Many years ago, I learned about Baduanjin (also known as Eight Pieces of Brocade), a Chinese qigong exercise whose origins go back to the 11th century, during the Song Dynasty. The term qigong consists of the characters “qi” (vital energy or spirit) and “gong” (cultivation or mastery). Baduanjin is easy to learn.  Probably the best place for performing the exercise is by the sea, but it can done anywhere that is quiet and comfortable. 

Baduanjin is a beautiful exercise. If executed properly, the movements are fluid and elegant as the following video shows:

I have seen variations of baduanjin, all of them consisting of eight forms or sets of movements (thus the name ‘Eight Pieces of Brocade’). The following version is by Master Jesse Tsao, who explains how baduanjin benefits various parts of the body.

As with other qigong exercises, there are a few important points to remember:

wear comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes (barefoot is okay)

wait for at least one hour after a meal and 30 minutes after a snack before doing the exercise

focus on what you’re doing (don’t watch television or use your smartphone during the exercise)

synchronise breathing and body movement

Enjoy and let the qi flow!

DISCLAIMER:  I am sharing the foregoing information for the benefit of those in search of an alternative form of exercise. If you have any medical condition or health issue, be sure to  seek the advice of a doctor before starting any qigong regimen.

~ Barista Uno


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