Crane Play: the Harmony

Five Animals Qigong requires us not to push ourselves too hard, but to practice in comfort. We focus on the integration of body, breath, and mind, as well as the quality of forming a pleasant whole.This means smooth breathing, a relaxed yet not limp body, and an alert but soft mind. Coordination, balance, and tranquillity can be the result of repetitive and persistent practice.

As a symbol of elegance and purity, cranes are always seen together with immortals in the ancient folklore of China. Crane Play, the last play of the Five Animals Qigong, is a perfect exercise for synchronizing movement with breathing. While practicing, we can visualize ourselves flying in the blue sky, being carefree and content, being in harmony with the environment, and being in tune with nature. The Qi from inside the body and the surroundings merge. The invisible, omnipresent Qi can be understood as air, energy, breath, and strength. Through practice, our different understandings of Qi are combined into one sensible harmony Qi, and Qigong leads us to a holistic harmony.

The Hand Gesture: Bird Wings

Middle finger and ring finger are together and extended. Thumb, index finger and little finger are raised up;

Pay attention to the rhythm changes of muscle relaxation and tightness. While arms are up overhead, neck, shoulders, and buttocks are tighten; while arms are down knees are soft, neck, shoulders, and buttocks are relaxed.

Breathing in as arms raise up, breathing out arms down, relax waist and belly. In addition, coordinate the movement of arms and legs. Integrate the body, breath, and mind in harmony.

Qi is everywhere. Through the atmosphere (Qi) and our breath (Qi), we exchange energy (Qi) with nature. Understanding Qi through Health Qigong and connecting with nature, living in harmony with nature, even though immortality cannot be attained, well-being can be achieved.


  1. Based on Health Qigong Management Centre of General Administration of Sport of China, Health Qigong – Wu Qin Xi [健身氣功 -五禽戲] (Beijing: People’s Sports Publishing House, 2005).
  2. VCD, Health Qigong – Wu Qin Xi [健身氣功 -五禽戲] (Beijing: Beijing Sport University Audio & Video Press).

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