Today within the practice of Tai Chi many of its practitioners use such tools like that of the Tai Chi Sword (Jian) or Tai Chi Fan (Shan). Whereas, those who practice Qigong also use such tools like the Wooden Ball or a Short Stick which are held in each hand to strengthen their muscles and tendons while practicing their movements , likewise within the practice of the “Eight Trigram Palms” (Bagua Zhang) they are taught to use a long pole which should be taller in height of the individual, they then place one end of the pole ion the ground in the centre of an imaginary circle, the other end of the pole is resting on the individuals forearm, the pole should be held at a 45 degree angle while the individual begins to walk around he pole in a circle suddenly changing direction and height while remaining in contact with the pole at all times.
There are eight different short palm forms that the individual learns and performs while walking around the pole in a circle using twisting, turning actions of the whole body to develop muscle, tendon and joint flexibility, while all times remaining in contact with the pole. What particular Bagua palm form is performed on ons side of the body should also then be repeated on the opposite side this will develop the individuals co-ordination, concentration and balance. The speed that the individual uses to walk around the pole can be performed slowly with co-ordinated deep breathing to help them cultivate and circulate their Qi to strengthen their health or if they wish the individual can walk at a much faster pace, speeding up the whole of their actions to develop their cardio fitness and stamina levels as well as improving their flexibility.
Learning the Bagua Zhang Pole Walking Qigong Exercise offers the practitioner another option to help them maintain their practice when they do not have a training partner to work with. It is suitable for everyone, irrespective of age or gender and is a very enjoyable exercise that will and can help to strengthen and improve everyones physical, mental, emotional and energetic attributes. For as we all grow older our body and mind will gradually begin to weaken and unless we learn to look after ourselves we can end up losing our own independence And having to rely on family and friends to look after us.
If you were to walk into any Chinese park in he early mornings you would be able to see individuals and groups of people practicing a variety of exercises that involve the use of swords, fans and poles to help them become fit and healthy. Bagua Zhang Pole Walking Qigong Exercise can be practiced within a small area, you simply need a long pole and to wear loose clothing that you can feel relaxed in and does not restrict your ability to move your body freely, you can practice inside or outside all you need to give is your time and effort to help develop your health, fitness and wellbeing.