Vol 7, Issue 1/2002
Persistence and Grace of the
An Introduction to Dayan Qigong. By Ronnie Robinson
Dayan Qigong is a traditional system of daoist origin, named after the
wild goose. Its multitude of movements shaped to show the extraordinary
strength of this bird as well as its beauty are set in two sequences
of 64 parts each. Ronnie Robinson, an internationally renowned Qigong
and Taijiquan teacher from Glasgow, describes Dayan Qigong as a very
comprehensive system, which uses special techniques to disperse negative
Qi and pick up positive Qi as well as stimulate individual meridians
and akupunkture points which in turn stimulates the inner organs. Dayan
Qigong at the same time strengthens the body and the mental awareness.
Dayan Qigong is a Chinese internal system of two sets of 64 movements
which are designed to boost the Qi energy system, clear negative energy,
increase mental clarity and thereby and leave the practitioner feeling
revitalised, refreshed and both mentally and physically stimulated.
Regular practice helps to stimulate the health Qi flow through the meridians
whilst helping to clear negative or stagnant Qi. It contains a number
of beautiful bird-like movements which are easy to learn and delightful
Dayan Qigong is from the Taoist Kunlun systems and was originally developed
in the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234), but for many years remained a closely
guarded secret. Legend has it that before one was allowed to teach this
system they had to study for many years and could not teach it until
they reached the age of 70 years. This was designed to keep the system
hidden from outsiders. Today it is one of the most highly regarded health
systems of Qigong in China and is practised in many countries across
Yang Meijun is widely regarded to be the official lineage holder of
this wonderful qigong system. She began her qigong training at the age
of 13 when her 73 year old grandfather taught her. Although small in
stature this remarkable woman worked for many years developing and preserving
this unique system of Qigong. In 1978, after the death of her husband
she decided to publicly teach her many systems of qigong. Being over
the required age of 70 years she also began to teach the Wild Goose,
Dayan Qigong as she wanted to pass its many benefits on to others. Yang
Meijun is Director of Special Commission for Dayan Qi Gong and serves
as a council member of China Scientific Research Institution of Qi Gong
and honorary advisor to Beijing Qi Gong Research Association
Dayan Qigong (Wild Goose)
In creating many of the qigong systems the early originators were known
to have adapted the natural, flowing qualities of animals, birds and
serpents. Each system incorporates elements of the various creatures
to depict the manner in which the movements should be performed. In
our consideration of this we should think about the fact that the only
creature that suffers from stresses that result in ailments to the mind
and body is man. Other creatures carry no postural problems from the
stresses of modern living!
The goose is a very strong bird that flies for incredibly long distances
when migrating in winter. Its strong energy allows it to sustain the
rigours of the long demanding journey ahead. Dayan Qigong uses a wide
variety of movements that are designed to release negative energy and
gather positive energy. It contains slow, fluid, movements and quick,
strong movements. There are two sets of 64 movements, each set taking
approximately 15 minutes to perform. The slow movements perform a kind
of qigong massage on the internal organs like the liver and spleen.
There are gentle movements where the hands vibrate over particular internal
organs or acupoints. These help to transmit energy from the Laogong
point in the centre of the palm, where the energy can often be felt
as warm or tingling, to stimulate the energy system of the internal
organs. Some of the faster movements act to directly stimulate acupoints
with a stronger 'surge' of energy to clear the area and ensure a freer
pathway it to flow. We massage internal organs with through the hands
and also perform a routine where each finger and thumb moves rapidly
to stimulate the related internal organs. There are movements which
are performed in the upright, vertical position, which are similar to
tai chi stepping and others which sweep down from a high position to
a very low posture helping to stimulate and strengthen the upper and
lower back area. It is an extremely dynamic holistic system working
on the entire energy system of the body. The movements are dynamic and
static at the same time, combining strength with grace, bringing beauty
and serenity to the performance of the form and inducing relaxation
and freedom in the body.
Practising Dayan Qigong
In order to regulate the flow of energy through the practice of Dayan
Qigong we should try to combine a series of applications.
The movements of Dayan Qigong are performed softly and smoothly with
no external tensions. There are, however some changes in tempo. Some
movements can be soft and gentle when others can be vigorous and strong.
There are slow, gentle movements and rapid movements when releasing
negative Qi. At all time the body should be relaxed and open with no
external straining. (Some systems of Qigong or Neigong internal training
do include strong harder movements but generally qigong health systems
are more fluid and relaxed.)
The breath is very important all practices of Qigong. Some systems require
the practitioner to make movements in time with the breath whereas others
may require the breathing to be relaxed and natural. In performing the
Wild Goose the breath should be centred in the lower abdomen remaining
deep and even with no hypertension.
The term Yi is generally translated as focus or intent. It is the most
important component in the practice of qigong. You can move beautifully
and breathe naturally and fluidly but if your mind is not focussed on
what you are doing the results will be substantially less. The focus
need not be hard or fixed but you should carry an awareness and 'connectedness'
to the movements you are performing. Imagine driving a car. You have
to travel in a certain direction to reach your destination. You may
look out to one side and then another from the window but if your attention
strays too far from the road you will crash. You know that your mind
must be with the intention of travelling in a particular direction so
it is important that you stay there. In qigong you should try to keep
your attention on the movements you are performing with your mind being
aware of the direction you are moving, both outside and inside the body.
Dayan Qigong and the Energy System In the practice of Dayan Qigong
there are a number of acupoints and meridians that we focus on to stimulate
the energy system. When beginning, as we raise the hands we visualise
the energy moving up the Du Channel in the centre of the back and down
the Ren Channel in the centre of the front of the body. We do this three
times to let the energy travel throughthe Zhou Tian Circle or Lesser
Heavenly Cycle. In the first movement we open the arms above the head
once more and then, as the arms are coming back down we allow them to
rest in front of the abdomen where the Lagong Point in the centre of
the palm can stimulate the lower Dantien. In performing Dayan Qigong
we go on to stimulate a number of acupoints throughout the energy system.
These include: Qihu, Quepen, Tai Yang, Huantiao, Shenshu, Mingmen and
the Hegu. During practice the major channels, arteries andveins of the
12 even channels and the 8 odd arteries and veins are dredged and a
Qi field will be produced all over the body This help to detoxify of
the body whilst the functions of the human body and the performance
of Qi Gong will increase to a higher level. The Qi will return to Dantien
creating a refined (tempered) 'Inner Dan.'
Dayan Qi Gong gets to the root of many imbalances. In combating disease
it works to stimulate all the principal channels and improves the function
of the human body as well as strengthening the nerves, regulating the
body fluid, adjusting the function of the viscera and balancing yin
and yang. It can aid various kinds of chronic diseases improve cardiac
symptoms and illnesses of the nervous, respiratory, digestive and urinary
systems. It can aid chronic fatigue, back and neck pains, hypertension
and insomnia. It is also reputed to be good for sufferers of multiple
sclerosis, arthritis and asthma.
How it Works
There are a variety of movements that perform different functions on
the energy system. The stronger rapid movements work to quickly release
negative energy, softer movements stimulate various internal organs
like the heart, liver, spleen and kidneys and we also vibrate the hands
and fingers to stimulate the energy of the internal organs. We draw
positive energy to particular points like the Qihu, and Yongquan and
in rotating the waist we help to stimulate the flow of energy throughthe
There are movements where we strengthen the spine and back and stimulate
the kidney energy and we also directly stimulate the 'Sky Eye' or upper
Dantien by bringing the Laogong point directly to the forehead. Once
learned and practiced regularly the practitioner will feel a sense of
inner strength in the body whilst having a sharper, clearer mind.
Like any system regular practice is important. The more you do the more
benefits can be gained. Once familiar with the pattern of movements
you will be able to move more fluidly thereby increasing the likelihood
When I first learned the system I asked my teacher how long it would
take until I get it. He said that once I had done it 300 times it would
be mine. I practiced 3 times each morning and 3 times each evening for
50 days - less than two months. After 10 - 20 days I became familiar
with the sequence, after 30 - 40 days I had it re-checked and by the
end of 50 - 60 days I was able to perform the movements in a fluid manner.
The more familiar I became with the system the more I felt the benefits.
At the beginning of this article I mentioned the various styles of Qigong
that I had learned. I knew it would not be possible for me to retain
all those systems, as my time was limited for practice. I chose to work
on Dayan Qigong, as it is a system that stimulates all the body. After
doing the sequence 3 times in succession I feel very strong and refreshed.
It does what I want and the benefits increase as I practice it more.
Although the movements are a little strange at first, with regular practice
they are easy to learn and accessible to most people.
Ronnie Robinson is editor of Tai Chi Chuan
and Internal Arts, Secretary of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain
and Secretary of the Taijiquan and Qigong Federation for Europe. He
is co-organiser of Tai Chi Caledonia, the UK's largest and longest running
Tai Chi camp and is a regular instructor at major European events. He
has taught and performed in Hungary, France, Germany and the USA.