Wu Qin Xi: Five Animal Qigong Exercises is an accessible, easy to learn qigong exercise that imitates the movements of animals and birds.
The Five Animal Qigong exercises were developed by Hua Tua, a leading physician of the Eastern Han Dynasty whose inspiration came from the observation of tigers, deer, bears, monkeys and birds. He came to the conclusion that wild creatures regularly performed certain exercises which can be replicated in order to build up the constitution and improve life skills.
The Five-Animal Qigong is practised by imitating symbolically and physically the movements, breathing and sounds of the five animals. It consists of some standard forms of movements, spontaneous movements and sounds, and simple but effective techniques that can be practised sitting, lying or even travelling on an airplane. It can be used as a method of healing, a style of arts and a way of spiritual channelling.
The exercises combine the internal with the external, invigorating the organs and soothing the nervous system, while strengthening and toning the external musculature. Regular practice of the Five Animal Qigong Exercise can limber up the joints, strengthen the waist, nourish the organs, help prevent disease and prolong life.
The father of Chinese medicine, Hua Tua concluded that the single greatest secret for a healthy life lay in the practice of correct movement. His analogy became dear to the hearts of all tai chi enthusiasts: A door’s hinge won’t get worm-eaten, if you use it.Qigong and tai chi movements, when properly performed, stimulate that internal lubrication of free-flowing qi, blood, and lymph essential to our continued health and sense of well being.
The Five-Animal Qigong is an uninhibited approach to meditative movement allowing for strong benefits without an overly serious approach. It has been seen as an effective tool for emotional catharsis and mental cultivation. For example, the tiger form is a great way of expressing and transforming anger and the monkey, a strong approach to sharpening the mind and senses. The symbolic connotation of the animals can have great effects on state of mind and behaviour. The dignity and masculine power of the tiger, the elegance of the deer, the earthiness and soft strength of the bear, the graceful and free spirit of the bird and the liveliness and vigilance of the monkey, all imprint their marks on the consciousness and assist in building confidence and self-esteem.