Eight Silk Brocade

This is a daily routine intended to balance the energy centres, stretch and refresh the body and open up your energy channels. Keep the movement soft and flowing, for more strengthening exercise bring tension into extensions.

1. Reach up to the sky
Hold the hands at the tan Tien facing each other, rise lifting the hand up to the shoulders and push up above you (onto tip toes if you feel well balanced). Sweep the arms down sideways.
Breathe in as you rise, breathe out pushing up, a short breath in and then breathe out as you lower. Repeat 8 times.
Transition – As the hands sweep down the last time, come down as far as the heart centre and sweep into the heart while widening the stance.

2. The Archer
Draw the hands into the heart, cross the hands and the extend out to the sides as though drawing a bow, looking in the direction you are pointing. Draw back into the heart and repeat to the other side. Breathe out as you draw the bow and breathe in as you sweep in. 4 times to each side.

Transition – As you sweep in the last time narrow the stance to shoulder width, from the heart raise one hand up and the other goes down to the earth.

3. Heaven and Earth
One hand pushes up and the other down. Draw the hands together passing at the heart and then push up and down with the opposite hands. Breathe in as you draw the hands together and breathe out pushing. 4 times to each side.

Transition – After the last push, draw the hands to the heart, turn the hands upwards and slowly open out to the sides.

4. Sideways bend
Breathe out, pushing the hands out to the side, at shoulder height. Bend sideways, one hand going down the leg the other coming across over the head. Feel a slight stretch in the side. Rise and push out to the sides, repeat to the other side. 4 times each side.

Transition – push the hands to the side and then sweep them back in towards the heart.

5. Looking behind
The hands embrace at the heart. Turn the waist, turn the neck and turn the eyes so that you end up looking behind yourself. At the same time turn the hands over so that they face away from the heart. Breathe out as you turn, breathe in coming back to the front. Repeat 4 times to each side.

Transition – shake the arms if you want to release tension, then come back to embrace at the heart. Slowly open the arms out to the side as if drawing out the chi. Pause for a few seconds with the arms extended at the heart, then turn the hands over and push downwards towards the tan tien.

6. Gathering the moon
Nurture at the tan tien. Sweep both hands up and behind you in a large circle, breathing in as you raise the hands and out as they come back down to the tan Tien. Sink slightly as the hands come down (if you feel strong sink lower, keeping the back straight). Repeat 8 times.

Transition – slowly open the hands outwards level with the tan tien.

7. Churning the Golden Sun
Open the hands in front of the tan tien as if holding a golden sun between them. Rising, lift the golden sun in front of the body up to the head. Bring the hands back and then down the sides of the body. As if the golden sun is passing through the body. Breathe in lifting the sun and breathe out as it goes through the body Repeat 8 times.

8. Look up at the Sun
Lift the Golden sun above the head, stretching up and looking up at it. Bend the knees, bend forward, bringing the sun down. Straighten the legs, and bring the sun behind the lower back. Again bend the knees, sinking, and then rising up again. Breathe as you raise the sun, breathe out lowering. Repeat 4 times.

Finish by churning the Golden sun three more times and then standing in a relaxed position for a short time.