Core Foundation Class

Welcome to Wirral Tai Chi and Qigong.

Core foundation Tai Chi/Qigong exercises

1. Traditional greeting/Show of respect.

2. “Wuji” stillness and internal peace..

3. Natural stance “Dao Bu”/Perfect posture.

4. Swinging hands “Sowai Shou”.

5. Yin+Yang of Swinging hands.

6. Foot, Ankle and Knee circles.

7. Open hips, waist and chest (circles).

8. Head circles and shake out.

9. Tai Chi Tu exercise:- “Ma Bu”(horse stance), “Chuan Bu” (boxing stance).

10. “Wave Hands like Clouds”, small, medium and large circle.

 Hong Kong 8 Tai Chi Qigong Set.

0. Open Tai Chi.

1• Raising and lowering the Qi

2• Lifting + pushing the Qi ball

3• 4 point cross.

4• White Crane stretches its wings.

5• White Crane rests its wings.

6• White Crane folds its wings.

7• Separate the clouds.

8• Centring the Qi.

0. Close Tai Chi.


Shibashi (sher baa sher) means 18 in Mandarin Chinese and is a series of energy-enhancing exercises that co-ordinate movement with breathing and concentration.

Before beginning shi ba shi set, open tai chi and regulate breathing to achieve a state of calm (wushi) whilst standing in natural stance(dao bu).

1. Earthing.

2. Open the chest (Heavenly Gates).

3. Painting the Rainbow.

4. Seperating the Clouds (Circling Chi).

5. Back swinging Monkey.

6. Rowing the Boat (Middle of the Lake).

7. Lifting the ball (left and right).

8. Gazing at the Moon (lui qigong).

9. Pressing palms (left and right).

10. Wave hands (like passing clouds).

11. Scooping the sea bed. (boxing stance).

12. PushingWaves (boxing stance)(heel and toe lift).

13. Flying Dove (boxing stance) (heel and toe lift).

14. Charging fists.

15. Flying Wild Goose.

16. Spinning Wheel.

17. Bouncing the Chi ball.

18. Calming Chi.

                                                                                                                                              Wirral tai chi and qigong.

Tai Chi (qigong) Breathing Techniques.

Tai Chi (Qigong) Breathing

Since the brain uses up to eighty percent of the oxygen we breathe in, chi kung/qigong yogic breathing exercises not only supply oxygen to the body for energy, but also nourishes the brain with oxygen, resulting in mental clarity and alertness (see Qigong Health Benefits ).

When we breathe improperly, not enough oxygen goes to the brain and we become sluggish and unable to concentrate.

If you have never done chi kung/qigong yogic breathing or diaphragmatic breathing before, you need to first establish a baseline by breathing normally and counting your breaths per minute.

Most people take quick shallow breaths when they breathe. When they breathe from the top half of their chest they are actually wasting more than half of their lung capacity. To compensate, they tend to breathe more rapidly, as much as twenty or more breaths per minute. The breathing exercise I'm about to show you is a general chi kung/qigong exercise that follows the principles of all diaphragmatic breathing techniques. After establishing a baseline of your usual breathing pattern, you need to follow these steps:

1. You can do this breathing exercise sitting or lying down. If you are sitting, make sure you're not slouching, but you should still be relaxed. If you find this difficult to do, the easiest position is to lie down on your back with your hands relaxed at your sides and a book on your stomach. The book is an optional visual aid so that you can see better how your lower abdomen expands and collapses as you breathe


2. Inhale slowly, visualizing filling your belly with air. This is why yogic breathing is sometimes inaccurately called "belly breathing". What actually happens is that when you expand your lower abdomen, you automatically pull down the diaphragm, a muscular membrane located in the solar plexus. Pulling down the diaphragm allows the lungs to expand and fill up with air to their maximum capacity.

3. Pause briefly for about half a second before exhaling. As you breathe out, see your lower abdomen collapse within itself, releasing all the air. Of course, air does not really come in and out of the abdomen, but for the sake of visualization, it makes the yogic breathing easier to practice, especially for beginners.

4. Remember to pause again briefly before taking the next inhalation.

5. One thing to keep in mind: some of my beginning students complain that they feel breathless when they practice this technique. That is because they are pushing themselves too hard.

If this is your first time at diaphragmatic breathing, be sure that you inhale about 80-90% of your level of capacity. This gives you some leeway to pause for a second or two in your breathing before exhaling.

Likewise, when you exhale, breathe out to about 80-90% before pausing again. This way, you will find that your breathing stays natural and relaxed, instead of feeling like you are running out of air and having to catch up on the next inhalation/exhalation.

Remember, this is a natural breathing process that babies are born to do automatically when they take their first breath! So take your time to relax and don't push yourself too hard.

6. Try this breathing exercise for a few minutes until you begin to fall into a natural rhythm: breathe in slowly, pause, breathe out slowly, pause. Then begin timing yourself for one minute: an inhalation and exhalation count together as one breath. You should find that yogic breathing is much slower than your usual breathing pattern. If you are like most beginners, when you practice this breathing exercise, you should be breathing about eight to twelve breaths per minute.

As you get better, you will find your breathing will begin to slow down even more perceptibly to two to four breaths per minute. We call this tortoise breathing, because a tortoise breathes very slowly. It uses oxygen very efficiently, and thus is able to live a very long life.

When you are able to do this breathing exercise on a regular basis until it becomes unconscious and you can do it in your sleep, not only will you feel more relaxed, but you will experience a whole multitude of health benefits, including:

mental clarity, better concentration and a stronger immune system and longevity.

When your breathing is habitually slow, you begin to gain control of normally involuntary body functions, such as heart beat, body temperature and blood pressure. Control of these functions is known as biofeedback.

Why is this important? Because it gives you control over your health, your autoimmune system and even how long you live. If you can slow down your heart you can extend your life span!

Take a look at all living creatures around you: the faster their heartbeat, the faster they age and the shorter their life span.

Children grow up very quickly because they have faster heartbeats than adults. As they grow older, their hearts start to slow down and their growth rate also slows down.

On the other hand, most babies and toddlers, even though they may have faster heartbeats, are also belly breathers. In other words, they are natural chi kung/qigong practitioners!

If you have ever looked at these children breathe, you would see how their bellies pump in and out like bellows. Little wonder they have so much energy, sleep so soundly, and we adults can barely keep up with them.

Want to experience their energy and youth? Practice the yogic breathing exercise outlined in the steps above. Just ten minutes a day will make a big difference to your health and well being. In contrast, if you ever look at dying people taking their last few breaths in life, you will see how shallow their breathing is.

Healthy people practice slow breathing all the time. That is what gives them life. When you breathe from the chest up, you are cutting your breathing capacity in half and thus, your energy.

Worse, if you ever start to breathe from your upper half of your chest and throat, then you will find yourself on your last legs of life!

What does chi kung or qigong actually mean? Qi, also phonetically spelled chi, means breath, and gong, or kung, means skill, practice, or art. In other words chi kung or qigong is literally, the yogic art of slow breathing. Its main purpose is to promote health and longevity.

The breathing exercise outlined above is just one of many chi kung/qigong breathing techniques available on this website, some of them with specific health purposes. This particular breathing exercise will help with relaxation and mental clarity, as well as set a foundation for all other chi kung/qigong breathing exercises.

Practice it and see for yourself how chi kung/qigong breathing techniques can help you in a multitude of ways.

Wirral Tai Chi Top Ten Qigong Exercises

1 Swallows circle the nest.

This is the best of the best as it delivers the most power Qi spiral action to the whole body.

2 White Crane spreads its wings.

This is the best exercise for the heart and lungs as it concentrates on opening and closing the chest cavity using the arms and spine in harmony.

3 Wave hands like clouds.

This is a superb body and mind coordinator and teaches you how to move your body in everyday life with grace and power.

4 Shou Gong. (special hand skill).

Traditionally this exercise takes place at the end of a Qigong workout to stabilise the centre and accumulated Qi. It can however be practiced at any time to calm the mind and generally energise the body.

5 Supporting the Heavens.

A very clever and sophisticated exercise, which combines sinew stretching with spiralling to energise and strengthen joints and muscles.

6 The Python.

This is the best core exercise as it stretches, opens, coordinates and balances all the core muscles including the spine.

7 Tai Chi Circle.(tai chi too).

This is the king of body balancing exercises as it delivers the ebb and flow of Yin and Yang throughout the whole body.

8 The Windmill.

If you ever see the famous Shaolin monks practicing their Qigong movements you will always see this therapy as it is one of the best general body strengtheners in China.

9 The Big Bear stretches its spine.

As the name implies it regulates the spine and general posture but in addition it is also known to stimulate the organs.

10 The Hundred Arm Swings.

The ancient Chinese Masters stated that you should complete 100 repetitions of this exercise every day to regulate the circulation between the body and the four limbs.

8 Pieces of Brocade

1) Supporting the Heavens.

2) Drawing the Bow to shoot the Arrow.

3) One Hand lifting and Pressing.

4) Looking back to avoid Consumption.

5) Swing the Head by wagging the Tail.

6) Touching the Toes to Lift the Abdomen.

7) Punching with Tigers Eyes.

8) Lifting the heels to Strengthen the Kidneys.