Thursday, March 13, 2008

Five Animal Frolics Qigong class

Crane positions cultivate balance and graceful movement. They especially enhance heart health, and cool and relax your entire body

Monkey improves agility and strengthens spine and shoulders. The movements keep the stomach, spleen, and pancreas healthy, and improve digestion. These postures also can bring relief to shoulder and neck problems.

Tiger teaches speed and upper-body strength in arm and hand joints and muscles. Tiger moves are good for the lungs and the spine, and one of the moves is especially good for the relief of arthritis.
Bear builds strong bones and lower body strength in lower back, leg joints and muscles. These moves are also good for the health of the kidneys, urinary, and reproductive organs. They help you build stamina and vitality.

Deer develops flexibility and strengthens tendons and ligaments; stretches the spine and the legs.

I no longer teach Five Animal Frolics Classes but here is an excellent video class I'm sure you will benefit from and enjoy!


Five Animals is not only an excellent practice for adults, it's great for kids, too. Studies have shown that children who participated in qigong classes were more calm and relaxed, had longer-lasting levels of energy, suffered fewer illnesses, and missed fewer days of school. Students who practiced qigong were better able to focus and concentrate in school, too. Qigong is currently being researched as an alternative therapy for ADD and ADHD.
If the longer forms of tai-chi are more than you can or want to learn, this is a great alternative. The practice for each animal is made up of five easy movements. Being related to each other and grouped together as they are makes the practices for the animals easy to learn and remember. 


Recorded 1,800 years ago, the Five Animal Frolics may very well be the oldest written expression of preventative as well as rejuvenating medical qigong practice. (Even though this practice was prescribed due to its medicinal benefits, please do not confuse this with Medical Qigong which is another style altogether.)

The creator of the Frolics is purported to be a doctor named Hua Tou who lived from (approximately) 110 to 207 CE/AD. A famous Chinese acupuncturist, herbalist, and surgeon, he preferred simple cures to the more complex variety. He is credited with developing the principle of preventative medicine, avoiding illness and disease through the performance of exercises like the Five Animal Frolics. 

Hua Tou lived to be 97 years old, and it is said that he was an energetic and vibrant man until his untimely death at the hand of a mistrustful army general. His long-time assistant Wu Pu recorded the Frolics as a practice titled "The Five Animal Classic," and probably practiced them too, given that he lived to the ripe old age of 90.

No comments: