Qigong (pronounced Chi Gung) is the ancient Chinese art of breathing and movement. The movements are smooth, slow and gentle on the body and are relaxing and calming for the mind. Most of the Qigong sequences we practise can be adapted for sitting.
We practise the following Qigong sequences:
Five Doaist exercises, (yin/yang diagrams, piercing silk reeling, two birds flying, frog swimming and the smiling dragon).
Five Animals Exercise or Wu Qin Xi. Two exercises for each animal. The animals are the tiger, the deer, the bear, the monkey and the crane.
Eight Pieces of Brocade or Eight Exercises of Refinement, (Ba Duan Jin)
"Da Wu", meaning Great Dance, consisting of eight exercises.
All the Qigong sequences are about 2000 years old, except for Wa Du, which is 5000 years old.
This video shows the deer exercise.
You can watch the full Five Animals Qigong sequence here
We also practise a more modern stretching exercise taught by Rose Oliver from the Double Dragon Alliance, which is excellent for strengthening the legs and hips, called Shen Jin Ba Gu, meaning "stretch the ligaments and open the joints". It is extremely strengthening and especially good for your hips! Follow step by step instructions of each posture in the Shen Jin Ba Gu section.
Like Tai chi, Qigong is soft and yet strengthening, energising and yet relaxing. The main difference is that Qigong has no martial element whereas all the movements in Tai chi have martial applications. Both are especially beautiful to do outside.
The Crane from Five Animals
Port Eliot Festival 2016
"Shen jin ba gu" on Lundy Island
Shen Jin Ba Gu
There is another version of this on the home page
Shen Jin Ba Gu at Port Eliot Festival (2018)