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Published January 28th 2013
Finding your flow with the ancient remedy dancing
Five Animal Play from Ancient Scripts wikipps.hk
Chinese Five Animal Play are a set of qigong exercises inspired by the movements of five animals: monkey, deer, crane, bear and tiger. All these movements are combined with gentle and deep breathing techniques.
These ancient therapeutic exercises invented by the famous Chinese herbalist and doctor Hua Tuo in the 2nd Century AD. Hua Tuo believed that "our human body needs physical exercise but can't exert ourselves to extreme, motions promote absorption, and digestion and blood circulation should be gentle and well-designed".
Five Animal Play: Monkey, Crane, Bear, Tiger and Deer thetaoistcenter.com
Based on Hua Tuo's theory of health and wellbeing, the Five Animal Play, also known as "Remedy Dancing", are gentle and relaxing movements which can clear blockages, emotional and physical by releasing negative energy and let the energy flow smoothly within the body, therefore help to maintain the harmonious existence of body, mind and spirit to prevent diseases and prolong life.
During thousands years of development, the Five Animal Play has evolved into 80 different forms and styles, some of the movements were kept secrets to certain practitioner and the group who practice it. But you can always search at Youtube for a full version of the each movement of the Five Animal Play and find a style of your own liking. My personal preference is the movements demonstrated and taught by Master DingHai Yu from Shanghai Chinese Medicine College.
For those who are new to these exercises, the first few times might put you into a challenge, a challenge of relaxing to focus and connect with yourself despite internal noises from your head and external noises from your environment.
Five Animal Play Ancient Demonstration Pictures qing.weibo.com
During the exercises, some may yawn, some may laugh, some may even cry. But that's all normal when you are clearing your energy blockages. Just be gentle with yourself and don't push too hard. Once you practice more, your movements will become harmonious and effortless and eventually lead you to a blissful flow stage, you and your movements are one.
You can purchase a set of DVD online and study at your spare time. It is recommended to have a light meal and wear loose clothes before practice. These are exercises require no specific skills and tools and can be practised at any time when you feel like giving your body and mind a Zen-like retreat.