Ba Duan Jin from Howard Reid's The Way of Harmony

Exercise 1 image1a & image1b

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms hanging loosely on your side. Breathe in, lift your arms up, as they come above the head turn the palms out so the fingers are facing inwards, with the back of the hands just above the crown of your head As you breathe our straighten the arms, pushing up with the hands as if pushing against a ceiling, at the same time press your feet firmly to the ground. Breathe in and lower the arms by bending the elbows and bringing the back of your hands just above the crown.

This regulates the internal organs. It also relieves fatigue and increases inhalation. as well as invigorating the muscles and bones of your back and waist, it has also been found to help correct poor posture of the back and shoulders. This exercise combined with DRAWING THE BOW TO THE LEFT & TO THE RIGHT and SHAKING THE BODY is beneficial to women who suffer from PMS including painful periods. The flow of Chi is enhanced allowing adjustment of hormonal and internal physical changes.

Exercise2 image2

From the Wu chi position bend the elbows and lift the arms up so the palms face your chest. turn the left palm out to the left with fingers pointing up. imagine the left arm is pushing against a wooden part of an archer's bow whilst the right finger are curled around the bows string. As you breath aout pull the imaginary string to the right and push out with the left palm to the left. Breathe in and bring the palm back in front of the chest and then repeat the exercise to the right.

This exercise is most beneficial to the thoraic cavity-the chest. It improves the circulation in the area. Hold the position for 2 minutes. Additionally it also enhances the flow of Chi in the small intestine.

Exercise 3 image3

From the wu Chi position breathe in and raise your hands to chest level, palms facing you. turn your left palm down with the fingers pointing backwards. Breathe out and push up with the right palm and down with the left straightening the elbows. Bring the arms back in front of you with the palms facing the chest and this time push up with the left and down with the right. repeat the cycle for a minute. This exercise increases the flow of chi on both sides of your body it benefits your liver, gall bladder, spleen and stomach.

The movements of this exercise prevent diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Exercise 4 image 4 & 5

Lift the arms from the Wu Chi position to chest level, palms facing you. As you breathe out turn the upper body to the left simultaneously turn the palms outwards as if pushing against a big balloon. When you have turned as far left as you can making sure the hands are still opposite the chest, hold the position for a second. Breathe out & lower the hands back to the Wu Chi position. breathe in & bring the hands up and repeat the twist to the right. This is regarded as one of the most powerfull of the Ba Duan Jin exercises as it has a very strong effecton the central nervous system and the circulation of blood and Chi to the head. It inspires the power of the kidneys:Strengthens the activity of the eyeballs, neck and shoulder muscles. It also helps relieve high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. From the Wu Chi position raise your right hand up in an arc above your head with the palm facing down. Breathe in and bend over to your left, letting your left arm hang hang loose to your left. Transfer all your body weight to the right leg, start breathing out and reach over the left to the furthers point that feels comfortable to you. Breathe in and straigthen up with your rigth still in arch above your head. Breathe out as you lower your right arm. Breathe in and raise your left arm in an arch over your head and repeat the stretch.

This exercise reduces tension in the sympathethic nervous system and effectively relaxes the whole body, enabling Chi to flow with ease. It also prevents fever.

Exercise 6 image 6

From the wu Chi position breathe in and raise both arms to the sides, palms facing up to shoulder level, then, up above your head. As you start to breathe out turn the palms face down and bring the arms down, outstretched in front of you at shoulder level. as the arm circle downwards in front of you, bend the knees as if going into a squat. at half squat position, hold for a second. At this point each hand should be outside each knee. Start to breathe in and straigthen up slowly, continuing to circle with your hand behind you, bringing them up over head and finishing with them outstretched in front of you at shoulder level.

This exercise stretches the spine and benefits the muscles of the lower back and legs. It is also beneficial to the internal organs of the lower abdomen. It strengthen the Kidneys, Adrenal Glands, the Arteries and veins.

Exercise 7 image7 & 8

From the wu Chi position, sligthly bend the knees and form a fist with each hand, folding your thumbs inside your fists. The elbows should be bent such that the fist are facing up and resting on each side of your waist. Breathe out slowly as you extend your left arm in front of you at shoulder level, turning the fist over to finish face down. Start to breathe in and as you pull your right elbow back, extend the right arm as you did with the left.

Clenching the fist allows the flow of Chi through the entire body, right from the feet and to the hands and eyes. It stimulates the cerebral cortex and heigthens the circulation of blood and oxygen in the cardivascular system.

Exercise 8

From the wu Chi position, sligthly bend the knees, breathe in and place the backs of your hands on your lower back, closing your bowels. Shake your whole body by bouncing up and down gently, breathing out on each bounce. Continue for eight breaths.

This exercise allows the internal organs to massage each other. It is very good for the spine, the nervous system and sense of balance. When combined with Holding The Balloon and Looking Back Like a Cow it is used to relieve headaches.

Thanks to http://www.taichiuk.co.uk/baduanjinqigong.htm for additional descriptions.

Square Fist
Cross Leg
Twist Stance Push Hands
Block Striking