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Baduanjin

Baduanjin (八段锦) is an ancient practice from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  The name Baduanjin means eight pieces of brocade in English. You can see how ancient TCM values its benefits to our health. According to TCM, Baduanjin can strengthen your muscles and bones and prevent muscle stiffness, it also improves the Qi (energy) flow and blood circulation in your body, removes the blockages in the meridians, and coordinates the functions of the internal organs. With regular practice, Baduanjin can boost your vitality, enhance your longevity, improve your physical fitness and improve your overall health.

If you have some basic knowledge of sacred geometry, you know that sacred geometry is the blueprint of the creation of everything in the universe. It is an ancient art and displays the fundamental patterns used in the design of everything in the world. Our body has no exception, from the golden ratio to Yin and Yang energy flow in our body. Sacred geometry reveals our relationship to the cosmos. It has also been applied in TCM in many ways, such as the multi-dimensional graphic of “1 Qing”, which has laid the fundamental principles in TCM. In this blog, I am going to connect the links between sacred geometry and Baduanjin, and how they work to boost our longevity and health.

Baduanjin includes 8 exercise series, let’s breakdown one by one.

1. Lift the Hands like holding the Sky
hold the sky triangle

This exercise targets the triple energizer meridian. According to TCM, the triple energizer meridian is divided into three sections in the body, the upper, middle and lower sections. The upper section refers to the upper body, includes the heart and lungs; the middle section includes the stomach and spleen; and the lower section includes the kidney, bladder, and intestines. This is a stretching exercise of the whole body, which is guided by a breathing technique to improve various internal organs. It also has a good effect on the musculoskeletal system of the back and corrects poor postures such as shoulder adduction and hump.

This exercise can significantly improve shoulder and neck pains, peri-arthritis of the shoulder, and muscle spasms.

It correlates with the pointing up triangle shape in the sacred geometry, which indicates to bring the universal energy down into the body to charge the body. How fascinating is it?

Steps:

  1. Preparation: Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, your arms are relaxed and your body is upright. Start a pranayama breathing to slow down your mind, which is a diaphragm breathing technique.
  2. Hold your breath and lift your hands inward with your fingertips facing each other.
  3. Raise both of your hands with the palm facing up to your middle chest, and then turn your palms outwards.
  4. With both palms facing upwards, place them above your shoulders like supporting a heavy object over your head, and loosen your elbows. At the same time, bend your knees, lower your gravity and relax your waist.
  5. Push up with both hands as hard as you can with your fingertips facing each other. Look up as you are holding the sky.
  6. Finish with both hands falling naturally to both sides, exhale very slowly with your mouth.
  7. Go back to the preparation step and adjust your breath.

Grounding combines with the pranayama breathing technique is a great way to reduce anxiety and panic attack.

Key Points:

Breath: It is important to focus on your breath, your breathing style should be slow and even, and bring your attention to the area below the navel, that is the resting point of the Qi (energy) according to TCM. After you inhale, hold your breath below your navel, then start moving, and exhale when you have finished moving.

Posture: Your feet are slightly wider than your shoulders, so you can keep your strength steady. Calm your mind to relax, and eliminate unwanted thoughts with your breathing. When you lift your hands above the shoulders, imagine that you are holding a heavy object in your palm upwards, hold it with all your strength, and look at your fingers with your eyes. Hold your hands to the extreme. When your hands fall, relax and exhale slowly.


In general, one exercise can be repeated for three times. If you want to strengthen your shoulders, cervical spine, etc., you can increase the number of exercises accordingly, usually no more than nine times each time. At the beginning and end of each exercise, you should be consciously aware of your breath and bring your focus to the area below your navel, adjust your breath and relax. This will help you maximize the health benefits of each exercise.

2. Open the Bow like Shooting
look back triangle

This exercise focuses on the chest, which is the upper stream of the triple energizer meridian; it is also the most importation section of this meridian. By opening the chest and stretching the arms, you can improve the function of your heart and lungs, you can also strengthen the muscles around your thorax, shoulders, and arms, and improve your blood circulation.

Steps:

  1. Preparation: Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, your arms are relaxed and your body is upright. Start a pranayama breathing to slow down your mind, which is a diaphragm breathing technique.
  2. Left side exercise: Hold your breath, move the center of your gravity to the left leg, lift the right heel, and turn the body slightly to the left. At the same time, intersect your index and middle fingers like a bow, and the height is parallel to the forehead.
  3. With your right foot retreating in parallel to the right side, move the center of your gravity to the right leg, push forward with your left hand, and pull back with your right hand. The two hands are stretching as far as you can, like drawing a bow, and the two hands are inclined upward at a 45-degree angle.
  4. Finish with moving the center of your gravity to the left leg to retracting the right foot, while both hands open to fall naturally and exhale slowly with your mouth.
  5. Back to the preparation step and adjust your breathing.
  6. Right side exercise: Hold your breath, move the center of your gravity to the right leg, lift the left heel, and turn the body slightly to the right. At the same time, intersect your middle fingers like a bow, and the height is parallel to the forehead.
  7. With your left foot retreating in parallel to the left side, move the center of your gravity to the left leg, push forward with your right hand, and pull back with your left hand. The two hands are stretching as far as you can, like drawing a bow, and the two hands are inclined upward at a 45-degree angle.
  8. Finish with moving the center of your gravity to the right leg to retracting the left foot, while both hands open to fall naturally and exhale slowly with your mouth.
  9. Go back to the preparation step and adjust your breathing.

Key Points:

Breath: Hold your breath during the bow drawing process.

Posture: Pull your left and right middle fingers together, like pulling a hard bow, bent your middle fingers, and push forward the front hand, and pull back the back hand. At the same time, the legs form a side lunge, and the body must maintain a neutral posture.

At the beginning of this exercise, you may feel sore arms and discomfort in your shoulders and legs. This is a normal phenomenon. After a few days of practice, your body is going to move smoothly and recover naturally. Doing this exercise 3 times on both sides is a complete set.

It correlates the pointing down triangle shape in sacred geometry to connect with the earth energy.

Do you know that your hand gestures play an important role in your health?

3. Push Up and Down like Competing

Two hands compete

torus

This exercise involves lifting one hand, while pressing the other hand at the same time, just like two hands are competing with each other in the opposite direction. The internal organs and muscles on both sides are stretched by this action, especially the liver, gallbladder, spleen, and stomach. As a result, it will enhance gastrointestinal motility and digestive function. Regular practice of this exercise can help prevent gastrointestinal diseases and improve digestive function.

Steps:

  1. Preparation: Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, your arms are relaxed and your body is upright. Start a pranayama breathing to slow down your mind, which is a diaphragm breathing technique.
  2. Left side exercise: Hold your breath; lift your right hand diagonally forward.
  3. Move your right hand to your chest level, lift your left hand upwards from the bottom, and rotate your left palm outwards upwards. Place the thumb of your left hand inward at the level of your shoulders, while lowering the center of your gravity and loosen your waist.
  4. Push your left hand up and press down your right hand down. Both hands struggle to compete with each other in the opposite direction. At the same time, lift your chin to look at the tips of your left fingers.
  5. Let the left hand fall naturally, while exhaling slowly with your mouth.
  6. Go back to the preparation step and adjust your breathing.
  7. Right side exercise: Hold your breath; lift your left hand diagonally forward.
  8. Move your left hand to your chest level, lift your right hand upwards from the bottom, and rotate right your palm outwards upwards. Place the thumb of your right hand inward at the level of your shoulders, while lowering the center of your gravity and loosen your waist.
  9. Push your right hand up and press down your left hand down. Both hands struggle to compete with each other in the opposite direction. At the same time, lift your chin to look at the tips of your right fingers.
  10. Let the right hand fall naturally, while exhaling slowly with your mouth.
  11. Go back to the preparation step and adjust your breathing.

Do this exercise for both sides three times as a complete set.

Key Points:

This exercise requires you to follow your intention and move the body in a flow. The left and right hands not only have the ability to compete up and down but also have the coordination to move up and push down. By adjusting your breath, the energy amplifies in the spleen and stomach meridians, boosts Yang energy in the body, and expels the cold and damp air out of the body.

From Scared geometry, the motion of this exercise with a twist is similar to the torus field. It helps balance Yin and Yang energy in the body.

4. Look Back like Gazing the Sunset

look back

circle

According to TCM, staring too long can affect your vision, sitting too long can reduce your muscle strength, standing too long can impact your bone structure, and lying in bed too long can decrease the energy flow in your body. By turning the head and neck from left to right repeatedly, you can activate the blood circulation in your head and neck and improve muscle strength of your neck and shoulder. This exercise helps improve blood circulation and regulate all parts of the body to reduce fatigue. It also promotes the physiological function of the brain and central nervous system and helps prevent gastrointestinal diseases and enhance digestive function.

Steps:

  1. Preparation: Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, your arms are relaxed and your body is upright. Start a pranayama breathing to slow down your mind, which is a diaphragm breathing technique.
  2. Left side exercise: Hold your breath. Use your waist as the axis, rotate the left side of your body naturally to the back, while turning your head from the left to the back smoothly, keep your eyesight straight and shift the center of your gravity slightly to the right.
  3. Relax your body and return to the center; breathe out slowly with your mouth.
  4. Right side exercise: Hold your breath. Use your waist as the axis, rotate the right side of your body naturally to the back, while turning your head from the right to the back smoothly, keep your eyesight straight and shift the center of your gravity slightly to the left.
  5. Relax your body and return to the center; breathe out slowly with your mouth.
  6. Go back to the preparation step and adjust your breathing.

Here are more tips on how to get rid of shoulder and neck pains quickly.

Key Points:

When turning the body, the head should follow at the same time, and the body should turn to the maximum as you can. When the body moves, it should be gentle, and avoid sudden movements that may affect the energy flow.

This exercise correlates with the circle in the sacred geometry; it helps coordinate the left and right side of the body and balance the energy flow in the body.

Now many cities are locked down due to the COVID-19 virus epidemic globally, this is a great opportunity to strengthen your physical body and boost your immune function at home. All you need is to eat clean and healthy and keep your body moving regularly. These exercise series aim to improve your overall health, let’s take action now and practice makes a big difference. Stay tuned and part-2 is coming!

What are your tips for self-care at home during this epidemic? Please share it with us.

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About the author: Lucy Liu
As a Registered Dietitian, Holistic Health Practitioner, Author and Speaker, Master Hypnotist, Master NLP Practitioner, Life Coach and Advanced Theta Healing Practitioner, Lucy Liu, the founder of optimalhealthsolutions.ca, has established a widely recognized reputation in holistic health. After many years of serving patients and clients as a Clinical Dietitian, Lucy has devoted herself to bringing a holistic approach, which combines Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, and Alternative Medicine together, to help others achieve optimal health by creating harmony between the mind and body, and maintain long-term success for healthy lifestyle changes.Read More.To connect:
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