Shibashi Qigong

Shibashi Qigong.  What does that really mean?

Practice Shibashi Qigong early in the morning on the beach or under the tress in the park
Practice Shibashi Qigong early in the morning on the beach or under the tress in the park

Over time it has come to mean in modern day, 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.

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

  • Qi ( “Life Force” ) – Enables function / Energy body
  • Jing (” Vital Essence” ) – Determines substance / Physical body
  • Shen ( “Mind” ) – Creates intention / Consciousness

What is the Gate of Vitality?

  1. Your source of internal warmth and bodily functions emanate from deep in your abdomen ( more or less between the kidneys). This area is known as the Gate of Vitality(mingmen)
  2. The heating factor( “Minister of fire” or ” Life Gate Fire”) transforms your essence into Original Qi.
  3. As you focus on Dantian during your practice you automatically help keep the “Life Gate Fire ” burning.

    Starting posture for Painting the Rainbow.
    Starting posture for Painting the Rainbow.
  4. This is a good thing. If your fire declines so your bodily functions decline (causing tiredness, mental depression and feeling cold).
  5. Healthy sexual function and fertility is also dependent on warmth of the Gate of Vitality
  6. Warmth is also required by your digestive organs to properly break down and assimilate food.

Benefits when you practice this sequence each day:

  • strengthening of the earth element within you – being fully grounded is the centre of your existance in every way
  • you will feel well supported and be able to support others
  • your digestive system will be robust
  • your thinking will be clearer
  • you will have better viseral and muscular tone
  • stronger polarity between  your heaven and your earth Qi will  cause greater take up energy for you
  • well lubricated joints helps inhibit osteoarthritis and degeneration in your joints
  • greater emotional equanimity
  • help protect and maintain your quality of your Jing, thus  extending length and quality of your life
  • strengthens your kidneys because that is where the Jing is rooted and stored
  • keeps your Shen strong so that you can sustain concentration without being distracted
  • naturally encourages more efficient circulation of Qi
  • increases 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

Note 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

How long should I practice each day?

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

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

Sometimes you should persevere and do the ones that are more uncomfortable as it may indicate a blockage of Qi on the body

Time of day to practice

You can do Qigong any time of day (or night!)

What direction do you face?

  • In the morning facing the sun to absorb Heaven Qi as the sun rises.
  • However when doing Qigong in winter I like to have my back to the sun to warm my 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
  • facing West may help sedate an overactive liver
  • facing west  helps strengthen weak lungs
  • facing East may help sedate tight and congested lungs
  • facing North may help strengthen weak kidneys
  • facing South may help strengthen n a weak heart

Where to practice?

Anywhere but some places are better than others. The best places are where  the heaven and Earth Qi are most abundant and free of atmospheric pollution:

  1. mountain tops where frenetic hussle and bussle of civilization are absent

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

Tip : stay well away from traffic fumes, excessive noise, and electromagnetic radiation from TV sets, computers etc . Find a quiet,  peaceful space with fresh air but not in a draught.

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

 The 18 movement Shibashi routine:

Warm up

  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 (Holding your the Qi Ball in Dan Tien)

 “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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