Qi Gong 8 Brocades
Ba 八 means eight, Duan 段 refers to benefits gained from the practice of the exercises but literally can be translated as holding or carrying something , and Jin 锦 means silk.
The image of silk is used a lot in the soft styles of Chinese martial arts and exercises. Culturally in China it was incredibly significant, and its 3000 year history is quite literally a part of the fabric of what is the longest lasting civilisation that the world has witnessed (that we know of!).
The movements should be smooth and flowing like silk, or after the practice has been completed you should have a smooth silken feeling throughout the body.
If you imagine the fascia – all of your connective tissues within the body – as a smooth silken material which over time with poor posture and incorrect or overuse becomes stressed, thickened, and inflamed. Think then of a well made bed with a silk sheet, just perfectly tucked in and smooth. Compare that with a crumpled mess of a sheet after a bad night’s sleep!
With 八段锦 you are smoothening, straightening, repairing your fascia until it’s resembling a fine piece of silk – and you are flowing with good health and vitality.