the lower body. When you hold your hands in different positions while turning the head, you slightly stretch different parts of the inside of your body and regulate the qi flow there. This helps cure old injuries and bruises that cannot be easily reached by other methods of treatment.
5. BIG BEAR TURNS FROM SIDE TO SIDE
Sway the head and swing the tail to get rid of heart fire. When heart fire is strong, use the metal lung to subdue it. Hands press the knee caps repeatedly sway and swing. Blood flows smoothly and there are many good benefits. If the muscles and tendons are cramped, legs sore and body numb, repeatedly extend and press heavily – don’t hesitate.
PURPOSE: To get rid of heartburn and loosen the leg muscles.
Step out to the side so the feet are parallel and sink into horse stance. Place your hands on top of your knees, with the thumbs on the outsides of the thighs. Sink your qi to the bottom of your feet and your mind is on the yong quan. Shift your weight to the left leg and press down heavily with your hand. Line up and extend your head, spine and right leg. Stay in this position for a few seconds. Return to the original position and repeat the motion on the other side.
Fire, or excessive chi, in the solar plexus can be attributed to improper food, breathing unhealthy air or lack of sleep. When there is excess chi – or fire – in the solar plexus, the best remedy is to move the excess chi to the lungs where it can be regulated and smoothed out with breathing. You expand the chest when you hold your hands with the thumbs to the outside of the knee. When you move your body from side to side, you are loosening up the lungs which allows the excess chi from the solar plexus to smooth out into the lungs. Also, as you are doing this, you are increasing the blood circulation in the legs.
6. TOUCHING TOES THEN BENDING BACKWARDS
Two hands hold the feet to strengthen the kidneys and waist. When the kidneys and waist are strong, the entire body is strong. Bend the waist and hold the feet. It is the most effective way to strengthen the muscles, tendons and bones. One down, one up, the life force greatly increases. It is the best way to prevent colds.
PURPOSE: To strengthen the kidneys and waist. Also to strengthen the muscles, tendons and bones in the trunk.
Stand, feet parallel, shoulder distance apart. Press both palms down slightly at the waist, then move your hands in front of your chest and finally above your head with the palms facing up. Your mind is on the ming men cavity located between and below the kidneys. Or between the 2nd and 3rd lumbar vertebrae. Stay in this position for a few seconds then bend forward at the hips, with arms extended and hold your feet with your hands. Pull up with the arms slightly so that you are putting slight stress on your whole body. While holding your feet your mind is on the Yong quan. Stay in this position for a few seconds. Repeat the process.
This is a great exercise for massaging the kidneys, and to increase the flow of qi there- as well as in the back muscles and the spine itself. When you straighten and extend your arms, your mind should be thinking of stretching out to your hands and feet. The thoughts of the mind lead the chi to all of the tendons. When you are bent over, part of your attention and part of your chi from your kidneys is drawn to the sacrum in the lower back. Chi enters the spine through the sacrum and when you stand up it will pass through the spine. Eventually chi will move through and vitalize the entire skeleton.
7. PUNCH WITH ANGRY GAZE
Screw the fists with fiery eyes to increase qi li; body and mind healthy, the spirit of vitality comfortable. Ride the horse and squat down, straightening the chest. Hold the fist or strike with palm using more force. Left and right, two hands grasp in turn. Grasp, hold, fiery eyes, use Li Qi.
PURPOSE: To raise the spirit of vitality, strengthen qi flow and increase muscular strength.
Step our parallel into ma bu and squat down into horse stance. Holding your body erect and your fists at either side of your waist. Tighten both fists and extend one arm to the side in a twisting punch motion. The other hand stays at the side of the waist and closes into a tight fist. The extended fist can either be a fist or open palm. After finishing the extended motion, loosen both hands and bring the extended hand back to the waist to the starting position. Then tighten both hands and repeat the movement to the other side. When you make the punching motion, glare fiercely at an imaginary opponent.
This piece trains you to raise your spirit of vitality. When your spirit is raised, you strengthen your qi flow and also increase your muscular strength. Muscular strength, which is reinforced by qi is called qi li or li qi. As you raise your spirit and increase your li qi, the qi will fill you body all the way out to the skin. Focusing and concentrating the qi has been the result of the previous exercises. It is important to do this movement now because it removes stagnant qi and leads it to the skin. Concentrating the mind is the key to success. If you have a strong mental image of punching something hard and directly, your mind will lead your qi out to the ends of your arms and legs to make the punch powerful.
8. BOUNCING ON THE TOES
Seven disorders and hundreds of illnesses disappear and are left behind your back. Hundreds of illnesses are caused because the body is weak. The feet up, the achievement is hard to describe by pen. The head up and press down to reach the end of the toes. Hold the waist, and hold the chest, up and down movements. It is effective in getting rid of sickness and eliminating disasters or illness.
PURPOSE: to smooth qi from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet.
There are three parts to this exercise. First, drop both hands naturally beside the body. Stand still and keep the mind calm. Place your hands on your hips and raise up on the toes and stay as high as you can for three seconds. Then lower your feet to the floor. Repeat 24 times. Next, place your hands on your kidney area and raise up on the toes as high as you can. Again, hold for three seconds. Repeat 24 times. Finally, hold your hands in front of your chest, palms up. The shoulders will naturally curve forward. Raise and lower 24 times.
When you raise yourself on your toes, you are stimulating 6 qi channels which are connected to internal organs. The three separate hand positions help to regulate qi in different areas of the body. After you finish this piece, stand still and keep the mind calm and breathe smoothly and regularly for about three minutes. You may then move and shake out your limbs.