Ba Tuan Chin Qi Gong, The Eight Brocades Series

People have been asking me for more details on the Qi Gong series I teach. Qi Gong is such an important subject that I thought I’d create this page, to go into it more in depth.

In Chinese medicine, prevention of illness is seen as the goal of the practitioner – “waiting to treat a person until after they’re already sick is like waiting to dig a well until you’re already thirsty,” as the saying goes. One of the strongest ways to prevent illness is considered to be Qi Gong.

Qi Gong means Qi exercise, or exercise to develop your Qi. One Qi Gong master (a teacher of one of my teachers) experienced a number of epidemics in his early life in mainland China. He saw hundreds of people die all around him, from diseases like tuberculosis and smallpox. In the military he assisted in mass burials of some of these disease victims, but he himself never got sick, not for a day. He stated that it was Qi Gong that protected him, that by dedicated practice he developed a strong Defensive Qi, a thick coat of protective energy, that provided him with such powerful immunity.

In this Qi Gong series, I will teach one of the most important exercises this master used, along with the sequence of Qi Gong exercises called Ba Tuan Chin, or the Eight Brocades. Combined with some simple meditative techniques using principles from Chinese medicine, we will focus on building up a strong Defensive Qi, for the benefit of ourselves as well as our friends and families.

These Qi Gong exercises are gentle but effective, requiring mainly standing, light stretching, mental imagery, and coordinated breathing. Suitable for most levels of physical fitness.

Each group class in this series is an hour long, and teaches 2 exercises. The schedule of exercises is as follows:

Week One:

Support Heaven – this exercise is focused on what in Chinese medicine is called the triple burner, which corresponds closely to the lymph system and the interstitium, very important for our immune health and overall circulation.

Separate Heaven and Earth – this exercise focuses on the digestive system (where most of our lymph nodes are located, also) and the thymus gland, an important immune system organ that helps train some of our immune cells to fight invaders.

Week Two:

Shoot the Eagle – this one focuses on the lung energy, which has obvious relevance to immunity. In Chinese medicine, the lung contributes a significant portion of its resources to the Wei Qi, the defensive energy that surrounds our bodies.

Embrace the Sea – this exercise concentrates on our kidney and adrenal energy, which contributes to the Wei Qi, as well as our reproductive health. In Chinese medicine, our will to live, succeed, and thrive comes from our kidney Qi.

Week Three:

Glaring at Fist with Angry Eye – this exercise is intended to harmonize our liver Qi, which is the energy we use to deal with obstacles we encounter in daily life. When this Qi gets blocked, we tend to feel frustrated, irritable, and angry, or downtrodden, disempowered, and depressed; this Qi Gong helps release these blocks.

Dragon Sways Head and Swings Tail – this one concentrates on the heart energy, specifically its intention is to help cool and circulate our heart Qi. According to Chinese medicine, the heart tends to easily get too hot, and also sluggish and blocked. Too much heat in the heart can make one feel anxious, ungrounded, and tend to think too much, while a blocked heart can lead to a lack of empathy, and things like stagnant blood in the chest. This Qi Gong was designed to clear out such blockages.

Week Four:

Looking Backward for the Prevention of Consumption – a simple exercise that circulates the energy in our torso. “Consumption” is the old word for tuberculosis.

Knocking at the Gate of Life – another simple exercise, this one intended to purge stagnant or toxic energies from our bodies.

Trinity Posture (San Ti) – this is the main exercise the Qi Gong master I mentioned credited with giving him such a powerful Wei Qi.

Week Five:

Review and advanced tips. We’ll go through the whole sequence, so you get a good feel of what a full Qi Gong session is like. I may give out further, more advanced tips for those ready for it.

After the 5 week series is over, if there’s sufficient interest we may do it again.

Currently these group classes are scheduled through Studio Evolve, and are taking place on Wednesdays at 3:30, and Saturday at 1 pm. We’ve just ended week two, and are entering week three.

The link to sign up is: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=7113&stype=-7&sTG=22&sVT=152&sView=week&sLoc=0

As always, individual lessons are available with me, using the order form on this website.

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