Eight Brocades (Ba Duan Jin)

As with most traditional Qigongs different variations have emerged over time.

A list of intentions / thoughts as you practice the movements ;

1 Two Hands Hold up the Heavens

This is the starting movement in the form. Yin and Yang are represented when the hands are separated. Therefore, when the hands connect they represent Taiji. Heaven represents Wuji (Ultimate Nothingness).

2 Drawing the Bow to Shoot the Arrow

The form makes the allusion to the Fire element being fueled by Wood (bow) & controlling Metal (arrowhead). Like archery, this form is used to gain better clarity or aim

3 Separate Heaven and Earth

Suspending Heaven and Earth, Man is a bridge between both. Each hand represents both Heaven and Earth depending on the position. Through moving the hands, Yin and Yang become balanced.

4 Wise Owl Gazes Backwards or Look Back

The wisdom of Yin is embodied by being still. Through observation, knowledge & wisdom is gained turning side to side. Through relaxing the upper body, one can stop overthinking and be present.

5 Clench the Fists and Glare Fiercely

The five fingers represent the five elements. The eyes connect to wood and consciousness. Anger is momentum like energy. Combining all three, one is dissolving blocks in all five elements and becomes aware of one’s direction in life.

6 Two Hands Hold the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys and Waist

The Kidneys and Waist balance Yin & Yang. Water constantly fluxes between Yin (stillness, softness) to Yang (moving, hard). Also, it can switch states (ice, water, steam) with relative ease. By holding the feet and being extreme Yin, one also is transformed in Yang.

7 Sway the Head and Shake the Tail

This form represents being animalistic & enlightened at the same time. By swaying the head, one lets go of higher thought processes to be in the flow. Shaking the tail awakens the Qi at the base of the spine.

8 Bouncing on the Toes

Finally the last movement! This form moves Qi back to Heaven. As the heels lift and the drop to the ground, Earth (Yin) energy bounces up the legs through the spine to the head Heaven (Yang).

Links to three different but beautiful versions.