Dragon Qigong


A Chinese Chi Kung E
xercise Regimen
For Fitness, Fun, Increased Vitality, Calmness, Vigor, Good Health and Longevity

Qigong (Chi Kung) Internal Energy Cultivation Methods, Chinese Yoga
Ancient Chinese Healing Exercises: Daoyin (To Guide and Pull) and Yang Sheng Fa (Nourishing Life Methods)
Wu Qin Xi:
Five Animal Frolics
The Eight Animal Frolics Qigong Series: The Dragon, Long Chi Kung, 龍


Introduction     Lessons     Bibliography     Links     Routines    

Quotations     Home     Cloud Hands Blog


Research and Lessons by 
Michael P. Garofalo

© Valley Spirit Qigong, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2012
By Michael P. Garofalo, M.S., All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer

 

 

 

 

五禽戲

 

Animal Frolics Qigong


Bear     Tiger     Monkey     Deer     Crane     Dragon     Animal Frolics
 

 

 

Enter the Dragon's Gate

行大道

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction
Dragon Qigong

 

 

"Qi" is the Chinese word for energy, life-force, vitality, and aliveness.  Qi (or Chi) is similar in meaning to the term Prana in Hatha Yoga, and Ki in Japanese.  Qi is associated with breathing, the energetic aspects of respiration, blood flow, and the pathways for energy flow in the body.  "Gong" is the word for achievement through a disciplined practice, hard work towards mastery, and dedicated self-development.  Qigong (or Chi Kung) is a modern Chinese term for the ancient Chinese fitness exercises (Dao Yin), self-help health practices, longevity methods (Yangsheng Fa), meditation methods, and transformational body-mind practices.  

Dragon Qigong is a regimen of physical exercises used to achieve physical fitness, increase one's vitality, improve one's flexibility and strength, revitalize the circulatory and energy pathways, and enhance one's overall health and well being.  It can also be used as part of a mental self-development program to reduce stress, achieve clarity of mind, improve concentration, develop a positive mind set, and attain inner peace.  Practicing in a group offers opportunities for socializing and making contact with friends.  It is used by some people as a method for meditation, a religious ritual, and for spiritual transformation.

Exercises that involve twisting, turning, screwing, spiraling, curving, wiggling, undulating, spinning, sinking down and rising up, swimming, circling, swinging, or twining movements are often associated with snakes, serpents and dragons.  There are many Qigong sets and specific Qigong movements that have been called "Dragon" forms, sets, or exercises.  Baguazhang martial arts feature much twisting, turning and circling; and, also include many "Dragon" sets and movements.  Silk Reeling exercises in Chen Style Taijiquan include twisting, twining, circling, and screwing kinds of movements. 

Dragon Qigong is normally, but not exclusively, associated with Taoist practices from Wudang Mountain in China.  There are both ancient and modern Wudang styles of Qigong, Taijiquan, swordsmanship, and Baguazhang.  Also, some Shaolin Kung Fu and Chinese martial arts are named the "Dragon Style." 

The mythology, lore, customs, beliefs, astrology, religious connotations, sculpture, and art involving the Dragons of East Asia are sometimes integrated into the physical, mental, or spiritual practices of body-mind arts like the Dragon Qigong.  For example, some aspects of Taoist inner alchemy and Qigong are intended to enable one's spirit to Leap Through the Dragon's Gate, enter the Mind-Spirit Matrix of the Dragons, and attain immortality.

Dragons are a symbol of transformation and change.  Dragons can change shape, size, personality, and domicile.  Human beings can also transform themselves, unlike most animals.  We can learn new skills and occupations.  We can learn new languages.  We can reshape our bodies through exercise, nutrition and surgery.  We can wear new clothes and costumes.  We can change where we live.  We can adopt a new religion, new philosophy, new world view.  With new technologies we can fly, go underwater, dig deep into the earth, even walk on the moon.  We are creative creatures who can transform ourselves and our environment.  We have many powers of the Dragons. 

The East Asian Dragons are often associated with water, rain, vapors, fog, springs, streams, waterfalls, rivers, swamps, lakes, and the ocean.  Water can take many shapes and states, and Dragons are shape shifters and linked with transformation, appearing and disappearing, changing into something new.  Water is found in three states, depending upon the surrounding temperature: a solid (ice, snow), a fluid (flowing liquid), and a gas (fog, vapor, steam).  Since rainfall is often accompanied by thunder and lightening (thunderstorms and typhoons), the Dragon is sometimes associated with fire; and, since hot water and steam are major sources of energy in human culture, this further links the Dragon with the essential energy of Fire.  The Dragon is thus linked with the chemical and alchemical transformative properties of two of the essential Elements, both Water and Fire.  Dragons are generally benign or helpful to humans in East Asia, but their powers can also be destructive (e.g., flooding, tsunami, typhoon, lightening, steam, drowning, etc.).  There are both male and female Dragons, kinds or species of Dragons, Dragons of different colors and sizes, and mostly good but some evil Dragons.  Some Dragons can fly, some cannot fly; most live in or near water, a few on land.  The body of a Dragon combines features from many animals, representing the many possibilities for existential presence.  The Dragon in the East has serpentine, snake, or eel like movement qualities: twisting, spiraling, sliding, circling, swimming, undulating, flowing freely like water.  Dragons and Tigers are important symbols in Taoist alchemy, and Dragons are given associations such as: Yang energy, Yang Encompassing Yin, Heaven, Furnace, Mercury, Sun, Left side, Stillness, Rest, Autumn, Kidneys, etc.; although such correspondences are often perplexing.  For more discussion of this topic, please refer to the book The Dragon in China and Japan by Marinus De Visser, 1913. 

This webpage provides a comprehensive bibliography and links to various styles of Dragon Qigong, its history, and its Taoist and integral body-mind arts associations.  Links to other styles of Qigong are provided.  My own version of Dragon Qigong is explained and illustrated in a set of lessons.  Some quotes from related sources are provided.  A more detailed study of various documented routines and styles of Dragon Qigong is provided. 

Hopefully, some of you will decide to add the practice of Dragon Qigong to your fitness practices or body-mind transformational practices.  I am sure you will benefit in many ways from the diligent and daily practice of Dragon Qigong. 

Best wishes for good health, happiness, and success in the Year of the Water Dragon in 2012.

Sincerely,

Mike Garofalo 
May 2012 

 

 

 

   

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Bibliography, Links and Resources
Dragon Qigong, Long Chi Kung, Daoyin, Yangsheng Gong

 

A Note to Readers:  The Cloud Hands webpages have been online continuously since 2001.  In 2009, over 1,350,000 webpages (excluding graphics) were served to readers around the world from the egreenway.com websites: Cloud Hands T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Valley Spirit Chi Kung, Walking, Taoism, Yoga, etc.  Since 2005, I have also provided information about Taijiquan, Qigong, Walking, Gardening, Mysticism, and the Eight Ways at my Cloud Hands Blog.  Since the these mind-body arts websites are very well-established and stable websites, they provide readers with a good and secure starting point for their online research into Chi Kung, Taijiquan, Walking, Meditation, and the Daoist-Druid matrix.  The Cloud Hands websites are funded entirely by Green Way Research, with volunteer efforts by Michael P. Garofalo
     Unfortunately, as everyone knows, many other websites and webpages, documents, and videos appear and then disappear from the Internet scene.  Authors do not pay to keep up their web hosting services, loose a "free hosting" option, change filenames, recode away from HTML, or decide to remove the webpages for various reasons.  Consequently, links to some good webpages or videos become invalid and the files are no longer found on the Internet.  You may find a some of these "dead links" to nonexistent webpages or videos cited below; and, there is no way to avoid this troublesome situation.  For this reason, when you do find a good and useful webpage, be sure to save the webpage to a folder on your hard drive or server. 
     I welcome your suggestions for how to improve this webpage.  Your comments, ideas, contributions, and constructive criticism are encouraged.  Send your suggestions to my email box.

 

Alphabetical Subject Index to the Cloud Hands Taijiquan and Qigong Website


Animal Frolics Qigong    


Arousing the Dragon Qigong.  An instructional DVD by Grandmaster Yuanming Zhang.  


The Carp Leaps Through the Dragon's Gate


Chi Kung (Daoyin, Qigong): Bibliograpy, Resources, Links, Lessons  


Chinese Healing Exercises: The Tradition of Daoyin.  By Livia Kohn.  University of Hawaii Press, 2008.  268 pages.  ISBN: 0824832698.  History of Daoist health practices. 


The Chi Revolution: Harnessing the Healing Power of Your Life Force.  By Bruce Kumar Frantzis.  Berkeley, California, Blue Snake Books, 2008.  248 pages.  ISBN: 978-1583941935.  VSCL. 


Chronicles of Tao: The Secret Life of a Taoist Master.  By Deng, Ming-Dao.  Harper San Francisco, 1993.  496 pages.  ISBN: 0062502190.  
VSCL. 


Circle of the Dragon: Dragon and Serpent History and Mystery 


Cloud Hands Taijiquan and Qigong 


Cloud Hands Blog  By Mike Garofalo.


Correspondences and Alchemical Associations for the Dragon 



Dao of Dragon Chi Kung.  Detailed instruction by Shihfu Jiang JianYe.  Instructional VHS, 118 minutes.  Produced by the Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fu Association of New York, 2003.  Subtitle: "Traditional Daoist Yang Sheng Fa for Different Daoist Mountains."  This DVD is in color, filmed indoors in a studio, with clear voice over narrative.  The movement sequence for each posture is explained in detail and demonstrated at the same time.  An unhurried, patient, clear and complete lesson in English.  Both front and side views are shown for each posture along with the clear verbal explanation.  There are complete demonstrations of the entire form from a front view and a back view.
    "A good series of Chi Kung exercises from other than WuDang Daoism.  Inlcudes many dragon based exercises and Swimming Dragon moves.  The movements require you to be limber.  The include some squatting and twisting.  The theme of the entire series is dragon motions."  Sources: Plum Publications, and Wayfarer Publications and Jiang Jian-ye.  "By Jiang Jian-ye. He has combined forms from many Taoist sects into one form that contains stretching and whole body twisting to open key energy channels in the body. There is step-by-step teaching and multiple repetitions and views, plus reviews of segments and demonstrations at the beginning and at the conclusion. 118 Min."  VSCL. 

 

 

                                                  

 


Daoism: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Lessons 


Daoist Body Cultivation: Traditional Models and Contemporary Practices.  Edited by Livia Kohn.  University of Hawaii Press, 2006.  243 pages.  ISBN: 1931483051.  VSCL.   


Daoist Nei Gong: The Philosophical Art of Change   By Damo Mitchell.  Singing Dragon, 2011.  240 pages.  ISBN: 978-1848190658. 


The Dao of Taijiquan: Way to Rejuvenation.   By Tsung Hwa Jou.  Charles E. Tuttle, 1998.  3rd Edition.  233 pages.  ISBN: 0804813574.  An outstanding textbook on Tai Chi Chuan.  All styles are introduced and explained.  A very informative introduction to the philosophy and practices of Tai Chi Chuan.  VSCL. 


Daoist Studies and Practices: Ripening Peaches  


Dao-Yin is the term used to identify ancient Chinese healing exercises.  The word 'Dao' means to guide, to lead, to show the way, The Way.  The word 'Yin' means to pull, to stretch out, to lengthen.  Dao-Yin is an ancient term, with many similarities with the 20th century term 'Qigong." 


Deer Frolic Qigong  


The Dragon and the Tiger  The Inner Alchemy of Water and Fire 


Dragon and Tiger in Taoism: Notes and Chart 


Dragon and Tiger Qigong 


Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong: A Miracle Health System for Developing Chi  By Master Bruce Frantzis.  Berkeley, California, North Atlantic Books, 2010.  245 pages.  ISBN: 1556439210.  Energy Arts Curriculum.  "Dragon and Tiger is a 1500-year old self-healing medical Chi Gung (Qi gong or chi kung) system based on acupuncture.  It is sometimes called meridian line chi gung because it helps free you of energetic (chi) blockages by balancing the chi flow that runs through the acupuncture meridians or channels of the body.  Invigorating, yet calming, Dragon and Tiger helps you to release stress and mitigate pain and illness."  VSCL. 


The Dragon Dao-Yin Exercises  By Damo Mitchell.  Lotus Nei Gong Publishing, 2010.  151 pages.  ISBN: 9781446762547.  VSCL.


Dragon Door Chi Kung.  Presentation by Shihfu Jian JianYe.  Instructional VHS, 121 minutes.  "There is a great deal of emphasis here on gathering energy and spinal twisting (light and safely done). A very decent and reasonable regimen for those looking for Chi Kung. Some difficulties but anything in the routine can be modified to the beginner. Some very logical and well planned sections."  VSCL (VHS).  Source One: Plum Publications.   Source Two: Wayfarer Publications: "By Jiang Jian-ye. This video teaches a Taoist qigong method from the famous Wu Dang Mountain. There is a demonstration followed by step-by-step teaching of the 14 postures, which include subroutines. It is taught at slow and regular speed with multiple repetitions and views. There are reviews of segments and at the end there is a demonstration from the front and rear. 112 Min." 


Dragon Gate Cave Taoist Temple


Dragon Gate Chi Gong Daoyin Therapy.  A combination of traditional Chinese Chi Gong and Daoyin Techniques.  Master Tao Dawson. 


Dragon Gate Chi Kung.  Featuring Dr. Gordon Xu.  Instructional VHS videotape, 64 minutes.  China's Living Treasures Series, Volume 26.  This webpage includes a 3:41 minutes UTube Video.  "Doctor Gordon Xu (Xu Guo Rong) of Shanghai is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine. He received training at the Shanghai Medical Institute. He worked at the Huang Pu District Central Hospital and the Shanghai Tui Na Center Hospital. He studied acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine under head of staff, Dr. Lee Yan Fong, top student of Dr. Lu Shou Yan, China's foremost acupuncturist prior to the communist revolution. At the Shanghai Tui Na Hospital he studied under head of staff, Dr. Wan Ming Ming. In addition to mastering five systems of tui na (chinese therapeutic massage), he is also a master of the Dragon Gate Chi Kung system. His teacher Master Yi Chien Liang 1895-1986, nicknamed "one flower that faces heaven", was a Taoist monk from the Wan So Temple (10,000 years Longevity Temple). Dr. Xu was Master Yi's primary student and named by him as the 22nd generation successor to the Taoist Dragon Gate (Chuan Zhen Pai) system. This system, founded by Wan Chong Yang, dates back to the Sung dynasty (960-1127). On this tape Doctor Xu demonstrates three levels of chi kung practice." 


Dragon Gate Taoist Sect of the Complete Reality School of Taoism (Longmen, Lóngménpài 龙门派).  


Dragon Gazes at the Sea:  Description: The Complete Book of Chinese Health and Healing, Daniel Reid, 1995, pp. 216-218.


The Dragon in China and Japan.  By Marinus Willem De Visser (1876-1930).  Originally published in 1913.  Edited with an introduction by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman.  Cosimo Classics, 2008.  258 pages.  ISBN: 1605204099.  VSCL. 


Dragon Qigong, Eight Dragons Qigong, Ba Long Qigong, Presented by Mike Garofalo, M.S.  Instructions and descriptions of the eight movements.  PDF File. 


Dragon Qigong 


Dragon Qigong - Google 


Dragons and Dragon Lore  


Dragons and Dragon Lore by Ernest Ingersoll, 1928. 


Dragons and Tigers:  The Daoist Inner Alchemy of Water and Fire  


Dragons, Dragon Art and Dragon Lore in Japan and China 


Dragon's Gate: The Carp Leaps Through the Dragon's Gate 


Dragon Kung Fu 


Dragon's Play: A New Taoist Transmission of the Complete Experience of Human Life.  By Charles Belyea and Steven Tainer.  Illustrations by Xiao-Lun Lin.  Berkeley, California, Great Circle Lifeworks,  1991.  196 pages.  ISBN: 0962930814.  VSCL. 


Dragon Rises, Red Bird Flies: Psychology & Chinese Medicine  By Leon I. Hammer.  Eastland Press, 2005.  438 pages.  


Dragon Staff, Choy La Fut Style, Kung Fu short staff weapon.  UTube Video, 1:14. 


Dragon Terms:  1) In Sanskrit, in India, Naga is the term for all serpentine creatures, including the dragon.  2)  The Chinese world for "dragon" is Lóng, 龍.  3)  The Chinese word for a "blue/green dragon" is Qinglóng, 青龍 .  In the Japanese language the word for "dragon" is Ryu 龍 or 竜, or Tatsu 辰; a blue/green dragon is Seiryu 青龍, and a Dragon King is Ryu-o, Ryuu-ou 龍王, 竜王.  In Korean, the term for "dragon" is Yong, 용. 


Dragon Yoga: Google


Dragon Yoga Website  


Dragon Yoga  Instructional DVD, 30 Minutes, 2009.    


Eight Section Brocade Qigong, Ba Duan Jin  


The Emperor's Seal of the Dragon  


Enter the Dragon Gate 行大道: The blog of Shen Laoshi and the Neidan methodologies of Longmen Pai. 


Fire Dragon Qigong.  Grandmaster Lu Zijian Dragon Gate Daoism.  Interesting article on Neigug by Chen Zhiming. 


Five Animal Frolics Qigong 


Five Dragon Qigong   Master Zhongxian Wu.  Five Dragon Qigong, Wulong Qigong is "based on the ancient Chinese cosmological principle of the Five Elements.  From the perspective of this philosophy, the universe is constructed of five elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. Each element contains its own characteristic qi and a natural cycle exists through which the qi of one element is transformed into another. Peace and harmony exist when the qi of the five elements flows freely through this cycle. As part of the natural world, a person will maintain health if five element qi flows well in their body and is in harmony with the environment. The Wulong Qigong form has five different postures related to the five organ systems.  Through daily practice, one is able to work with each elemental qi in his or her own body and transform one element of qi into another.  The harmonious state acquired through daily practice of Wulong gong can help to release disease and maintain health."   


The Five Elemental Dragons: 1. The Earth Dragon (Horse Stance).  2.  The Fire Dragon (Warrior Pose).  3.  The Metal Dragon (Tiger Stance).  4.  The Water Dragon (Uncoiled Serpent Pose).  5.  The Wood Dragon (Tree Pose).  By Jeremy Safron, Dragon Yoga. 


Five Elements Chart  


Five Elements Qigong


Flying Dragon Qigong, Nine Dragon Baguazhang, Official Jiulong Baguazhang Website, Dr. John Painter 


Four Dragon Guardians of the Four Compass Directions  


Frolics Qigong 


Golden Dragon Chi Kung Conditioning Exercise Program


The Great Stillness: The Water Method of Taoist Meditation Series, Vol. 2  By Bruce Kumar Frantzis.  Berkeley, North Atlantic Books, 2001.  272 pages.  ISBN: 978-1556434082. 

 

 

                              

 

 


Harmonizing Yin and Yang  Translation and notes on the "Dragon-Tiger" Classic.   A Manual of Taoist Yoga: Internal, External, and Sexual.  Translated by Eva Wong.  Shambhala Publications, 1997.  160 pages. 


The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong and Tai Chi 
By Roger Jahnke, O.M.D..  Chicago, Contemporary Books, 2002.   Index, notes, extensive recommended reading list, 316 pages.  ISBN: 0809295288.  VSCL. 


History of Blue Dragon Qigong  


Jade Dragon Website 


Lifestyle Advice From Wise Persons 


Lohan Shaolin Buddhist Qigong


Long Chi Kung


Longhua Quan (Wudang Dragon Form) includes 28 movements. UTube Video, 1:37.  "Wudang Mountains is comprised of both the Northern and the Southern Kungfu traditions. The Southern tradition is focused on hand to hand combat, while the Northern tradition is most famous for it's leg work. Longhua Quan is from Northern Wudang and is mainly known for its intricate leg movements. When practicing this form we can see the dragon's characteristics as well as its courage."  This fast form is demonstrated by Master Chen Shixing. 


Looking into "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" from Perspective of Chi, Tao, Chan &  Compassion.  By Michael Chung.


Magic Pearl Qigong: A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine and Meditation Technique.  Developed by Mike Garofalo. 


Magic Pearl Qigong


Muscle and Tendon Changing Qigong - Yi Jin Jing  


Myths and Lore about Dragons  


Nine Dragon Scroll   Chhen Jung, a Taoist poet and painter, painted the scroll in 1244.  He depicted the manifestation of dragons from the clouds and the ocean waves.  To Taoists, dragons were symbolic of the Way, a central belief.  They revealed themselves and then vanished in mystery.  This scroll contained information on the nine dragon sons.  View the Nine Dragon Scroll. 


Nourishing the Essence of Life: The Outer, Inner and Secret Teachings of Taoism.  Translated with and Introduction by Eva Wong.   Boston, Shambhala, 2004.   104 pages.  ISBN:  1590301048.
  VSCL. 


One Old Druid's Final Journey: Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove   


Opening the Dragon Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard.  By Chen Kaiguo and Zheng Shunchao.  Translated by Thomas Cleary.  Cheng Kaiguo and Zheng Shunchao are students of the modern Taoist master Wang Liping and live in Beijing.  Tuttle Publishing, 1998.  288 pages.  ISBN: 0804831858.  VSCL. 


Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body: Chi Gung for Lifelong Health (Tao of Energy Enhancement).  By Bruce Kumar Frantzis. 
Illustrated by Husky Grafx.  North Atlantic Books, 1993.  Second Edition.  174 pages.  ISBN: 1556431643.  VSCL.     


Qi Dragon Health and Healing    Featuring Julia Liping Julia Zhu.  San Francisco.  She is a certified Qigong instructor from China and a disciple of Taoist Master Yu Anren.  She is the Qigong instructor at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a licensed acupuncturist, and a Zen student of the San Francisco Zen Center.


Qigong Empowerment: A Guide to Medical, Taoist, Buddhist and Wushu Energy Cultivation Qi: Bibliography, Links, Resources and Quotations  By Liang, Shou-Yu and Wu, Wen-Ching.  Edited by Denise Breiter-Wu.  Rhode Island, Way of the Dragon Publishing, 1997.  Index, glossary, 348 pages.  ISBN: 18896590.  VSCL. 


Qigong Teachings of a Taoist Immortal: The Eight Essential Exercises of Master Li Ching-Yun.  By Stuart Alve Olson.  Heavenly Arts Press.  192 pages.  ISBN:  0892819456.  Excerpts  VSCL. 


Qigong (Chi Kung): Bibliography, Links, Quotations, Instructions, Lessons, Notes  


Qigong Meditation: Embroyonic Breathing.   By Yang, Jwing-Ming.  Boston, Mass., YMAA Publications, 2003.  Index, glossary, 389 pages.  ISBN: 1886969736.  VSCL. 


Realms of the Dragons Website  


Relaxing into Your Being: The Water Method of Taoist Meditation Series, Vol. 1 
By Bruce Kumar Frantzis.  Fairfax, California, Clarify Press, 1998.  Reader's Edition.  208 pages.  Republished by: North Atlantic Books, 2001, ISBN: 1556434073.  VSCL. 


The Root of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity, & Enlightenment.
  By Yang Jwing-Ming, PhD., 1946-.  YMAA Chi Kung Series #1.   Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Yang's Martial Arts Association, 1989.  Glossary, 272 pages.   ISBN: 0940871076.  VSCL. 


Relaxation, Calmness, Poise, Effortlessness 


Secrets of Ch'i Kung: Rise of the Dragon  By Tony Salvitti.  Volume II of series.  Kindle book, 2011. 


Secrets of the Dragon Gate: Ancient Taoist Practices for Health, Wealth, and the Art of Sexual Yoga.  By Dr. Steven Liu and Jonathan Blank.  New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin, 2011.  214 pages.  ISBN: 9781585428434.  VSCL. 


Shaolin Buddhist Lohan Qigong 


Silk Reeling Qigong


Southern Dragon Kung Fu  


The Spirit of the Five Animals: Shaolin Martial Arts.  By Tak Wah Eng.  Bo Law Kung Fu Federation, 2005.  171 pages.  Simple descriptions, with black and white photographs, for each animal form:  Dragon, Tiger, Leopard, Crane and Snake.  VSCL. 


Subject Index to the Cloud Hands Taijiquan and Qigong Website


The Swimming Dragon: A Chinese Way to Fitness, Beautiful Skin, Weight Loss and High Energy.  By Tzu Shi Kuo and T. K. Shih.  Edited by Charles Stein.  Station Hill Press, 1999.  160 pages.  ISBN: 0882680633.  VSCL. 

 

                             

 

 


Swimming Dragon Baguazhang, Sun Lu Tang's Baguazhang.  Demonstrated by Sifu Joshua Brown.  UTube Video, 3:10. 


Swimming Dragon Qi Gong  Instructional DVD by Franklin Fick, 2012, 24 Minutes. 


Swimming Dragon Qigong  UTube Video, 3:42 


Swimming Dragon Qigong: Google  


Swimming Dragon Qigong.   UTube Video, 3:46.  By Nando Reynolds. 


Swimming Dragon Tai Chi.  Julia Liping Zhu L.Ac., San Francisco. 


Swimming Dragon Qigong, Form 1, Tai Chi, Taichi Qigong, Taijyi Swimming Dragon Quan.  Demonstrated by Julia Liping Zhu.  UTube Video, 5:30.  "Taiyi Swimming Dragon Tai Chi / Qi Gong exercise. Originated from Taoist Wudang Mountain, China, this form is Master Yu Anren's family heirloom. This video is showing the first of three sequences, performed by Liping Julia Zhu in 1997 in San Francisco."


Swimming Dragon Qigong, Form 2, Tai Chi, Taiiyi Swimming Dragon Quan.  UTube Video, 4:43. 


Swinging Arms Exercises (Bai Bi Yun Dong, Swai Shou) 
 

Symbolism of the Dragon 


T'ai Chi Ch'uan 


Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi 


Taiyi Swimming Dragon Qigong, Form 1, Tai Chi, Taichi Qigong, Taijyi Swimming Dragon Quan.  Demonstrated by Julia Liping Zhu.  UTube Video, 5:30.  "Taiyi Swimming Dragon Tai Chi / Qi Gong exercise. Originated from Taoist Wudang Mountain, China, this form is Master Yu Anren's family heirloom."  Master Julia Liping Zhu also offers an instructional DVD on the Taiyi Swimming Dragon Qigong, Form 1, through her website Qi Dragon Healing Center in San Francisco.


Taiyi Swimming Dragon Qigong.  Demonstration by Mark Mardon.  UTube Video, 4:28.  


Tales of the Dancing Dragon: Stories of the Tao  By Eva Wong.  Shambhala, 2007.  176 pages.  ISBN: 978-1590305232. 


The Taoist Body.  By Kristofer Schipper.  Translated by Karen C. Duval.  Foreword by Norman Girardot.  Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1993.  Originally published in French in 1982 as Le Corps Taoiste.  Notes, bibliography, index, xx, 273 pages.  ISBN: 0520082249.  VSCL. 


Taoist Classics.  The Collected Translations of Thomas Cleary.  Boston, Shambhala Press.  Four Volumes:  Volume One, 296 pages, 2003.   Volume Two, 640 pages, 1999.   Volume Three, 304 pages, 2001.   Volume Four, 464 pages, 2003.  


Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques.   Edited by Livia Kohn.  Michigan Monographs in Chinese Studies, 1989.  398 pages.  ISBN: 0892640855.  VSCL. 


Taoist Studies and Practices: Ripening Peaches 


Temple Qigong


Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California 


Valley Spirit Qigong 


VSCL =  Valley Spirit Center Library, Red Bluff, California 


The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing
   By Kenneth S. Cohen.  Foreword by Larry Dossey.  New York Ballantine Books, 1997.  Index, notes, appendices, 427 pages.  ISBN: 0345421094.  One of my favorite books: comprehensive, informative, practical, and scientific.  VSCL. 


Way of the Cane and Short Staff  


The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine.  By Ted J. Kaptchuk, O.M.D..  Chicago, McGraw Hill Contemporary Books, 2nd Edition, 2000.  Index, bibliography, appendices, notes, 500 pages.  Foreword by Margaret Caudill, M.D., and by Andrew Weil, M.D.  ISBN: 0809228408.  An excellent introduction to traditional Chinese medicine and modern research on the topic.  VSCL. 


Wild Goose Qigong: Links, Bibliography, Quotes, Notes 


Wudang Dragon Form (Longhua Quan) includes 28 movements. UTube Video, 1:37.  "Wudang Mountains is comprised of both the Northern and the Southern Kungfu traditions. The Southern tradition is focused on hand to hand combat, while the Northern tradition is most famous for it's leg work. Longhua Quan is from Northern Wudang and is mainly known for its intricate leg movements. When practicing this form we can see the dragon's characteristics as well as its courage."  This fast form is demonstrated by Master Chen Shixing. 


Wudang Mountain Qigong, Taijiquan, and Baguazhang 


Wu Qin Xi, Five Animal Frolics Qigong 


Wuji Swimming Dragon   Francesco and Daisy Lee-Garripoli, Qigong: Beginning Practice 

 

                                              

 


Yang Sheng Fa  The Chinese program for "Life Nourishing Techniques" or "Methods for Nourishing Life" or "Longevity Methods."    Yang Sheng Fa includes exercises (e.g. Dao-Yin, Qigong, Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Yoga, Walking, etc.), a proper diet for a lean physique, good sleep and rest habits, self-massage, acupuncture, the proper use of herbs and medicine, wholesome habits and self-discipline, a productive occupation, adapting to seasonal changes, Feng Shui, enhancing mental health practices, ethical behavior, meditation, guidance and wellness coaching from masters, philosophy, and study. 


Yang Sheng Fa: Longevity Methods   


Yang Sheng Fa  By Neil Kingham
 

Yi Jin Jing - Muscle and Tendon Changing Qigong 


Yoga: Bibliography, Links, Quotations, Notes

 

 

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Lessons, Instructions, Suggestions, Comments
Dragon Qigong
By Mike Garofalo

 

1.  The Silver Dragon Gazes into the Mirror and then Spreads Open Its Wings

2.  The Blue Dragon Looks Back and Down at the Sea

3.  The White Dragon Plays in the Clouds 

4.  The Black Dragon Walks at the Edge of the Abyss

5.  The Orange Dragon Circles the Snowy Mountain  

6.  The Red Dragon Swims in the Lake 

7.  The Brown Dragon Hides in His Cave 

8.  The Green Dragon Shows His Claws 

 

Disclaimer

Some of the movements of Dragon Qigong may not be suitable for persons in poor health or recovering from injuries.  Qigong and Dao Yin exercises should only be practiced by persons with good mental health.  Consult with your trusted physician if you have any serious doubts about your health or readiness for the daily practice of body-mind arts and Yang Sheng Fa

 

General Comments about the Dragon Qigong Routine


Dragon Qigong, Eight Dragons Qigong, Ba Long Qigong, Presented by Mike Garofalo, M.S.  Instructions and descriptions of the eight movements.  PDF File. 

My notes about other Dragon Qigong routines that I have studied are found below.  I have studied and practiced over ten different Qigong routines since 1980.   

Dragon Qigong exercises tend to involve movements related to twisting, turning, circling, stretching, spiraling, silk reeling, curving, wiggling, undulating, spinning, sinking down and rising up, swimming, screwing, swinging, or twining.  

If you move slowly and deliberately while practicing this Qigong routine, you will more likely breath deeply, fully, and completely.  The faster you move the more likely you are to abandon attention to deep abdominal breathing. 

 

 

Dragon Qigong Routine Created by Michael P. Garofalo


 

1.  The Silver Dragon Gazes into the Mirror and then Spreads Open Its Wings


Stand with feet separated, or no more than 12" apart.  I prefer having the toes point out to the sides at an angle.  Bring both arms to the outside of your hips.  Your feet will remain flat on the ground during the entire exercise.  Pause in this Wuji position.  Inhale and exhale deeply a few times in the Wuji position: relax the abdomen as you inhale, draw the abdomen in as you exhale (natural abdominal breathing method).  Figure 1.1   

Slowly raise the arms up to the sides until they are high above your head.  Inhale as the arms come up.  The arms should be spread out from the body.  The arms are stretched high and slightly behind the shoulders.  Bend backwards from the waist.  Both palms face upward.  Figure 1.3    

As the arms move forward and down, simultaneously begin to bend the knees and begin to squat down.  Exhale as the arms move forward and down.   

Draw the arms forward and bring the elbows down towards the knees.  Bend the upper torso slightly forward.  Touch your elbows to your knees, if you can, without straining.  Figure 1.2   

Bring the hands gently together until the sides of the little fingers touch.  Fingers face up.  Imagine holding a beautiful polished silver mirror in your hands.  Look into the mirror.  Pause.  Stop breathing.  Figure 1.2

Squat at a height that is comfortable, mildly challenging, an appropriate for your level of conditioning.  Begin with a higher squat and go lower, if you can, as you increase the repetitions. 

Imagine that a Beautiful Magic Mirror suddenly appears as the little fingers of your hands touch, and disappears as the your hands move apart. 

Begin to inhale as you rise back up.  Open the arms, spread them out, bend back, and lift your arms as high as you can.  Gradually rise until you are standing tall.  End with you arms stretched long, spread wide apart, and drawn back.  Look up into the sky.  Both palms face up.  Complete the exhale and pause.  Relax (Sung).  Those persons with superior coordination and strength can also raise up their heels and stand on their toes; otherwise, keep the feet flat on the ground.  Figure 1.3

Flow gracefully from the high position with arms up and back, down to the low position of squatting, elbows to the knees, with hands beside one another in front of the body. 

Repeat this movement sequence for four to eight repetitions depending upon time available and/or your level of physical conditioning.  Don't hold the breath; breathe freely and easily in coordination with the movements.  Take your time; move slowly and deliberately and keep your balance steady. 

Return to the Wuji position and rest for a few moments.  Figure 1.1

This squatting movement engages muscles of the thighs (quadriceps) and buttocks (glutes).  The reaching upward movement engages the muscles of the shoulders and large muscles of the upper back (lats).  Using the large muscle groups helps to warm up the body.   

This movement is similar to the Hatha Yoga exercise of Chair Pose, Utkatasana, done in the Vinyasa flow style of Yoga.  It can also be compared to the exercise in the Cloud Hands Short Set by Master Share K. Lew; Movement 2: Squatting Down. 

 

                           

Figure 1.1

Figure 1.2

Figure 1.3

 

 

 

2.  The Blue Dragon Looks Back and Down at the Sea

Stand with your feet separated apart at a comfortable distance in a easy high squat.  Bring both arms to the outside of your hips.  Your feet will remain flat on the ground during the entire exercise.  Pause in this Wuji position.  Inhale and exhale deeply a few times in the Wuji position: relax the abdomen as you inhale, draw the abdomen in as you exhale (natural abdominal breathing method). 

Slowly raise the arms up to the sides until they are about shoulder height.  Bring your hands together in front of your heart.  Your fingers face up.  Your hands are about six to ten inches apart.  Imagine holding the Dragon's Pearl in between your hands.  Inhale completely as the arms come up and forward before your chest.  Figure 2.2

Begin to turn the torso to the right side, twisting at the waist.  Being to exhale as you turn.  Extend the left arm, your left hand fingers facing up and left wrist flexed, towards the right side.  Stretch and push your left arm forward, level with your shoulder, as far to the right as possible.  At the same time draw your right arm behind your back, and to a position lower than your buttocks.  Flex the wrist of your right hand, palm facing the floor.  Stretch and push your right arm out and down.  Turn your head to the right side, gaze back and down, and gaze at the middle finger of your right hand.  Complete your exhale.  Figure 2.1

Begin to inhale.  Gradually return to a standing position.  Draw your hands back to in front of your heart and hold the Dragon's Pearl.  Look forward.  Relax (Sung).  Complete your inhalation, abdomen tucked in.  Figure 2.2 

Repeat the same movement to the left side: Begin to turn the torso to the left side, twisting at the waist.  Being to exhale as you turn.  Extend the right arm, your right hand fingers facing up and right wrist flexed, towards the left side.  Stretch and push your right arm forward, level with your shoulder, as far to the left side as possible.  At the same time draw your left arm behind your back, and to a position lower than your buttocks.  Flex the wrist of your left hand, palm facing the floor.  Stretch and push your left arm out and down as much as you can.  Turn your head to the left side, gaze back and down, and gaze at the middle finger of your left hand.  Complete your exhale.  Begin to inhale.  Gradually return to a standing position.  Draw your hands back to in front of your heart and hold the Dragon's Pearl.  Look forward.  Relax (Sung).  Complete your inhalation, abdomen tucked in.  Figure 2.3 

Repeat this movement sequence to the right side and left side for four to eight repetitions depending upon the time available and/or your level of physical conditioning.  Don't hold the breath; breathe freely and easily in coordination with the movements.  Take your time; move slowly and deliberately. 

 

                       

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.2

Figure 2.3

 

 

 

3.  The White Dragon Plays in the Clouds 

This movement will be familiar to all persons who practice T'ai Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan).  In Taijiquan, various names for this movement include: Moving Hands Like Clouds, Waving Hands Like Clouds, Playing with Clouds, Wave Hands in Clouds, Cloud Hands 云手 : Yun Shou.  The Taijiquan the feet and hands move gracefully in a coordinated manner, while in Dragon Qigong the hands and waist move but both feet do not move.  

Stand with your feet separated apart at a comfortable distance.  Bring your right hand up to about the level of your mouth, palm facing towards the body.  Bring you left hand up to about the level of your belly button, with your left palm facing towards the body.  Your feet will remain flat on the ground during the entire exercise.  Pause in this Wuji position.  Inhale and exhale deeply a few times in the Wuji position: relax the abdomen as you inhale, draw the abdomen in as you exhale (natural abdominal breathing method).  Figure 3.1

Slowly and gently turn at the waist towards the right side.  Inhale as you turn to the right side.  Turn as far as you can to the right side.  When you reach your limit then exchange your hands by bringing the left hand up to the level of your mouth and by bringing your right hand down to the level of your belly button.  Figures 3.2 and 3.3

Start to slowly and gently turn at the waist towards the left side.  Exhale as you turn to the left side.  Turn as far as you can to the left side.  When you reach your limit then exchange your hands by bringing the right hand up to the level of your mouth and by bringing your left hand down to the level of your belly button.  Figure 3.4 and 3.5 

Then begin again to turn back to the right side as you inhale.  Figure 3.5, and 3.2

At first the movement sequence will seem a bit stiff and mechanical.  After numerous practice sessions, this "Cloud Hands" movement will become more fluid, flexible, playful, and flowing.  You will begin to become the White Dragon Playing in the Clouds. 

Repeat this movement sequence to the right side and left side for four to eight repetitions depending upon the time available and/or your level of physical conditioning.  Don't hold the breath; breathe freely and easily in coordination with the movements.  Take your time; move slowly and deliberately.  I like to bend my knees and sink down a bit during parts of this movement - don't keep the knees stiff.  Flow like a Dragon in the moving clouds.  Be sure to turn at the waist. 

 

 

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.2

Figure 3.3

Figure 3.4

Figure 3.5

 

 

 

4.  The Black Dragon Walks at the Edge of the Abyss

Stand with you feet together.  Bring both arms to the outside of your hips.  Pause in this Wuji position.  Inhale and exhale deeply a few times in the Wuji position: relax the abdomen as you inhale, draw the abdomen in as you exhale (natural abdominal breathing method).   

Draw both hands up to the center of you body.  Extend the arms out in front of your body at about head level.  Both palms face away from you.  Place the tips of each thumb together.  Place the tips of each pointer finger together.  This hand position will form a figure, a mudra, that looks like the image of a spade in a deck of playing cards.  Look into this figure (mudra).  Inhale fully. 

Step forward a comfortable distance with your right leg, and touch only your right toe on the ground.  Begin to exhale.  Extend your right arm backwards at about shoulder level.  Extend your left arm forward at about shoulder level.  The arms should be stretched and extended.  Turn your torso to the right side until you have turned at least 90° from the front.  Your wrists should be flexed with your fingers pointing up.  Look back and gaze at your right fingers.  Finish the exhale and pause. 

Return to the centered and forward position as you inhale.  Draw both hands up to the center of you body.  Extend the arms out in front of your body at about head level.  Both palms face away from you.  Place the tips of each thumb together.  Place the tips of each pointer finger together.

Step forward a comfortable distance with your left leg, and touch only your left toe on the ground.  Begin to exhale.  Extend your left arm backwards at about shoulder level.  Extend your right arm forward at about shoulder level.  The arms should be stretched and extended.  Turn your torso to the left side until you have turned at least 90° from the front.  Your wrists should be flexed with your fingers pointing up.  Look back and gaze at your left fingers.  Finish the exhale and pause. 

Return to the centered and forward position as you inhale.  Draw both hands up to the center of you body.  Extend the arms out in front of your body at about head level.  Both palms face away from you.  Place the tips of each thumb together.  Place the tips of each pointer finger together.

Repeat this movement sequence to the right side and left side for four to eight repetitions depending upon the time available and/or your level of physical conditioning.  Don't hold the breath; breathe freely and easily in coordination with the movements.  Take your time; move slowly and deliberately. 

This movement sequence may challenge some in terms of balance and coordination.  Practice will improve the flow and skill in the movement. 

Imagine yourself on top of a narrow wall, carefully stepping forward, keeping your balance with your arms.  Off to the right or to the left is a steep and deadly drop off into a canyon below - the abyss and death for mortals, empty free space for the Flying Black Dragon. 

I was taught this exercise in 1986 by Robert Moore, Ph.D., Zen Master, Founding Teacher of the Golden Wind Zen Order Jibong, California. 

 

 

5.  The Orange Dragon Circles the Snowy Mountain 

Begin with your feet together.  Bend down and place your palms on your kneecaps, while keeping your back straight.  Gently rotate your knees in a clockwise circle for 4-8 eight repetitions.  Then, gently rotate your knees in a counterclockwise direction for 4-8 repetitions.  Breathe freely and deeply.  The diameter of the rotation will vary depending upon the condition of your knees and muscles. 

Place your hands on the sides of your hips.  Gently rotate your hips in a clockwise circle for 4-8 eight repetitions.  Then, gently rotate your hips in a counterclockwise direction for 4-8 repetitions.  Breathe freely and deeply.  The diameter of the rotation of your hips will vary depending upon the condition of the muscles in your hips and and your flexibility. 

Bend forward at the waist.  Place your hands on the sides of your hips. Gently rotate your whole upper torso in a clockwise circle for 4-8 eight repetitions.  Then, gently rotate your whole upper torso in a counterclockwise direction for 4-8 repetitions.  Breathe freely and deeply.  The diameter of the rotation of your upper torso will vary depending upon the condition of the muscles in your waist and lower back, and your flexibility.   

Stand up straight.  Place your hands on the sides of your hips.  Rotate the shoulders back, down, forward and up for 4-8 repetitions.  Rotate the shoulders forward, down, back, and up for 4-8 repetitions.  Breathe freely and deeply.  The diameter of the rotation of your shoulders will depend on the flexibility in your shoulders. 

Stand up straight.  Place your hands on the sides of your hips.  Breathe freely and deeply.  Rotate the head only.  Bring the chin down towards the collar bone, rotate the head and look to the right, move the head back and look up, rotate the head and look to the left, then draw the head back forward with chin down; circling the head in a clockwise manner.  Repeat this movement sequence 4-8 times.  Then reverse the rotation of the head.  Bring the chin down towards the collar bone, rotate the head and look to the left, move the head back and look up, rotate the head and look to the right, then draw the head back forward with chin down; circling the head in a counterclockwise manner. 

Many other Qigong forms also circle the knees, waist, shoulders or neck.  In the Eight Section Brocade look a "Wise Owl Turns its Head from Side to Side" and "Big Bear Turns from Side to Side."  Most martial arts classes have warmup routines involving circling or swaying part of the body.  Knee rotations are common in Shaolin exercise routines.  I was taught the Eight Section Brocade Qigong form by Frank McGourick, Akido Grandmaster, in 1985, in Whittier, California. 

 

 

It is commonly accepted that the complete transmission of all aspects of any mind-body art like Taijiquan, Yoga or Qigong requires that the student work closely and personally with a certified lineage master for a long period of time.  Comprehensive understanding and full mastery by the student requires this kind of direct transmission, one on one interaction and training, the Vajra or Shaman's transmission, bone to bone, directly from mind to mind.  Obviously, my attempt here is to get a student, at a beginner's level or up to the intermediate level, with a start in learning about Dragon Qigong, including an introduction to Taoism, some Wudang history and theories, some Qigong theory and practices, and some basic mind/body Dragon Qigong exercises to practice on a regular basis.  At least the student might learn to see the Dragon's Gate and get in better physical condition with the exercises.  Then the student must decide upon whether or or not to spend the necessary time, expense, and effort to find and work closely with a highly qualified master teacher so as to Leap Over the Dragon's Gate into the Mind Matrix of the Real Dragons.  Most of us, due to financial, work, family, and geographical reasons will be highly content and very successful by doing our Taijiquan and Qigong work (gong) alone and meeting our teachers mostly in books or DVDs.  My best wishes for your success in your studies and learning.      

 

 

6.  The Black Dragon Creates a Whirlwind  

 

Swinging Arms  (Bai Bi Yun Dong, Swai Shou)  Swinging Arms Exercises - Form Two 
Ringing the Temple Bell  

  

 

7.  The Crimson Dragon Grabs His Tail 

 

 

 

 

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Quotations, Lore
Dragons

 

 

"The body of the dragon concentrates energy in its sinuous curves, and coils and uncoils to move along more quickly. It is a symbol of all the potential with which form can be charged, a potential that never ceases to be actualized.  The dragon now lurks in watery depths, now streaks aloft to the highest heavens, and its very gait is a continuous undulation.  It presents an image of energy constantly recharged through oscillation from one pole to the other. The dragon is a constantly evolving creature with no fixed form; it can never be immobilized or penned in, never grasped. It symbolizes a dynamism never visible in concrete form and thus unfathomable. Finally, merging with the clouds and mists, the dragon's impetus makes the surrounding world vibrate: it is the very image of an energy that diffuses itself through space, intensifying its environment and enriching itself by that aura."
-  Francois Jullien, The Propensity of Things

 

 

"Those who follow the clockwise path are governed by the changes of Yin and Yang.  Those that take the reverse path, however, will be able to walk in the void."
-  Tao-hsuan p'ien  

 

 

"The Taoists call the science of how you develop strong energy flow or internal power neigong.  Neigong has sixteen components:

1.  Breathing methods, from the simple to the more complex.
2.  Feeling, moving, transforming, transmuting and connecting energy channels of the body. 
3.  Precise body alignments to prevent the flow of chi from being blocked or dissipated. 
4.  Dissolving physical, emotional and spiritual blockages. 
5.  Moving energy through the acupuncture meridians and other secondary channels of the body, including the energy gates.
6.  Bending and stretching the body, both from the inside and from the outside in.
7.  Opening and closing (pulsing) all parts of the body's anatomy including the joints, soft tissues, fluids, internal organs,
spine and brain as well as all the body's subtle energy channels. 
8.  Manipulating the energy of the external aura outside the body.
9.  Making circles and spirals of energy inside the body, controlling the spiraling energy currents of the body and moving chi in the body at will. 
10.  Absorbing energy into and projecting energy away from any part of the body. 
11.  Controlling all the energies of the spine. 
12.  Controlling the left and right energy channels of the body. 
13.  Controlling the central energy channel of the body.
14.  Learning to develop the capabilities and all use of the body's lower tantien.  
14.  Learning to develop the capabilities and uses of the body's upper and middle tantiens. 
15.  Connecting every part of the physical and other energetic bodies into one, unified energy."
-  Bruce Kumar Frantzis, Dragon and Tiger Qigong, 2010, xxviii  

 

 

    "During the Swimming Dragon Qigong exercise, the body smoothly and evenly rises and lowers and, at the same time, swings to the left and right.  In Chinese mythology, the images of dragons are frequently used to represent the action of internal bodily energy.  In this exercise, therefore, the risings of the body are said to be like a "flying dragon ascending to the clouds," and the lowerings are said to be like a "coiling dragon entering the sea.
    The movements are simple and beautiful, and the swinging movements fully stretch out the body.  The Swimming Dragon exercise requires that the entire body, especially the waist and abdominal area, perform large scale swinging movements.  These movements open the capillaries in the muscles that are normally closed.  This opening, in turn, increases the flow of energy, blood, and the supply of oxygen.  The increased blood flow, together with incrased hormonal activity, causes the fat of the waist, abdomen, shoulders, neck, back, buttockes, and thighs to be transformed and reduced."
-   T. K. Shih, The Swimming Dragon, p.14  

 

 

"Standing at the Mysterious Pass
Centered in the Eternal Now,
Balanced in Body and Open in Mind,
Rooted into the Sacred Space,
Motionless as the Golden Mountain,
Fingers around the Primeval Sphere.

Dragons and Tigers are still dreaming -
Ready for Rebirth. 

I breathe in, the World Breathes Out.
The Gate of Space opens;
Heaven moves and Yang is born.
The hands move out, embracing the One.
The mind settles and is clear.
The Dragon Howls,
Ravens fill the Vast Cauldron,
Mind forms melt like mercury,
Spirit rises in the Clouds of Eternity.
Yin appears like the moon at dusk.

I breathe out, the World Breathes In.
The Doors of Emptiness close;
Earth quiets and Yin is born.
The hands move in, entering the One.
The body settles and becomes whole.
The Tiger Roars,
The Great Ox is nourished by the Valley Spirit, 
Substances spark from flaming furnaces,
Essence roots in the Watery Flesh.
Yang appears like the sun at dawn.

Dragons and Tigers
Transformed within the Mysterious Pass -
Chanting and Purring.
Awakened,
Peaceful,
Free."
-   Michael P. Garofalo, Opening at the Mysterious Pass, 2003
    Opening Hands and Closing Hands in Sun Taijiquan 

 

 

"The cave, like the gourd, is a container for mystery.  Caves are believed to be repositories of special, purified qi.  Adepts meditate in caves, dragons (also a symbol of immorality) live in caves, and the Taoist canon is divided into three main parts called caves or caverns.  The central altar in Taoist ritual is called a cave table.  There are also "caves" within the body, that is, containers of energy, sometimes also known as "cinnabar fields."  Cinnabar is symbolic of immortality primarily because it was an ingredient commonly used in elixirs, and also because of its red color, which means good fortune."
Taoist Ritual 

 

 

"Daoism is fundamentally a religion that has to do with the whole of one's body.  To be sure beliefs and attitudes are important, but they are only one aspect of our embodied being.  The operations of the mind and the spirit are understood in Daoism as organic functions of the energy systems of our bodies.  Daoists are thus concerned with what they do with their bodies just as much as what they believe in minds for feel in their hearts.
    Daoism is unusual in tha it makes our entire human physiology from brains to livers, a central theme of its spirituality.  The body in fact is the pre-eminent space in which Daoism operates.  The body is the object of many Daoist practices and also the means by which Daoists engage in spiritual life and cultivate their nature.
    The Daoists took the view that human nature is to be understood as the vitality that flows throughout the body and that could be cultivated in a variety of ways from simple physical exercise, to subtle forms of meditation, to elaborate communal rituals.  Thus it is not surprising that Daoism developed in close concert with Chinese medicine: both are based on similar understandings of the body.  In order to understand Daoist practices it is essential, therefore, to have good understanding of the way in which Daoists understand the functioning of the human body."
-  James Miller, Daoism: A Short Introduction, pp. 53-54
   

 

 

    "Laozi's Dao Te Jing in the third chapter says "Empty the mind, fill the belly. Weaken the ambition, strengthen the character." So then, this is the motto for practicing China's Wudang Daoist Qigong. To study each method, each method must be understood, the energy processed must be understood. If there is one type of practice Daoist qigong method not mastered, temporarily don't practice other training methods. If one type of movement has not been mastered, concentrate on that posture, do not study or practice other postures. Do not reach too high, must empty the mind, have patience, cultivate both inside and outside, step-by-step achieve an abdomen relaxed inside and breath ascending correctly, so then cultivate the breath continuously, and you will not contract illness. When the dan tian is full and sufficient, the inner breath is unimpeded and not obstructed.  Breath and strength are sent out from the spine, following that which the mind desires. Strive for the substantial, don't let practice become lax, maintain it so it will be lasting; abide by the regulations, follow the rules; refine the breath, cultivate the body; cultivate the Mind, develop the character; thus seek emptiness and stillness, complete emptiness, and long life.
    Wudang Qigong has eighteen types of practice exercises and methods: Extreme Emptiness, Pushing the Mountain, Wild Goose Flying, Crane Bending, Supporting Heaven, Both Appear, Four Directions, Ward Off and Pull Down, Pipa, Shaking Tail Feathers, Offering Fruit, Facing the Sun, Stirring the Grass, Dragon and Tiger, Coiling Snake, Spitting a Core, Climbing a Tree, and Bowing To The Top."
-   Wudang Qigong: China's Wudang Mountain Daoist Breath Exercises.  By Yuzeng Liu, and Terri Morgan. 

 

 

 

 

    "According to Chinese mythology, the Dragon’s Gate is located at the top of a waterfall cascading from a legendary mountain.   Many carp swim upstream against the river’s strong current, but few are capable or brave enough for the final leap over the waterfall.  If a carp [salmon?] successfully makes the jump, it is transformed into a powerful dragon.  A Chinese dragon’s large, conspicuous scales indicate its origin from a carp.  The Chinese dragon has long been an auspicious symbol of great and benevolent, magical power.  The image of a carp jumping over Dragon’s Gate is an old and enduring Chinese cultural symbol for courage, perseverance, and accomplishment.  Historically, the dragon was the exclusive symbol of the emperor of China and the five-character expression, Liyu Tiao Long Men, was originally used as a metaphor for a person’s success in passing very difficult imperial examinations, required for entry into imperial administrative service.   To this day, when a student from a remote country village passes the rigorous national university examination in China, friends and family proudly refer to the “Liyu Tiao Long Men.”  More generally, the expression is used to communicate that if a person works hard and diligently, success will one day be achieved."
Carp Leaping Over the Dragon's Gate 

 

 

    "Dragon Yoga is a fusion of the essential training techniques and internal arts of Shaolin kung fu and the eight limbs of the Ashtanga. It bridges the gaps in eastern Asian philosophy and integrates Aruvedic and Chinese physical rejuvenation practices by uniting the core concepts of both yoga and martial arts. The 5 element theory, chakra system, meridians and microcosmic meditation all play crucial roles in the understanding and application of this powerful practice.
    Dragon Yoga is a system that works to train the individual using the practices and techniques gathered from many diverse arts. This system focuses on helping people learn from objects and nature and especially from themselves. Experiential learning allows each person to develop at their own pace and within their own natural style. Each person is often taught differently, similar to the tradition of many martial arts where each persons’ path to self mastery is unique and so are the practices and process required.   
    There are some basic practices that everyone does as warm ups and cultivation arts but the advanced training is always personalized. The Dragon Yoga set draws from chi kung its cultivating, circulating, and concentrating of energy while using the movements and flow patterns from kung fu in combination with yogic postures and breathing. The foundational 5 elemental dragons act as both a basic level practice and as a key to higher levels of martial and yogic arts. The many animals styles of Shaolin help add flare and finesse to the traditional poses of yoga. The integration of movement and flow between the postures and stances bridges the yogic and martial flawlessly. Those who cultivate a diligent and dedicated practice of Dragon Yoga will provide themselves with untold benefits and will continually condition and strengthen the body while increasing strength, flexibility, agility, coordination and endurance.  
    The dragon is a universal symbol of union, it combines the different aspects of many creatures, the wings of the birds, the scales of the lizard, the body of the beasts, and the tail of the serpents. The Dragon is the synthesis of all animals just as Dragon Yoga is the fusion of the eastern arts."
-  Jeremy Safron, Dragon Yoga

 

 

"The Swimming Dragon Qigong should be practiced with a fundamentally relaxed attitude.  While you are learning the movements of Swimming Dragon, it is natural that you may have a tendency to tense up a bit as your body learns unfamiliar positions and movements.  It is important to gradually recognize these tensions in your body and release them as best you can.  As you perform the movement, allow your attention to scan your body for "tense" areas, and simply let go of the tension as much as you are able to.  As time goes on, you will find that your are able to release more and more of your muscular tension.  Eventually, you will be able to perform the whole Swimming Dragon as a single smooth and sensuous movement without any tension or strain.  A particular area that should be kept relaxed is the lower tan-t'ien.  Energy can only collect in the tan-t'ien if the whole lower belly is relaxed.  Relaxing the lower belly can be accomplished by relaxing the waist and lower back by breathing in the lower belly." 
-   T. K. Shih, The Swimming Dragon, p.165  

 

 

    "There are nine major types of Chinese dragons These include the horned dragon, the winged dragon, the celestial dragon (which supports and protects the mansions of the gods), the spiritual dragon which generates wind and rain for the benefit of mankind), the dragon of hidden treasures (which keeps guard over concealed wealth), the coiling dragon (which lives in water), and the yellow dragon (which once emerged from water and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Shi with the elements of writing).  The last of the nine is the dragon king, which actually consists of four separate dragons, each of which rules over one of the four seas, those of the east, south, west, and north. The most powerful generalized type of Chinese dragon is the horned dragon, or lung, which can produce rain and is totally deaf. Additionally, there is a homeless dragon (Ii) that lives in the ocean and another type (chiao) that is scale-covered and usually inhabits marshes but also keeps dens in the mountains. 
    There are also nine ways the Chinese have traditionally represented these dragons, each one revealing a different dragon characteristic. There are dragons carved on the tops of bells and gongs, because of the beast's habit of calling loudly when attacked. A second type is carved on the screws of fiddles, since most dragons are fond of music. A third is carved on the tops of stone tablets, because of dragons' love of literature. A fourth is found at the bottom of stone monuments, as dragons can support heavy weights. A fifth is placed on the eaves of temples, as dragons are ever alert to danger. A sixth occurs on the beams of bridges, since dragons are fond of water. A seventh is carved on Buddha's throne, as dragons like to rest. An eighth is placed on the hilts of swords, since dragons are known to be capable of slaughter. The ninth is carved on prison gates, as these are dragons that are fond of quarreling and trouble making. 
    The colors of Chinese dragons are evidently quite variable, but in the case of the chiao type its back is striped with green, its sides are yellow, and it is crimson underneath. The nine major characteristics of a lung type dragon include a head like a camel's, horns like a deer's, eyes like a hare's, ears like a bull's, a neck like an iguana's, a belly like a frog's, scales like a carp's, paws like a tiger's, and claws like an eagle's. It has a pair of large canine teeth in its upper jaw The long, tendril-like whiskers extending from either side of its mouth are probably used for feeling its way along the bottom of muddy ponds. In color it varies from greenish to golden, with a series of alternating short and long spines extending down the back and along the tail, where they become longer. One specimen had wings at its side, and walked on top of the water. Another tossed its mane back and forth making noises that sounded like a flute. 
    A few dragons begin life as fish. Carp, who successfully jump rapids and leap over waterfalls, change into fish-dragons. A popular saying, "The carp has leaped through the dragon's gate," means success, especially for students who have passed their exams." 
    Male dragons sometimes mate with other kinds of animals. A dragon fathers an elephant when he mates with a pig, and he sires a racehorse, after mating with a mare."
-   Dragon Articles  

 

 

"In ancient Chinese culture, the dragon usually represents the yang or male forces of nature and the tiger the yin or female forces.  Balancing those energies inside yourself is an essential part of this ancient self-healing system.  In China, the words "dragon" and "tiger" appear in many branches of qigong and in various martial arts. 
    Taoists brought Dragon and Tiger Qigong to China's Shaolin temple, where it was preserved intact by Chan Buddhists.  This was the original form of qigong from which the usage of the words "dragon" and "tiger" entered into the world of martial arts and qigong.  Dragon and Tiger Qigong was commonly taught only to the Shaolin high clergy and not to the general public or ordinary monks.  For this reason, many people in China still refer to it as a form of Buddhist qigong.  However, because Dragon and Tiger develops and integrates the internal energetic principles of neigong, it is deeply rooted in Taoist qigong."
-  Bruce Frantzis, Dragon and Tiger Qigong, p.4
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Routines and Names of Movements
Dragon Frolics and Dragon Qigong 
 

 

    There are dozens of exercises included in various "Dragon Qigong" routines created by Taijiquan, Qigong and Bagua teachers; and there is even a "Dragon Yoga" mind/body movement art.  None of the Dragon Qigong routines, as far as I can tell, have any clearly documented historical roots prior to 1800 CE. 

    The art, sculpture, myths, legends and lore of Dragons appealed to some of those living at the famous Taoist temples, libraries, and university at or near the Wudang Mountain complex in China, founded in 1412 CE.  The legendary Taijiquan master, Zhang San Feng, lived at Wudang Mountain.  Many Dragon Qigong forms claim a lineage from Wudang Mountain Taoist teachers. 

    Many persons at Wudang practiced Qigong and Taijiquan and Bagua routines to maintain good health, mental sharpness, and for spiritual purposes.  In addition, the practices of Kung fu, Qigong and related arts at the Shaolin Temple, founded in 600 CE, include some "Dragon" forms and arts.  Physical culture routines and specific exercise movements that involved twisting, spiraling, turning, circling, spinning, sinking down and rising up, screwing, twining, curving, swimming, wiggling, swinging, and undulating were often given names associated with Dragons, Snakes or Serpents.  

    Here some notes and the names of movements in various Dragon Qigong routines that I have watched and studied. 

 

 

Dao of Dragon Chi Kung.  Detailed instruction by Shihfu Jiang JianYe. 
Instructional VHS, 118 minutes.  Produced by the Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fu Association of New York, 2003.  Subtitle: "Traditional Daoist Yang Sheng Fa for Different Daoist Mountains."  This DVD is in color, filmed indoors in a studio, with clear voice over narrative.  The movement sequence for each posture is explained in detail and demonstrated at the same time.  An unhurried, patient, clear and complete lesson in English.  Both front and side views are shown for each posture along with the clear verbal explanation.  There are complete demonstrations of the entire form from a front view and a back view.
    "A good series of Chi Kung exercises from other than WuDang Daoism.  Inlcudes many dragon based exercises and Swimming Dragon moves.  The movements require you to be limber.  They include some squatting and twisting.  The theme of the entire series is dragon motions."  Sources: Plum Publications, and Wayfarer Publications and Jiang Jian-ye.  "By Jiang Jian-ye. He has combined forms from many Taoist sects into one form that contains stretching and whole body twisting to open key energy channels in the body. There is step-by-step teaching and multiple repetitions and views, plus reviews of segments and demonstrations at the beginning and at the conclusion. 118 Min."  VSCL. 

 

                 

 

 

1.  Yellow Dragon Wakes from Yi Mountain of the North 
2.  Black Dragon Stretches Body from Lao Mountain of the North 
3.  Blue Dragon Flying and Dancing from Tai Mountain of the North                               

 

 

 

 

The Dragon Dao-Yin Exercises  By Damo Mitchell. 
Lotus Nei Gong Publishing, 2010.  151 pages.  ISBN: 9781446762547.  VSCL. 

Damo Mitchell produced in 2011 an instructional DVD on the Dragon Dao-Yin.  The DVD is 60 minutes long.  PAL format only. 

The Dragon Dao-Yin exercises come from warm up routines and forms used by Baguazhang players. 

    "According to the ancient Daoist school of thought we have to maintain the health of our physical body, energy body and consciousness in order to avoid illness.  To achieve this we must learn to live with and harness the energy of our environment.  This is the traditional way to achieve union with the great creative force and so attain spiritual liberation.  To the Daoists, health and spirituality are one.
    Our physical body must be kept healthy as this is the vehicle through which we experience existence.  Yang Sheng Fa (life nourishing techniques) was the study of the health of the physical body.  Traditionally, Yang Sheng Fa included teachings on maintaining a correct and healthy diet, breathing exercises, physical exercises such as Dao Yin, and Chinese medicine such as the study of herbs and self-massage.  It also incorporated some aspects of maintaining the health of your energy body in the form of Qi theory and Feng Shui (wind and water) which is the science of harmonizing your life and surroundings with the energy of the environment."
Damo Mitchell, p. 15

 

 

          

 

The Dragon Dao-Yin Exercise routine (p.34) designed by Damo Mitchell includes:

1.  Daoist Standing Meditation
2.  Circulate the Chi
3.  Sinking and Gathering the Chi
4.  Greeting the Dawn
5.  Piercing Palm 
6.  Stretching Dragon 
7.  Pushing the Tide 
8.  Swimming Dragon 
9.  Presenting the Palm to Heave
10.  Diving Dragon
11.  Preparing the Chest
12.  Preparing the Lower Body 
13.  High Flying Dragon
14.  Low Flying Dragon 
15.  Balance Training
16.  Swaying Dragon
17.  Drunkard Walking
18.  Spinal Wave 
19.  Taiyi 
20.  Shaking Dragon

 

 

 

 

 

Bear     Tiger     Monkey     Deer     Crane     Dragon     Frolics

 

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© Valley Spirit Qigong, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2003-2012
By Michael P. Garofalo, M.S., All Rights Reserved.
 

This webpage was first posted on the Internet in January 2003 at:   http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/five.htm

This webpage was moved to this URL on July 15, 2011:  Dragon Qigong.  Part of the Animal Frolics Series. 

This webpage was last updated on May 23, 2012

 

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