Speaking about Qi Gong, there is an interesting sequence of practices that was structured in the 12th Century A.D. by the Chinese general, Yueh Fei, based on the eighteen exercises which Bodhidharma proposed to the Shaolin monks almost eight centuries previously: Pa Tuan Chin, “the eight pieces of brocade”.
The general required his soldiers to practice these exrecises in order to strenghten the organism and prepare it for the difficult martial discipline.
As probably many know, the Qigong draws its roots from Taoism and it is deeply related to traditional Chinese medicine.
But, for those who don’t know, the Qigong is a corpus of knowledge and practical methods which aims to harmonize and allow the flow of the vital energy known as Qi or Chi in our organism.
It states that our body is a microcosmos, a small universe integrated in the large Universe (the macrocosmos) within which exists a relationship of interdependence and energetic exchange. Every change in the macrocosmos causes a change in our “little universe”.
We are ideally designed to interact with the “universal game”, but our “bad habits” of every type has caused a fracture in feeling how to live in natural harmony with the external environment, the change of seasons or even places, creating failures in our psychophysical field with the resultant damage to our physical and psychical health.
Of course, there is much to say about the theory and the concepts of the Qigong that certainly cannot be thoroughly explained in three/four lines: the primordial Qi, the Five Movements…. but to remain in the subject of the “eight pieces of brocade”, it will be sufficient to say that each of these movements (proposed in this video exclusively for informative purposes) “frees” the blocked energy, allowing it to flow through the subtle fields of the body (meridians), nourishing the corresponding organs.
It’s superfluous to remind one that, in order to practice profitably, Qigong such as the Tai Chi, Yoga and other disciplines, a competent and serious guide is needed. Qigong is not a gymnastic and it doesn’t consist only in physical movements as most of the practitioners consider it to be: even in the physical forms of this discipline, every movement has to be associated to a correct breathing and the right mental focus.