Five Animal Sports Qigong: A fun, healthful workout
Five Animal Sports (or Frolics) is a group of ancient Medical Qigong exercises designed to bring healing energy to the internal organs. They also happen to be lots of fun and a great core workout. We guarantee that you will leave class having stretched, played, learned and laughed a lot with a great group of people. No experience is necessary, and people of all ages and fitness levels enjoy this class.
The idea behind the Five Animal Sports (one of the oldest Qigong exercise sets, dating back 2000 years) is that people have become cut off from nature, and by imitating the movements of animals we can get our connection back and keep our bodies healthy. The five animals are integral to the Five Elements Theory commonly used in acupuncture. The Bear emphasizes the spleen, the Bird the lungs, The Deer the kidneys, the Tiger the liver and the Ape the heart. In the class, we imitate the movement of each animal with special focus on its related organ system. We also spend time in each class on mindfulness and stretching exercises.
To see a bit of the Five Animal Sports in action, watch Bill's Introductory Video.
Also watch On YouTube - with Dr. Yang Zwing Ming, Bill Buckley's teacher
Soft Crane Qigong:
Soft Crane Qigong is a gentle, energetic practice that imitates the motions of a crane. Soft Crane Qigong comes from Martial Qigong and is focused connecting the six physical “bows” of the body (two legs, two arms, chest and back) with their energetic paths. This practice focuses on Grand Circulation breathing and keeping the body soft and relaxed while developing connected, whole body motion. The imagery used in the class is that of a crane on a reed in a marsh being blown about by the wind; it uses its wings and legs to maintain its balance.
The goal of Soft Crane Qigong is to train the connection between the body’s six physical power sources (legs, arms, chest and back) so that power can be expressed smoothly and effectively. At the same time, it is practiced softly and mindfully with Grand Circulation so that the Qi can be used to support the physical power. It is a wonderful flowing, gentle workout.
Skills taught in the class:
- Grand Circulation breathing: this is the foundation of Crane Qigong. In this training the practitioner learns to bring Qi out of the Governing and Conception vessels and lead it to the arms, hands and feet.
- Patterns: 24 movement patterns will be presented and trained in the class
- Stepping and movement: Once the student has begun to master the basic movement patterns, stepping will be introduced. Stepping combines whole body motion, momentum, balance and mental focus to allow smooth energy transfer while traveling or turning.
- Weight training: The material is presented without weights, but hand weights are frequently used to enhance power and strength. Students wishing to use weights can introduce them once the basic patterns have been learned and refined.