This is one of the most commonly practiced series of Qigong movements in the world. Shibashi means eighteen in Chinese. I hope that you enjoy this series as much as I do. It is designed to enhance the general health and wellbeing of the practitioner and can be both energizing and deeply relaxing as well as a joy to practice. I love the natural imagery these movements invoke. Drop into the energetic felt sense of being in your body as it moves rather than worrying too much about doing each movement exactly right.
1. Mist rising from the lake (Raising and lowering hands)
Inhaling: Raise arms to shoulder level, wrists loose.
Exhaling: Relax elbows, sink into the knees slightly and lower arms to your sides.
2. Opening the heart at the top of the mountain (Opening the heart to what Is)
Inhaling: Raise arms to shoulder level then turning palms to face each other, open arms out to the sides.
Exhaling: Bring arms together with palms facing each other until chest width apart, then turn palms down and lower them to the sides while sinking into the knees slightly.
3. Casting the Rainbow
Inhaling: Raise arms above head in a bow shape, palms facing each other. Gently swing the arc formed by the arms from one side to the other as you transfer the weight from one leg to the other. Inhaling on the upswing. Exhaling on the downswing. Finish with arms overhead. Exhaling to lower arms to the sides.
4. Parting the Clouds
Exhaling: Bending down slightly to scoop with entwined hands.
Inhaling: Raising the body as you lift arms and hands up through the midline of the body and then over head following the arm movement with your eyes. Then rotating the palms until they face outward.
Exhaling: Separate arms (parting the clouds), lowering them sideways while squatting down slightly to gather another scoop.
5. Floating Silk in the Air
Begin with elbows at the sides and forearms stretched out in front at shoulder height, palms up.
Exhaling: Turn waist to the right, right arm arcs down to the side and then up behind the body until both arms stretched out, one behind and one in front, palms up.
Inhaling: Pushing with the right palm forward while the left (up turned palms) pulls gently back until the left hand and arm is behind the body and the right is in front.
Allowing the waist to turn from side to side.
6. Rowing Across the Big Lake
Inhaling: Raise arms in a circular motion back and upwards above shoulder.
Exhaling: Sink gently into the knees and lower hands to the front as if rowing a boat. Palms open and soft.
7. Raising the Sun
Inhaling: Raise left arm diagonally in front of the body to the level of the right shoulder, palm up while shifting weight onto the right leg allowing left heel come up. There is a gentle twist in the torso, and the back of the right hand touches the lower back.
Exhaling: Turn the left palm to face down, lower left hand, shift weight through center and repeat on opposite side.
8. Gazing at the Moon
Inhaling: Holding palms facing each other about 10 inches apart, shift weight on left leg. Turn waist to left and raise arms up and back over your left shoulder and look between the hands (gazing at the moon).
Exhaling: Keeping the palms opposite each other, guide them to the front by lowering arms, untwisting the waist and sinking slightly into the knees. Inhaling: Continue to the other side.
9. The Wind Rustles Lotus Leaves
(Turn Waist and Push with Palms) Start with hands at waist, palms up.
Exhaling: Turn waist to the left, right palm pushes out as thumb turns toward the ground.
Inhaling: Make a fist with the right had while twisting the wrist so that the loosely closed fingers are now facing up while also pulling the right hand back to the waist.
Exhaling: Repeat on the other side.
10. Wave Hands Like Clouds
Inhaling: Turn slightly to the right at waist, raising left hand in front of your face, palm facing you.
Exhaling: Turn waist to left while left hand stays in front of the eyes until the body pivots all the way around and the left hand continues to float out to the side and slightly behind the body.
Inhaling: Right arm, palm facing body, is rising towards the face, while left arm is dropping.
Exhaling: The right palm comes in front of the eyes as the waist slowly turns around to the left while the right palm stays in front of the eyes rotating all the way around to the right.
11. Pushing back Waves
Start by taking a small step out with the left leg, raise hands to shoulder level, elbows down, wrists loose.
Exhaling: Shift weight onto left leg and push arms out in a wave-like motion. Inhaling: Transfer weight back on right leg and bring arms back to body at shoulder height. Both feet remain on the ground. Push out six times, then switch sides.
12. Scooping the Ocean and Looking at the Sky
Start by stepping forward with the left leg.
Exhaling: Shift weight onto the left leg while bending down as if to scoop up imaginary water.
Inhaling: Shifting the weight on to back leg while lifting the cupped hands upward above the face. Then opening the hands as if to splash water on the face and look at the sky. Step back and switch sides after each splash.
13. Dragon Emerging from the Sea (Punching with Fists)
Start with elbows bent, forearms parallel to ground and loose fists facing upward.
Exhaling: Punch forward with right fist while turning it to face down.
Inhaling: Draw fist back in toward the body while rotating fingers to face upward again.
Exhaling: Punch forward with left fist while turning fingers to face down.
I4. The Dove Spreads her Wing
Start with a small step forward with left foot and hands in front of shoulders, palms facing out.
Exhaling: Shift weight and lean out over the left leg while opening arms like wings out and in front of the chest.
Inhaling: Bring both palms back in toward the heart as you rock back onto the back leg.
Repeat six times, then switch sides.
15. Flying the Wild Goose
Exhaling: Bending knees and swinging arms down to cross in front of knees.
Inhaling: rising up onto straight legs and possibly even onto toes while lifting arms out to the sides and up over head.
Exhaling: Slowly lowering arms to the sides as you squat down slightly to repeat.
16. Windmill Turning in the Breeze (Turning the Wheel of the Dharma)
Inhaling: Raise both arms towards the left and above your head in a circular motion.
Exhaling: Continue circling the arms towards the right and downwards while bending the waist forward and sinking into the knees. Continue circling 3-5 times, inhaling on the upswing and exhaling on the down swing.
Then switch directions.
17. Stepping out of Suffering
Inhaling: Raising the right arm in front to shoulder height and at the same time raising the left knee as if taking a step.
Exhaling: Lowering both on the exhale.
Repeat on the other side.
18. Gathering the Fragrance of the Earth (Balancing the Qi to Close)
Inhaling: Squat down as if to gather fragrance from the earth and come up while raising cupped palms up until shoulder level.
Exhaling: Turn palms down and slowly press palms toward the ground, near the body to about waist level, sinking into the knees slightly.
Repeat. After finishing the movements, place your palms on your lower belly (Dantien). Men place right hand over left; women vice-versa. Stand still for a minute or as long as you feel comfortable and sense the energy in your body.