No one really knows who created Ba Duan Jin. Most likely it has evolved over the centuries with practitioners molding the movements to what worked best for them. Some say that it was General Yeuh Fei that created this Qigong set to be used as a general callisthenic for his troops to remain healthy or prepare for battle. Others point to the fact that the first eight forms of the “Shaolin Eighteen forms of Lohan Qigong” are basically the same as the eight forms of Ba Duan Jin.
Regardless of who created these specific eight forms, the fact remains that millions of people all over the world practice this set and achieve advantageous results.
This set can be practiced as a form of callisthenic to wake up the qi and the body to improve one’s strength, flexibility, balance and overall health or one can practice it as a form of internal meditation in order to derive more subtle benefits.
To achieve the general health benefits:
1 - Focus on achieving and maintaining deep stances
2 - Prolong balancing (helps with core strength)
3 – Cultivate the stretching for enhanced flexibility
To achieve the subtle benefits:
1 - Focus on elongating and refining the breath to oxygenate, detoxify and enhance the respiratory system
2 – Use the Yi to guide the qi throughout all the movements
3 – Cultivate internal awareness to achieve emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual balance