Tao Te Ching, 
Chapter 76
by Laozi

A man is born gentle and weak.

At his death he is hard and stiff.

Green plants are tender and filled with sap.

At their death they are withered and dry.

Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.

The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.

Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle.

A tree that is unbending is easily broken.


The hard and strong will fall.

The soft and vulnerable will overcome.




Dynamic Qigong 

• Description

• The Exercises

Dynamic Qigong exercises performed by Master Zhang Xuexin

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1990. This is a promo for the complete video by "China's Living Treasures." 

Dynamic Qigong: 

How to stay green and tender 

Dynamic Qigong, also known as chansigong, or “silk-reeling,” is a traditional Tai Chi warm-up and conditioning routine that builds health and vitality, opens and relaxes the joints, develops core body strength, balance, and flexibility, and increases internal energy flow. 

• For beginners, the best preparation for Tai Chi form classes

• For advanced students, the best way to go deeper into the body  


Silk-reeling exercises are derived from the Tai Chi forms and from tuishou, push-hands. By isolating basic foundation movements and repeating them (usually 9 times each), silk-reeling shifts the focus away from the complex choreography of the Tai Chi forms, and toward the basic underlying principles of body mechanics, mindfulness, and internal energy flow. This focus on the basics builds whole-body awareness, and clarifies the energy dynamics that underlie all Tai Chi movement. Silk-reeling turbo-charges the development of taiji neigong — internal Tai Chi energy and skill — while building a strong, healthy body at the same time.  

Silk-reeling is non-impact and low-aerobic, and generally suitable for anyone.
Movements vary from simple to complex, and are designed to move energy through all 18 major joints of the body simultaneously, with a special focus in each exercise on a particular joint or set of joints, as well as the spine. The exercises are done at a moderate pace to give you time to observe your own body's unique internal energy patterns and gradually work to remove blockages and smooth out any rough edges. The goal is to develop strong and vital chi that flows smoothly and continuously throughout the body.



For class times, see schedule. To register, contact us here

The Silk-Reeling Exercises 

The following represents a fairly complete list of the exercises, although occasionally we throw in a new one. On any given day, we may focus on certain sets more strongly, although we always include the spinal reels. We take a short break half-way through the 90-minute session. 

1. Opening

• Taiji Qigong (repeat 3 times after each set below)

• 15-minute stretching and warm-up routine


2. Upper Spine Reels

• Head Turns

• Neck Rolls    

• Spinal Waves   

• Dragon Head spinal elongation   


3. Lower Spine Reels 

• Inner Hip (kua) Rolls

• Outer Hip (tun) Rolls

• Snake Sheds Skin

• Abdominal Rotations (front-back) 

• Abdominal Rotations (side-side)

• Dantian Shaking


4. Hidden Hand Reels 

• Yang-Yang Palm, left and right  

• Yin-Yang Palm, left and right


5. Spiral Punching Reels 

• Alternate Fist Punch, left and right


6. Shoulder Reels 

• Single Shoulder Reels, left and right   

• Alternate Shoulder Reels

• Double Shoulder Reels, left, right, and center


7. Open Chest Reels 

• Double Arm, left and right 

• Shoulder Strikes, front and back  


8. Diagonal Reels 

• Double arm, left and right


9. Center Reels 

• Double Arm Open Up

• Double Arm Open Down


10. Lazy Dragon Reels 

• Lazy Dragon Reels, left, right, and alternate


11. Arm Reels 

• Single Arm, left and right  

• Double Arm

• Alternate Double Arm


12. White Ape Reels

• Double Arm Forward, left and right 

• Double Arm Backwards, left and right


13. Horizontal Reels 

• Double Arm forward

• Double Arm backward


14. Cloud Hand Reels 

• Stationary Cloud Hands, left and right 

• Walking Cloud Hands, left and right  


15. Golden Rooster Reels 

• Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg, left and right


16. Elbow Reels 

• Single elbow, left and right

• Alternate elbows

• Alternate elbow strikes walking drill  

• Double elbows, forward and reverse 


17. Wrist Reels

• Single wrist, left and right

• Double wrist

• Alternate double wrist

• Wrist rotations, left, right, and double

• Wrist lock stretches, left and right   

• Eagle Claws, double   

• Wrist flaps, double  


18. Dantian Rotations

• Ping circles

• Li circles

• Xu circles


19. Waist Reels 

• Deep horse stance waist turn spinal twists

• Deep horse stance waist turns, left and right

• Deep horse stance waist turns with double arm circles, left and right 

• Deep horse stance big waist circles


20. Knee Reels 

• Elbow on knee reels, left and right

• Massage the knees in deep horse stance

• Snake Creeps Thru Grass half split stretches, left and right

• Snake Creeps Thru Grass moving half splits, left and right  

• Knees together reels

• Knees apart reels

• Deep squat butterfly stretches


21. Kicks & Knee Lift Reels 

• Close knee and kick, high, middle and low, left and right  

• Lift knee reels, left and right  

• Shake out kicks


22. Ankle Reels 

• Hinge ankles, left and right 

• Ankle reels, left and right

• Foot twists and full plies, left and right


23. Closing 

• Golden Rooster Shakes His Feathers

• Cleanse the dantians

• Brush the body, close the pores 

• Salute classmates