Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi
This is one of the most commonly practiced series of Qigong movements in the world. Shibashi means eighteen in Chinese. I hope that you enjoy this series as much as I do. It is designed to enhance the general health and well-being of the practitioner and can be both energizing and deeply relaxing as well as a joy to practice. I love the natural imagery these movements invoke. Drop into the energetic felt sense of being in your body as it moves rather than worrying too much about doing each movement exactly right.
1. Mist rising from the lake (Raising and lowering hands)
Inhaling: Raise arms to shoulder level, wrists loose.
Exhaling: Relax elbows, sink into the knees slightly and lower arms to your sides.
2. Opening the heart at the top of the mountain (Opening the heart to what Is)
Inhaling: Raise arms to shoulder level then turning palms to face each other, open arms out to the sides.
Exhaling: Bring arms together with palms facing each other until chest width apart, then turn palms down and lower them to the sides while sinking into the knees slightly.
3. Casting the Rainbow
Inhaling: Raise arms above head in a bow shape, palms facing each other. Gently swing the arc formed by the arms from one side to the other as you transfer the weight from one leg to the other. Inhaling on the upswing. Exhaling on the downswing. Finish with arms overhead. Exhaling to lower arms to the sides.
4. Parting the Clouds
Exhaling: Bending down slightly to scoop with entwined hands.
Inhaling: Raising the body as you lift arms and hands up through the midline of the body and then over head following the arm movement with your eyes. Then rotating the palms until they face outward.
Exhaling: Separate arms (parting the clouds), lowering them sideways while squatting down slightly to gather another scoop.
5. Floating Silk in the Air
Begin with elbows at the sides and forearms stretched out in front at shoulder height, palms up.
Exhaling: Turn waist to the right, right arm arcs down to the side and then up behind the body until both arms stretched out, one behind and one in front, palms up.
Inhaling: Pushing with the right palm forward while the left (up turned palms) pulls gently back until the left hand and arm is behind the body and the right is in front.
Allow the waist to turn from side to side.
6. Rowing Across the Big Lake
Inhaling: Raise arms in a circular motion back and upwards above shoulder.
Exhaling: Sink gently into the knees and lower hands to the front as if rowing a boat. Palms open and soft.
7. Raising the Sun
Inhaling: Raise left arm diagonally in front of the body to the level of the right shoulder, palm up while shifting weight onto the right leg allowing left heel come up. There is a gentle twist in the torso, and the back of the right hand touches the lower back.
Exhaling: Turn the left palm to face down, lower left hand, shift weight through center and repeat on opposite side.
8. Gazing at the Moon
Inhaling: Holding palms facing each other about 10 inches apart, shift weight on left leg. Turn waist to left and raise arms up and back over your left shoulder and look between the hands (gazing at the moon).
Exhaling: Keeping the palms opposite each other, guide them to the front by lowering arms, untwisting the waist and sinking slightly into the knees. Inhaling: Continue to the other side.
9. The Wind Rustles Lotus Leaves
(Turn Waist and Push with Palms) Start with hands at waist, palms up.
Exhaling: Turn waist to the left, right palm pushes out as thumb turns toward the ground.
Inhaling: Make a fist with the right had while twisting the wrist so that the loosely closed fingers are now facing up while also pulling the right hand back to the waist.
Exhaling: Repeat on the other side.