Photo of the day: Chinese Yoga and the Eight Section Brocade


Our photo theme this week is “Get Physical” — physical education and culture that spans dynasties. Kung fu, qigong, elderly square dancing, and everything in between.

Qigong — a lesser-known, and still sometimes misunderstood health practice. Monks use it to break steel bars over their heads, but your grandpa uses it to wake his muscles up in the morning. The “Chinese yoga” combines breathing, movement, and the concept of qi to strengthen internal organs, flush out blockages, heal injuries, and more. Nowadays you can even get prescribed qigong therapy at the hospital in China.

The Eight Section Brocade form is one of the most common and widely practiced routines worldwide. We dig this old school picture, and respect all the folks who educated themselves from material like this. But for clarity’s sake, here’s a narrated video too. Happy practicing.

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a US-based writer, producer, multimedia artist, and former associate editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school to train at the Shaolin Temple but now uses it to interview rappers. He blogs about China and Asia on Instagram: @this.is.adan

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