Five Animal Sports and Soft Qigong

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Five Animal Sports and Soft Qigong

Postby SoulX » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:18 pm

Hey Everyone,

Is the Five Animal Sports a form of Soft Qigong? The reason I am asking is I can only do more healing and soft qigong forms because I have adrenal fatigue so I cannot excite the system in anyway and I'm looking for something more soft. Also, I have been practicing the 8 pieces of brocade from the DVD but have not learned how to breath during the movements. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Postby yeniseri » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:27 pm

Try to get face to face instruction.
You do not want to 'excite' your system so a strategy is make your dietary choice as whole as possible then do wuxinqi. Simple walking is a great choice without tiring the body.

Perhasp 2-3x/day walk of 15-20 minutes duration
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Postby Dvivid » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:16 pm

No, Five Animals is NOT soft qigong.

Soft qigong involves moving in your largest range of motion, with minimal muscular tension, coordinated with the breath. The body is literally soft and deeply relaxed.

Hard qigong deliberately tenses the muscles to trap energy and develop the muscles and tendons.

Soft qigong:

http://ymaa.com/publishing/dvd/qigong_D ... qigong_DVD
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby yeniseri » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:00 am

Any system of qigong can be considered 'soft' based on the teaching methodology and the skill of the teacher! They are relative terms based on the age, physical conditioning, fitness level and disease condition of the individual.
A beginning student of baduanjin will consider it "hard' (external) qigong based on the unfamiliarity, perceived exertion level (degree of difficluty, unaccustomed movements, etc) but as s/he gets to know the routine, they become 'softer' with knowledge of concepts, roundness, principles and understanding.

From personal experience, What make a routine 'hard' is the degree of bending, and stooping as in xiebu, where an otheriwse simple routine can become difficult by attempting a cross kneed bend and then getting up from that position. All systems are inherently 'soft' and 'hard' at the same time based on this understanding.
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Postby SoulX » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:05 am

Thanks yeniseri and Dvivid! Really appreciate it..right now I think I'm going to stick to 8 Pieces of Brocade but I am still looking for more healing or medical qigong that could help and that's easy to learn from a book or a DVD...and also how does one breath during the 8 Pieces of Brocade?

Thanks
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Postby joeblast » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:21 pm

breathe naturally ;)

if you're asking that question, apply concepts from meditation and meld them into the flow of the movements just like you would with taiji.
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Postby Dvivid » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:19 am

Yeniseri - I think you might be confused.

"Hard" does not pertain to "difficulty". These are two distinct styles of qigong, and a form (such as Five Animals) is one or the other. Sometimes a sequence will have both soft and hard movements, or a style can be considered soft/hard, such as Xingyi and White Crane, where the body is entirely loose except at the moment of impact.

Hard qigong utilizes twisting the joints and tensing the muscles during the practice, in order to build the physical body. Muscular tension "traps" Qi into the bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles.

Soft qigong uses as little muscular tension as possible, to circulate Qi as abundantly as possible within the movement, and develop the energetic circulation. Soft, flowing, circular movements, while circulating through the four gates, increases the Qi circulation in the meridians and vessels, conditions the fascia, and clears blockages.
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Re:

Postby yeniseri » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:24 am

Dvivid wrote:Yeniseri - I think you might be confused.

"Hard" does not pertain to "difficulty". These are two distinct styles of qigong, and a form (such as Five Animals) is one or the other. Sometimes a sequence will have both soft and hard movements, or a style can be considered soft/hard, such as Xingyi and White Crane, where the body is entirely loose except at the moment of impact.

Hard qigong utilizes twisting the joints and tensing the muscles during the practice, in order to build the physical body. Muscular tension "traps" Qi into the bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles.

Soft qigong uses as little muscular tension as possible, to circulate Qi as abundantly as possible within the movement, and develop the energetic circulation. Soft, flowing, circular movements, while circulating through the four gates, increases the Qi circulation in the meridians and vessels, conditions the fascia, and clears blockages.


I do not know of any qigong method that uses "little muscular tension' as they all use musculoar tension based on degree of bending, turning stretching, etc. I have never come across any 'hard qigong" method but this is definition and terminology only. Degree of bending, stooping, stretching, and the like should be based on the conditioning level of the student since that is the target audience. Of course, one can soften a movement to make it adaptable but there is still muscular tension within the degree of flexion, extension adduction and abduction of a routine!
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Re: Five Animal Sports and Soft Qigong

Postby joeblast » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:31 pm

semantics 8) "little as possible"
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Re: Five Animal Sports and Soft Qigong

Postby Dvivid » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:55 pm

Yeniseri, my friend. Yes, you do move the physical body in qigong. That is not in question. What you say about the practice being different for everyone is correct.

But, you should realize there are two distinct styles of traditional Qigong, and they are named Hard Qigong and Soft Qigong. Each serves a different purpose.

Hard Qigong emphasizes the Yang side of Qi training. Many who practice it experience a higher degree of energy. It is very beneficial for martial artists in need of a rapid way of energizing themselves. It is great for those in need of conditioning and improving a weak or degenerating physical body. Hard Qigong uses deliberate muscular tension.

Soft Qigong is Yin and promotes how to relax and recuperate, and is an effective way in cooling down the "body fire". Most of the soft Qigong available was created by the internal martial art styles. The main purpose of creation was to increase the storage of the Qi level and to increase the Qi circulation for martial arts purpose. Soft Qigong uses deliberately relaxed muscles, with minimal tension.
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Re: Five Animal Sports and Soft Qigong

Postby yeniseri » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:43 pm

I see nothing wrong with differing views!
My original training was yangshenggong, which my teacher adapted to the new terminology of qigong but it was never addressed as 'hard' qigong or 'soft' though one may see that different individuals doing variation of the same based on age, conditioning and degree of some debility.

When my teachers taught, they never made that distinction and I have nothing against it. Flow!
I can see your point!
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Re: Five Animal Sports and Soft Qigong

Postby Dvivid » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:21 am

Yes, they are two sides of the same coin, and both should be studied. They are differentiated only for the purpose of helping a student understand how a specific qigong (or yangshengong) technique will affect his or her body. It is important to understand the theory so that a practitioner doesn't inadvertently make the body too yang or too yin, which is unhealthy.
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