This week's post is a detailed look at the Ba Duan Jin qigong exercise called Head and Tail Swaying to Get Rid of Heart Fire. It is also known as Big Bear Turns from Side to Side and as Sway the Head and Shake the Tail. It is traditionally the fifth of the exercises.
Ba Duan Jin is a traditional qigong routine with hundreds of variations. It is variously translated as Eight Silken Brocades, Eight Pieces of Silk Brocades, Eight Section Brocade, Eight Silken Exercises, Eight Fine Exercises, or many other names.
Qigong is all about body, mind, and breath. These exercises contain specific movements that are synchronized with the breath while the mind concentrates on the movements. The exercises are intended to help develop mental focus and calm, peaceful movements. At all times, keep your knees loose and flexible.
This exercise reduces qi in the heart (heart fire). Excess heart fire leads to heartburn, restlessness, lack of sleep, mental uneasiness, colds, and hypertension. This exercise pushes the qi from the middle dan tien, into the heart and lung area, and out through any obstructions.
NOTE: Inhale when you are in the beginning position and exhale when you bend forward.
1. Bend your knees slightly and stand with your feet two shoulder widths apart. Bend slightly and place your hands on your thighs with thumbs pointing out.
2. Slowly wave your head from side-to-side a total of four times.
3. Bend left and down from the waist and rotate your upper body down and around toward the right in a circle. At the same time, sway your buttocks towards the left. Continue rotation to beginning position.
4. Do this exercise eight times.
Modification for seated form:
1. Sit in wuji.
3. Bend left and down from the waist and rotate your upper body toward the right. Continue rotation to beginning position.
CAUTION: Do not overbalance. It is easy to lean too far and fall from a chair.
Modification for a more challenging form:
1. Bend knees to assume a deep horse stance with feet two should widths apart.
Benefits & Effects:
1. A general overall exercise induces perspiration and helps to relieve the symptoms of heart fire.
2. Strengthens the legs, waist, back, and neck. Opens up the governing vessel.
3. Enhance every organ and system’s function.
For the rest of this series, start with:
To continue with this series, see:
© 2012 Eric Borreson