Qigong 2019-06-28 – 8 Silk Brocades

Today I got some interesting corrections on 8 silk brocades. Now that we are getting into the finer details I think I’m seeing some difference in methodology of the teachers. This is where things get tricky. With different instructors, some (I believe) hold the actual sensations and experience and others are more focused on making the physical form precise. Both have value, but sometimes come into conflict. Corrections:
  • On “Shake the head and wiggle the tail” he said it was important not to shift weight, but rather to hold a solid center weight in horse stance and rotate the upper body above and around that. This makes sense, but is a bummer as I was using this as a mindful weight shift exercise.
  • On “Draw the bow to shoot the hawk” add more intention on drawing the bow and wrap in the bottom two fingers as well. This makes sense by anyone’s system.
  • On “Divide heaven and earth” instead of palm in center of body facing down, hands are on the sides of the body, arms are so extended they are nearly locked, fingers point straight back (overhead) and forward (lowered hand). This is very different from the Daoyin way I have been using this sequence. Looking at ancient diagrams I could see it either way.
  • On “Bounce on the toes 7 times” he wanted me to do them really slowly, basically calf raises as a physical exercise. This blew my mind, as I had been show then in a way that made sense to me as a way of learning to drop qi by making a movement like shaking a bag of coins. These are completely different practices. Looking online I see most in agreement with my version – gentle bouncing that lightly shakes the body.
  • On “Raise the heavens to activate the triple warmer”, more of a squat (makes sense) but also suggested eyes/head facing forward the entire time. Again, very different. Facing forward (instead of up) at the top actually makes balance at the top a little easier (when up on toes) but feels like less of a full open movement. I’ll see how this changes things over time.
Definitely feeling a little frustrated and confused, and now the endless internet search begins for what are likely a variety of truths as this form has evolved and been handed down for hundreds of years. What were the original intentions of these movements? Are there better ways to use them now? And so goes any technology passed human-to-human over time.