5 Elements Qigong

5 Elements Qigong – Videos and instructions

Video 5 Elements Qigong – Full sequence5 Elements Qigong – Videos and instructions

In this video, Franziska Rüscher is showing the full sequence of the 5 elements qigong set in silence.

Individual instructions for each of the five exercises can be found below, accompanied by separate videos.

This version of 5 elements Qigong is an easy beginner version. There are also more complicated 5 element exercises – one of the supreme disciplines of Qigong is 5 Animal Qigong / 5 Animal Frolics.

5 Elements Qigong:
Easy beginner version – Individual exercises

As with any Qigong exercises, the movements should be without tension, flowing and full of lightness.

In the beginning, you can just breathe slowly, but naturally. Later you can try to synchronize breathing and movements, as described at the end of the individual instructions. In any case, do not hold your breath and do not try to force a rhythm. Deeper and slower breathing will develop over time.

It is recommended either to repeat every single exercise five times or to repeat the whole cycle five times.



5 Elements Qigong: Exercise 1 – Wood (with video)

The wood exercise evokes the picture of a tree. Beginning with the hands at ground level, the tree grows, building a trunk, forming leaves, branches and a crown. Leaves are falling to both sides in autumn, when its energy goes back down. Over the winter, the tree gathers new energy while at the same time being deeply rooted in the earth. Then the cycle repeats itself with the tree growing stronger each year.

Instruction Exercise 1 – Element Wood
1) Begin with feet parallel and about shoulder width apart, the arms are slightly opened sideways;
2) sinking downwards, bend the knees, so that the movement stays relaxed and fluffy, the hands move in front of the body, fingertips pointing downwards, the backs of the hands touch each other;
3) the body straightens up, the hands follow this movement, turning at the level of the middle Dantian (i.e. at breast level). The finger tips now point upwards and turn a second time at the level of the upper Dantian (i.e. at head level), palms now touching each other, and move high above the head;
4) the arms open sideways and sink, shoulders and elbows relax; at shoulder level the palms are turned downwards.

Wood exercise – Breathing
1) Breathe in
2) Breathe out
3) Breathe in
4) Breathe out

5 Elements Qigong: Exercise 2 – Fire (with Video)

The fire exercise imitates a burning fire in slow motion. – Flames are burning in the wind, at times growing larger before returning to their origin, flickering.

Instructions Exercise 2 – Element Fire
1) Stand with feet parallel, lift your hands in front of the body to breast level, arms rounded;
2) turn the body leftwards with the foot, and open the hands shoulder wide with a forward pushing movement;
3) take the whole movement back, move the arms back into the starting position and turn the foot back into parallel stance;
4) turn the body leftwards with the foot, and open the hands shoulder wide with a forward pushing movement;
5) take the whole movement back, move the arms back into the starting position and turn the foot back into parallel stance;
6) push forwards again and open your arms to the sides, then let them sink sideways.

Fire exercise – Breathing
1) Breathe in
2) Breathe out
3) Breathe in
4) Breathe out
5) Breathe in
6) Breathe out

5 Elements Qigong: Exercise 3 – Earth (with Video)

The earth exercise focuses on connection to the ground. The relatively small movements should thus be measured and centred, as if slowly lifting something precious and then returning it gently to the earth, smoothing out the surface in the end.

Instructions Exercise 3 – Element Earth

1) In parallel stance, cross the arms while letting them hang downwards, then lift the crossed arms to stomach level;
2) turn hands, the upper palm now lays on the back of the lower hand; then let the hands sink and open up sideways.

Repeat with crossing the hands the other way round.

Earth exercise – Breathing
1) Breathe in
2) Breathe out



5 Elements Qigong: Exercise 4 – Metal (with Video)

The metal exercise reminds of the high density of metal compared to the other two solid elements earth and wood. A great amount of substance – symbolized by the big opening movement – is pulled together and concentrated in a small space.

Instructions Exercise 4 – Element Metal
1) Lift the arms diagonally in front of the left side of the body, the backs of the hands facing each other, until way above the head level, the right heel is also lifted;
2) let the hands sink down in front of the middle line of the body in a “cutting” movement, palms facing each other, while shifting the weight back to the middle;
3) lift the arms diagonally in front of the right side of the body, the backs of the hands facing each other, until way above the head level, the left heel is also lifted;
4) let the hands sink down in front of the middle line of the body in a “cutting” movement, palms facing each other, while shifting the weight back to the middle.

Metal exercise – Breathing
1) Breathe in
2) Breathe out
3) Breathe in
4) Breathe out

5 Elements Qigong: Exercise 5 – Water (with video)

The water exercise challenges you to be like water. Visualize a softly bubbling spring, a small playful stream, a big heavy river or the waves of the ocean ceaselessly washing the shores.

Instructions Exercise 5 – Element Water
1) While the body is sinking the arms effortlessly move upwards in a soft, flowing movement;
2) while the body straightens up again, the arms sink downwards.

Water exercise – Breathing
1) Breathe in
2) Breathe out

More about Qigong exercises and the 5 elements

Read our Qigong overview article with descriptions of different Qigong exercises. You can find more Qigong videos and instructions on our YouTube-channel Qigong exercises. Our most popular Qigong video is The 8 Brocades.

For more information about the five elements see: Five elements – glossary.

5 Elements Qigong Theory

Qigong for Beginners

Qigong

5 Animal Qigong




Author: Franziska Rüscher, translation from the German article by Taiji-Forum

Images: Eagle Verlag (Franz Mittermair) and Taiji-Forum