Support the heaven with both hands regulate the three visceral cavities housing the internal organs (san jiao)
The benefits of Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 1:
It regulates all internal organs, from your heart and lungs in your upper torso through to your kidneys and intestines in your lower abdomen.
It relieves fatigue, increases inhalation, and helps prepare your body for the exercises that follow.
It also helps invigorate the muscles and bones of your back and waist and can help correct poor posture of the upper back and shoulders.
The techniques of Ba Duan Jing Exercise Set 1
Start in the Wu Chi position: feet a shoulder-width apart, shoulders relaxed, arms hanging loosely at your sides. Face straight ahead. Then slowly raise your arms, keeping your shoulders relaxed, as if you were lifting an invisible balloon in front of you. As you raise your arms, breathe in.
1. When your hands rise above your head, turn your palms outward and bring them above the crown of your head, ready to begin pressing straight IAPward. Your flat palms and fingers should be fully turned to face the sky (you will feel the stretch in your wrists) The fingers of each hand should face inward toward each other over the middle of your head.
2. Now press both hands upward, straightening your arms as fully as possible - your hands need not touch. Let your feet press firmly down into the ground. As you stretch up and down simultaneously, breathe out.
Hold your arms in the extended position for one second. Then, as you breathe in, lower your arms so that the backs of your hands
are just above your head, and ease the pressure on your feet.
Pause for a second.
Then repeat the cycle, moving your hands up and down over your head until you have done this eight times.
3. As you begin to press upward with your hands, slowly rise up on your toes so that you complete the full extension of your arms and legs at the same time. This is also excellent for developing your sense of balance.
There are several variations of Ba Duan Jin. Here's a short video clips on Ba Duan Jin Exercise set 1. Let me know if you find it useful. :) :
Advanced Level of Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 1
After at least a year of regular practice Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 1(Note: you could already be practicing all eight sets by now), you can advance to the next stage of this exercise.
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Extend your hands above your head, palms facing upward as in the basic level. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Now imagine that you are pushing against a heavy stone block above your head. Breathe out as you imagine you are using about 20 per cent of your strength to press upward against the stone and downward into the ground. Then, instead of lowering your arms when you have finished exhaling, relax, keeping your arms and hands still extended, and breathe in. Then imagine trying to move the block again as you breathe out, this time using 40 per cent of your power. Relax again, breathe in, keeping your hands in position, and then repeat a further six times, imagining that you are progressively increasing the pressure in both directions. Go up, gradually increasing your power, to 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and - on the eighth exhalation - finally to 100 per cent.
When should you proceed beyond Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 1
When you feel that you have mastered the smoothly stretching arm motions, with your hands in the correct positions, and when you can synchronize the extending and contracting movements of your arms with the gentle inhalation and exhalation of your breath, you can take the Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 1 to the next stage.