Yi Jin Jing (Muscle/Tendon
Yi Jin Jing is one of the most widely practiced conditioning exercise
sets in Chinese martial arts. Its long existence and its adoption
by a diverse collection of martial artists have lead to numerous variations.
The set is intended to build flexibility and strength in the tendons
and muscles while developing a coordinated strength from the ground.
Additionally, the progressive stretch/release cycles promote relaxation
and are said to stimulate qi flow throughout the body. The name of
the set can be translated as Yi – transform/change, Jin –
muscles/tendons/fascia, Jing – Classic/classical method.
hands in front of chest, AKA The first form of Weituo Presenting
a pestle, Praying palm
arms to carry an evil-banishing pole, AKA Shouldering grain
with a pole
up the sky with both hands, AKA Separating chaff from the
Exchanging stars, AKA Carrying a sack of grain on your
the ox cart, AKA Pulling back nine bulls by the tail, Pulling
the ox’s tail
talons and spreading wings
ghosts drawing sabers, AKA Carrying grain on your back
pound lift, AKA Three bends on the ground, Three dishes
falling on the ground, The body rises and falls, Unloading baskets
showing claws, AKA Wrapping straw mats around the grain
tiger pouncing on its prey, AKA Farmer searching for locusts
bowing, AKA Bend trunk strike drum, AKA Gathering Grain
head and wag tail, AKA Scooping up the grain
Most of the exercises follow a coordination
of progressive extension from the ground, and relaxation back to the
- Toes lightly grip with a suction feeling
- Body comes forward slightly activate the calves
- Use a feeling of drawing up to the buttocks
- Lightly tuck the buttocks up toward the dan tien
- Elongate the torso
- Stretch up the back, shoulders, arms
- Release the stretch using the opposite sequence
There are many possible complex breathing
patterns. The pattern that we use has the following principles:
- Inhale on stretch for most of the exercises
- Exhale on release
- Feeling the breathe drawing up the body in coordination with the
- On the exhale, let all tension and fullness flow down to the dan
tien and then to the feet
- To ensure that you are not building up pressure in the body, let
the exhale be longer than the inhale. There can be a soft, nature
pause at the end of the exhale. That pause will start a reflex for
the next inhale, rather than having it start with a conscious effort.
- Note: Touch toes has opposite breath
/ Low Valleys (Yin/Yang)
One key aspect of this qigong set is
the progressive stretch and progressive relaxation. Similar sequential
methods are found in many qigong, relaxation and body awareness arts.
The stretch and fullness is intended to be ordered and expressed completely.
The relaxation is also ordered and felt deeply. This full alternation
between yin and yang is sometimes stated as high peaks, low
valleys. This cycle is intended to smooth the flow of qi throughout
the body. At a more tangible level, you become aware of your relaxation
and tension, you promote the flow of fluids and achieve a calm mind.
Related qigong sets: Wu 15 (which may be a version of yi jin jing),
Wu 24, Chen hun yuan, Chen reeling silk, ba duan gin.
Qigong Outgoing qi Therapy,” Bi Yoncheng.
Illustrated: Ancient way to keep fit,” compiled by Zhong Wu
and Li Mao.
Arts of the Shaolin Temple, and Ancient guide to Inner strength
and Health,” Ted Knecht.
at the Gate of Life and other Healing Exercises from China,”
Official Manual of the People’s Republic of China.
Exercises for Life Enhancement,” Yu Gongbao.
Qigong,” Steven Kuei and Stephen Comee.
jin jing by 32nd generation Shaolin monk Shi De Qian,” Video.