BAGUA QI JING BA MAI – Bagua and the 8 Extraordinary Vessels

Bagua and the 8 Extraordinary Vessels – Theory and practice of the Micro and Macro Cosmic Breathing applied practically to produce body connection and health.

BAGUA QI JING BA MAI - Bagua and the 8 Extraordinary Vessels

After breathing and walking the circle, the third step to create connection and unity is working on consciousness of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels inside of our body. These vessels are the first structure that came to realization after the conception moment, and these vessels are responsible for the creation and organization of the form and substance of our being in the first 8 years. Baguazhang is the only art in which we distinguish the Pre-Birth (Xian Tian) from After-Birth (Hou Tian) energetic patterns, according to Daoist alchemy, and we always consider working on the two phases in different ways and with different methods. This way we recreate the yin-yang dynamic inside of our bodies, and this helps to move through life in the most possible harmonious way. When a human being is conceived, for nine months the new born baby lives inside his/her mother, and has the time to develop all attributes for his/her later existence outside of the mother. This is called Xian Tian, Pre-Birth Sky.

After the birth, our growth still progresses for eight years through the eight marvelous vessels, and only after the ninth year the energetic structure of our body changes to the new “five plus one “regular” meridians” structure, on both sides of the body, typical of the After-Birth Sky structure. Baguazhang works on the first borne vessels, because there is the root of most unbalances and possibility of illnesses in our later life. Neurological and mental issues in our life depends very often on this critical beginning phase. Walking, breathing properly and bringing our attention inside to the eight vessels is the deepest tool we can use to enter the realm of perception and transformation. As Chinese tradition says it, Man is the only subject that can bring harmony between Sky and Earth, and is able to connect to Nature. Baguazhang represents the Sky movement, not only in an allegoric way, but also physically as the eight directions of winds, and they represent the unpredictability of life and his changes. For this very reason working on the Eight Marvellous Vessels allows us to go back in time in our life and deblock, open old issues and solving them.

The first four borne vessels are the structure of our being, and they govern our growth and our form and presence in this world. They manage the inside of us. The second-generation vessels are in charge of teaching us movement and connecting our four limbs and the trunk in a natural manner, crossing body and brain sides. They manage the outside of us. Giving attention and power to these eight vessels, we can restore the good “backup copy” of our energetical system and re-educate us. Even if still not scientifically demonstrated, Chinese medicine insists that Baguazhang and his circular energetical work on the Eight Special Vessels is extremely good for health keeping and for recovering from very bad diseases.

Author: Luigi Zanini

Images: Luigi Zanini

Introduction to the three Baguazhang Seminars

Baguazhang is one of the three known Chinese Internal Martial Arts, and is the youngest one, since he was divulgated and diffused around 1850 in the Beijing and Tianjing area. The fighting ability of his founder, Dong Haiquan (1797-1882), his special footwork, the specific way of training the body and the number of skilled specialists he taught and helped him to spread his art: all this made Baguazhang a highly-reputed and effective combat art. Dong himself made his fame inside of the Imperial Court and soon his style became the combat method of the last emperors in the Prohibited City.


Breathing using specific postures connects body and intention, increases flexibility and resilience, adds quality to our daily routines. Especially useful for health and body care. Continue reading


Walking the Circle – How this simple and very rich tool can change our muscles, tendons, essence and mind. Walking is an art itself and can bring every practice to a higher level. Continue reading


Bagua and the 8 Extraordinary Vessels – Theory and practice of the Micro and Macro Cosmic Breathing applied practically to produce body connection and health. Continue reading