A Unique Branch of Daoist Learning, A Secret Skill of the Palace Author: He Jinghan Paperback, pages The beautiful, complex movements of Bagua require a lifetime to master fully, but can be practised with significant physical and mental health benefit at any level. In this highly illustrated guide, Master He, a fifth generation practitioner, introduces the ancient Daoist principles on which Bagua is based, its place within the Chinese martial arts, and the approach to life it nurtures. Many pages of photographs illustrate a programme of sequences, showing the beauty of the movements, and the positions and transitions the practitioner is aiming for. Bagua Daoyin supports and trains the body and the mind to promote balance and harmony. The external movements are echoed in the internal body, which promotes the flow of energy that leads to greatly improved health, a tranquil and focused mind, and increased longevity.
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They include a large variety of exercises from varying traditions. Although they are similar, they have slightly different emphasis. Daoyin literally means guiding and leading. It appears much earlier in Chinese history than Qigong.
The Mawangdui tomb contained a scroll of detailed Daoyin exercises believe to be dated back to BC. Daoyin exercises generally to emphasize the clearing of the tissue channels to open and invigorate the body. The mind is directed to the extremities and even a distance outside the body. Breathing also tends to be slightly more vigorous Qigong.
Daoyin exercises are often more complex with precise body mechanics to open and stretch. As such, it is more demanding and strenuous than Qigong. Qigong appears later in Chinese history. It is largely influenced by Daoist thought and its understanding of transformation reflected in external and internal alchemy. More emphasis is placed on nourishing and regulating the body.
It works with the channels of the body that are consistent with Chinese medical theory. The mind is used to focus inside the body. It is a quieter, softer practice. Natural, abdominal breathing to regulate the breath is most commonly used. Movements are often simple, soft, repetitive and rhythmic in nature.
Both are employed to raise health and set the stage for deeper work.
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