Shibashi Qigong

What does Shibashi Qigong really mean?

In modern days,  it has come to mean a practice of 18 movements  that encourages Qi development and harmony within the body. This routine is uncomplicated and most people can master the easy movements within a week.

The 18 movement Shibashi routine

Always start with the warm up.

You can do the full set of 18 movements (this is best) or choose the ones you prefer.

  1. Preparation posture – raising the arms
  2. Opening the chest

    Step 1: raise the arms on the in breath.
    Step 1: raise the arms on the in breath.
  3. Painting the rainbow
  4. Parting the clouds
  5. Rolling the arms in horse riding stance
  6. Rowing the boat across the lake
  7. Holding a ball in front of the shoulders
  8. Gazing at the moon
  9. Turning at the waist and pushing with the palms
  10. Cloud hands
  11. Scooping up the sea and looking at the horizon
  12. Pushing the waves
  13. Flying dove spreads its wings
  14. Punching in horse riding stance
  15. The flying wild goose
  16. Rotating the spinning wheel
  17. Bouncing a ball whilst stepping
  18. Calming Qi.

Closing position is holding your “ball” of Qi in Dan Tien.

Begin with 15 minutes a day working up to 30 minutes twice a day.

Enriching the three treasures

This  routine enriches  the “three treasures” (San Bao):

  1. Qi  or “life force” – enables function / energy body
  2. Jing or ” vital essence”  – determines substance / physical body
  3. Shen or “Mind” – creates intention / consciousness.

Other benefits 

Practice daily for these benefits:

  • The earth element within you will be strengthened. Being fully grounded is the centre of your existence in every way.
  • You will feel well supported and able to support others.
  • Your digestive system will be robust.
  • Your thinking will be clearer.
  • You will have better visceral and muscular tone.
  • You will have greater energy uptake, due to stronger polarity between your heaven and earth Qi.
  • Better lubricated joints will help inhibit osteoarthritis and degeneration in your joints.
  • You will enjoy greater emotional equanimity.
  • The sequence helps protect and maintain the quality of your Jing (vital essence), thus  extending length and quality of your life.
  • It strengthens your kidneys, because that is where the Jing is rooted and stored.
  • Your Shen (mind) will be kept strong, so that you can sustain concentration without being distracted.
  • It naturally encourages more efficient circulation of Qi.
  • Shibashi increases your lymphatic flow, boosting the immune system.

    swivel at the waist as you gaze behind you at the moon between your hands
    swivel at the waist as you gaze behind you at the moon between your hands

What you might notice

  1. If you are healthy before you start, you will become healthier
  2. If you are ill before you start, you will begin to feel better

Time of day to practice

You can do Qigong any time of day or night!

Where to practice?

The best places are where the heaven and earth Qi are most abundant and free of atmospheric pollution, such as:

  1. mountain tops where frenetic hustle and bustle of civilisation are absent

    Qigong on the beach
    Qigong on the beach
  2. next to a waterfall
  3. under trees
  4. next to a lake
  5. at the seashore
  6. alongside an unpolluted river.

If you don’t have a suitable spot outside or in nature, there are many other places you can practice. Find a quiet, peaceful space with fresh air, but not in a draught.

Stay well away from traffic fumes, excessive noise and electromagnetic radiation from TV sets, computers etc .

What direction do you face?

  • In the morning, face the sun to absorb Heaven Qi as the sun rises.
  • In winter, have your back to the sun to warm your kidneys.
  • If you are indoors face the light.

    Shibashi - lifting the ball
    Shibashi – lifting the ball
  • If you are the beach or overlooking an open view, face straight out to the horizon.

If you are considering a specific organ:

  • facing east may strengthen a weak liver and help sedate tight and congested lungs
  • facing west may help sedate an overactive liver and strengthen weak lungs
  • facing north may help strengthen weak kidneys
  • facing south may help strengthen a weak heart.

Tip

When doing Shibashi, it is not about going through the motions to get it finished. It is about focusing on your practice.

 

 

 “Qigong movement should follow the relaxed breath. The breath should never chase the movements.”

Jim Charmey, The Theory and Practice of Taiji Qigong

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