Friday, August 17, 2012

Animal Frolics Chi Kung

The Five Animal Frolics Qigong: Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Resources, Lessons. By Mike Garofalo.

This is a very old Chinese exercise system for fitness, good health, and longevity supposedly developed by the Chinese physician Hua Tuo (110-207 CE). In the Wu Qin Xi, the Five Animal Frolics, the five animals are the bear, tiger, monkey, deer, and crane.

Making beneficial exercises interesting and enjoyable has always been a challenge to creative people. Hua Tuois one of the famous physicians of the Han Dynasty. In The History of the Later Han, Hua Tuo wrote:

"Man's body must have exercise, but it should never be done to the point of exhaustion. By moving about briskly, digestion is improved, the blood vessels are opened, and illnesses are prevented. It is like a used doorstep which never rots. As far as Tao Yin (bending and stretching exercises) is concerned, we have the bear's neck, the crane's twist, and swaying the waist and moving the joints to promote long life. Now I have created the art called the Frolics of the Five Animals: the Tiger, the Deer, the Bear, the Monkey, and the Crane. It eliminates sickness, benefits the legs, and is also a form of Tao Yin. If you feel out of sorts, just practice one of my Frolics. A gentle sweat will exude, the complexion will become rosy; the body will feel light and you will want to eat."
- From: Drawing Silk: A Training Manual for T'ai Chi, p. 6.

John Voigt sent me a link to a delightful "Bird Animal Frolic":


  1. And nice students sometimes make the class laugh. Squak, Squak!

  2. ... & laughing is breathing deeply into our lower dantien, yet however sincerely we meditate the energy we benefit from when we "laugh til we cry" is not re-doable. J