In our school of Baguazhang and Qigong in Bali we have the 8 Animal System. Each Animal is connected with a trigram from the iChing along with a different natural element and that animal spirit. Each animal can be used for different methods of healing and or self-defense situations.
iChing Trigram: Qian
Lunar Calendar: 4th Month or May
The Qi Flow
Lion Qigong teaches us how to cultivate ball qi energy. By moving in a circular direction back and forth after a period of time you will begin to feel the ball between your hands. In order to feel it you really need to put your intention and belief into feeling the ball. Tha Daoists often times use colors when visualizing qi in their practices. This will help solidify the experience for you possibly. We teach color visualization once a student begins to feel the ball and feel the qi. With Qigong we are bending reality as we become reality benders. Bending reality takes belief, intention and visualization.
Through the movement of this animal you can awaken the energy within tapping into reservoirs of hidden energy. Lion Qigong stretches and strengthens the hips and spine. It massages the kidneys as you roll from side to side. It will help you achieve deep circulation along these areas. If combined with different stepping methods you can add deeper and more benefits. When combined with Medical Qigong circle walking it can stretch and increase lung capacity. With standard Qigong circle waling it will vastly build Qi energy, which then can be used for the other animals.
Lion and the iChing
According to the iChing, this animal due to its extreme yang nature is most effective practiced in the most extreme yang time which is summer. It is also best practiced facing a southern direction. Qian in the Chinese iChing is the form of Heaven. Its nature is yang. It has the qualities of being strict, dignified, ardent, fiery, virtuous, and heroic. Its nature is that of bravery and heroism. It can eat animals like tigers and leopards. It has the awesome power of shaking its fur. Qian is the energy of heaven. It is of creation. From heaven everything was created. By understanding this trigram we can see that we are creating a ball of energy in between our hands. This is the first of the 8 Animals Qigong. It is the healthiest action, the initiator and provides the purest yang energy. It is the most powerful strength for the next trigram, Kun (Receiving) to receive. By understanding this we can see how Lion, which is considered the king of the jungle would be expressed by this trigram. By tapping into this animal spirit we can tap into another side of nature on this earth.
What starts to get really interesting with the 8 Animals is when we begin to combine them to create a Gua. For example, if I combine Lion of the Qian trigram with Unicorn of the Earth Trigram I create a Gua. If Lion is first and Unicorn is on top then I create the Gua which is of Advance (Earth over Heaven). In this we begin to play with the different effects of combining the different trigrams represented by animals to create different Guas. By playing this out in a physical way we can begin to understand the philosophy. This can be played out in terms of Qi flow, in terms of self-defense situations and even deeper. For example, how does this Qi flow as I change from Lion to Unicorn? With Heaven on the bottom and Earth on the top, meaning going from Lion straight into Unicorn you can see clearly it is advancing energy, moving forward. This is a deeper philosophical discussion and is an element of deeper exploration that I teach once the student can first understand each individual animal on not only a conceptual level, but also express their understanding of that animal physically.
By understanding depth of each animal, how it is related to nature and the spirit world we can take not only our Qigong but also our health and our understanding of this life to new heights.
Martial Arts and Qigong in Bali