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14 Series Sinew-Transforming Exercises

  • 14 Series Sinew
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14 Series Sinew-Transforming Exercises
Compiled by Chang Weizhen
English Translation by Hong Yunxi
Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1991
Paperback, 117 pages
ISBN 7119006363

The sinew-transforming exercises, a literal translation from the Chinese name Yiji Jing, are a traditional form of such Qigong exercises for overcoming disease and prolonging life of very ancient origin. The full name of Yijinjing is called the Bodhidharma Yijinjing, one component part of Shaolin external Qigong. To practice the Yijinjing frequently can recuperate the Yin and Yang, keep fit, dispel diseases and prolong life.

According to Classics of Internal Medicine, "All disease are latent in the condition of the qi, or vital energy." It is said that if one can keep yin and yang, the two opposite vital properties that permeate the whole body, in harmonious proportion, accordingly nourishing one's blood and vital energy, then one can ward off disease, extend one's years and ensure a long and healthy life free from senile decline. The beneficial effects of Qi Gong on health are therefore well established.

Qi Gong exercises of this tradition may be divided into the "quiet," which usually consist of conscious breathing movement to "exhale the stale and take in the fresh," and the "active," which consist of the art of limb movement. These exercises combining body movement with mental regulation are considered a necessary means to promoting the free function of the vital energy and blood circulation. Perform such exercises every day, and one's health is ensured. These are the ways the ancients preserved their health, methods.

A man without perseverance cannot be a wizard-doctor.
— Confucius

I am skillful in nourishing my all-pervading energy.
— Mencius

Toughen my sinews, harden my bones,
Make my blood flow freely,
I will then be young forever
In touch with the realm of goads.
— Canon of Great Void

Characterized by graceful movements just like those of Taiji Quan and Shaolin Quan which are better known to the outside world, the Sinew-Transforming Exercises have a style as robust as Shaolin and yet as supple as Taiji. They differ from modern free exercises in that they integrate the exercise of the body and extremities with a conscious control of movement by the mind.

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