The above video shows practicing Baduanjin in water. Also called Ba Duan Jin or Eight Pieces of Brocade, it is a beginner’s set of Qigong motion stretches and meditations.
Qigong (Chi Kung – Pronounced Chee Gong) is a form of motion and/or still meditation in order to cultivate and flow your chi or life force. One of the principles in Qigong is that of reaching a state of relaxed tension throughout the body. It is similar to the feeling of buoyancy that one feels when moving through water. So practicing Qigong in water, in a pool, pond, lake or the ocean, can help achieve that feeling of relaxed tension in both motion and still Qigong meditations. This can help you better activate and flow your chi. Performing Qigong in water is also relaxing and fun!
When practicing Baduanjin in water keep your knees relaxed and feel the buoyancy of the water helping your legs hold your body up. Especially feel the buoyancy in movement #6, touch the ground, when you bend down into the water and rise back up.
As in all Qigong exercises work on your “belly” breathing. Breathe in by relaxing and releasing your belly to draw air in deeply by dropping your diaphragm rather than by expanding your chest. In this version of Ba Duan Jin, from the book The Way of Energy, breathe out as you expand each stretch and breathe in when you return. Do eight repetitions of each movement synchronized with your breathing.
Once you get to the point in your Qigong training where you can feel the chi between your hands you can practice holding the chi ball in water as seen at the end of the video. The water makes it easier to hold your arms with relaxed tension by letting them float on the surface of the water. Move them together and apart synchronized with your breathing and feel the chi compress and expand between them. It almost feels like pressing two magnets together and having them repel along with a feeling of focused heat between your hands and tingling sensations as if they are lit up by sparklers. Stay tuned for future posts about activating and feeling your chi.
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These videos are based on exercises described in the book – The Way of Energy.