Ch'i Kung
The Eight Pieces of Brocade
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General Rules
  • Practice in a place where ventilation is good.

  • Take a few moments to relax before and after exercising.

  • Perform the exercises slowly, and endeavor to keep relaxed.

  • Breathe naturally through the nose.

  • Keep the back vertical, except where leaning is part of the form.

  • Repeat each piece five to eight times.

Holding Up The Sky
Open Up Joints
This opening exercise regulates all internal organs, from your heart and lungs in your upper torso through to your kidneys and intestines in your lower abdomen. It relieves fatigue, increases inhalation, and helps prepare your body for exercises that may follow. It also helps you invigorate the muscles and bones of your back and waist and can help correct poor posture of the upper back and shoulders.
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Shooting Tiger With Bow
Energy Channel Facilitation
This exercise resembles drawing a bow to each side, and places the emphasis on your thorax — the home of your heart and lungs — thus greatly improving the circulation of blood and oxygen. It also improves the flow of energy in your small intestine.
Separating Heaven and Earth
Dual Push or Monkey Picking Fruit
The movements of this exercise regulate the internal organs by increasing the flow of energy along both sides of your body, and benefit your liver, gall bladder, spleen, and stomach. Additionally, they help to prevent diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract.
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Cow Gazing at Moon
Twist and Look Back
This is one of the most potent of the eight exercises. It has a powerful effect on your central nervous system and the circulation of both blood and ch’i to your head. It stimulates the vital power of your kidneys. It also strengthens the activity of your eyeballs, your neck and shoulder muscles, and your nerves, and is excellent for alleviating high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. Begin by lifting your arms from the Wu Chi position, so that you appear to hug a large tree, or as if you hold a large imaginary balloon between your arms and your chest.

CAUTION: Do not practice Cow Gazing at Moon when pregnant.
Spine Tilt
Relaxed bending
Chinese medicine teaches that lowering the head and hips removes excess heat (inflammation) from the heart. Other explanations of the value of this exercise include prevention against fever and reduction of tension in the sympathetic nervous system. It has a powerful relaxing effect and, as such, eases the flow of energy along a number of your body’s meridians. From the Wu Chi position, raise your right hand in an arc over your head with your hand held palm downward. Breathe out as you bend over to your left. Keep your right arm curved above your head, letting your left arm hang naturally down by your side. Transfer all of your weight to your RIGHT leg, allowing your left heel to rise slightly off the ground. Your body will arc outward naturally to the right, with both hands sinking loosely downward to the left. Stay there for one or two seconds, then repeat on the other side.

CAUTION: Do not practice Spine Tilt when pregnant.
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Pushing the Earth
Slowly Sinking to a Crouch

This exercise is good for the muscles of your lower back and legs, and for stretching your spine. It is also beneficial for the internal organs of your lower abdomen, specifically the kidneys. The whole exercise strengthens your adrenal glands, and the arteries, veins, and nerves associated with them. Since your kidneys play a vital role in regulating the water metabolism of your entire body, this exercise helps maintain a healthy balance in your internal environment. Start the exercise by lifting your arms from sides to shoulder height. Exhale as you sink, maintaining proper posture.

CAUTION: Do not practice Pushing the Earth when pregnant.

Strike with Fierce Eyes
A Focusing Exercise
This exercise develops the flow of ch’i from your feet through your entire body and extends it through your hands and eyes. It excites your cerebral cortex and related nerves, and speeds the circulation of blood and oxygen to your cardiovascular system. This is not a punching exercise — rather, it is a focusing exercise designed to strengthen the flow of your internal power. It must be done slowly and calmly with great concentration. Each movement begins gently and the full power comes in only at the end of each extension. Begin from the Wu Chi position. Form fists and hold them beside your hips, palms facing upward. Bend slightly at the knees as you breathe in, and exhale as you extend.
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Shake the Body
Drop Your Inhibitions
This exercise aims to refresh and regenerate all of your internal organs by enabling them to massage each other. It is also excellent for your spine, your nervous system, and your sense of balance. From the Wu Chi position, lower yourself slightly by bending the knees. Rest the back of your hands on the flesh just above your hip bones on either side of your lower back. Shake your whole body by bouncing gently, with your feet flat on the ground.

CAUTION: Do not practice Shake the Body when pregnant.