Five Animal Chart Play qigong 五禽圖戯
Taught by : Joe Hing Kwok Chu
Recorded by : Peter Croke and Linda and Karen
(Peter Croke of San Francisco is a registered nurse. Linda of San Francisco is a interior designer. Karen of San Francisco is a physical therapist.)
This qigong exercise was designed by a famous doctor, Hua Tuo, during the Han dynasty, about two thousand years ago. It is an excellent qigong exercise for stress management and rehabilitation after sicknesses. There are hundreds of different version of "Five Animal Play" exercises. Avery one claims they are from the doctor, Hua Tuo. This version was discovered in a famous grave, Ma Wang Dui, of the Han dynasty period. It was recorded with a chart of pictures, so it is now call "Five Animal Chart Play".
(1) Place hands below the dan tian area, with palms facing up and fingertips touching and breathe once.
(2) Raise the hands to chest level with the palms facing up and fingertips touching and do a second breathing.
(3) Lower the hands back to the dan tian and then raise them in an arc over the head. Keep the fingertips touching and breathe a third time. Bring the hands to the sides. Bend the elbows and place hands (palms down) and fingers facing forward and together . Breathe 4 times. Bring the hands together with tops touching each other and fully extended the arms forward. Rotate the feet (toes and then the heels) until you are standing with your feet a little more than shoulder length apart. Bend the knees until you cannot see your toes. Bend the elbows and bring the hands to the side of the body with palms facing up and making two fists. Breathe 12 times. Rotate the feet back under the body and bring the arms to the side. **
(4) Rub the stomach above the belly button. Interlock fingers of hands and rub back and forth with the palms. Rub in a semi-circular movement (the top half of a circle). Do this while breathing, then gently tap the same area with the tips of the fingers of the right hand (back and forth) while breathing.
(1) Place hands, with palms facing up and fingertips touching, at the dan tian level. Breathe once (in and out). Raise the hands to the chest keeping the same position. Breathe once. Place hands together in a prayer position in front of the chest then raise the hands above the head and open them up with the palms facing out. Rotate them in a circular motion until you reach the shoulders and hold them in front of the shoulders. Breathe 5 times. The palms should be facing outward with the elbows bent. Stretch the arms out so they are level with the shoulders (to the side of the body) and palms are facing down. Breathe once. Bring the hands out in front of you with two fists one on top of the other. Make sure the arms are extended all the way and breathe. Place the hands on the middle back with one hand above the other and the upper side against the back keeping the fists. Breath 9 times. Return the hands to the side. **
(2) Rub the stomach below the belly button. Interlock fingers of hands and rub back and forth with the palms facing inward. Rub in a semi-circular movement ( the bottom half of a circle). Do this while breathing. Gently tap the same area with the tips of the fingers of the right hand (back and forth) while breathing.
(1)Place hands at the dan tian level with palms facing up and fingers interlocked. Raise hands to chest level and breathe.
(2)Flip the hands keeping them interlocked and extend the arms to the right side and up as far as you can. The palms should be facing upward. Breathe out as you do this. Rotate the arms to the left while keeping the hands interlocked and breathe in. When you stop, breathe out and lower the arms and hands to shoulder level. Keep them on the left side. Rotate again to the right side to the count of 4 and breathe in. When you stop, breathe out and lower the hands again to waist level. Rotate the arms and hands again twice as fast to the left and then back to the right while breathing in. When you stop, breathe out. Raise the left arm and hand to the level of the shoulder (fully extended), angled and perpendicular to the body. Breathe 6 times. Bring the other arm so it is right below it with palms are facing each other. Breathe once. Bring the arms to the side.** Repeat from the beginning on the other side. During this exercise, focus the chi to the side of the torso under each arm as it is raised.
(1) Start with hands in front of the dan tian with the palms facing up and the fingers interlocked. Take 1 breath. Raise the hands to the chest level and take 1 breath. Rotate the hands while keeping them interlocked and raise them to the sky. This should place the hands above the head. When you extend the hands, palms should be facing the sky. Take 1 breath. Rotate the hands again but keep the arms raised over the head. Touch the palms together and the external palace of labor should be on the outside. Take 1 breath. Lower the arms so they are perpendicular to the body while keeping them fully extended. The palms should not touch, but face each other with very little space between them. Keep the arms on the left side while taking 4 breaths. Lower the arms to the side. Raise the left hand with elbow extended fully above the head and the palm facing outward. The arm and hand should be parallel to the body. Take 5 breaths. Lower the arm and make 2 fists. Take a breath. Release the fists.** Repeat on the other side.
Legs in stance position.
1) fingers intertwined, palms up, hands resting on lower belly (take one breath)
10) closing: swing arms to the front, fists togther, palms facing out, chest level (take one breath) end with bringing fists around to the back one hand above the other.
* Note: The chi on these exercises should start from the belly, fill it up and move to the chest unless otherwise detailed.
**The closing on all of the animal exercises is the same and is as follows:
Return the hands to the front of the body, arms forming a circle. Hands are in a fist, thumbs down, palms facing forward and lightly touch fists. Arms are perpendicular to the body. Breathe once. Bring the hands to the middle of the back (across from the belly button) one hand over the other (palms open) and breathe.
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Last update: Sept 20, 2013; 9 a.m. LAH