It’s hard to put into words why I love the Yi Jin Jing. I think the main reason is that I feel quite different after doing it. It’s not just feeling stretched, or relaxed or more focussed, it’s deeper than that. I just feel wholly different, and in a very good way.
When I first learnt the form, I really struggled with it. At that time I had not long had shoulder surgery and was basically failing rehab. My shoulders and neck were incredibly weak and I had constant headaches. It was a bad time to learn this form (or any form truthfully).
There’s only so much you can modify a form before it loses its original character. Sometimes it’s better to wait until your condition improves and try again. The Yi Jin Jing has a lot of overhead movements and a lot of shoulder rotation, not to mention the hand up the back between the shoulder blades (still can’t do that). While the body is in constant motion, frequently the arms are held in a static position while the body moves, and that can be really hard.
So for those of us with dodgy shoulders and necks, and any chronic pain condition, take this one slowly. Each individual needs to find the right level of exertion to feel like you are working hard enough to create some positive change, but not so hard as to cause a flare up.
This form is also known as the Muscle Tendon Change Classic. The implication is that in practising this you cause change in your muscles and tendons. Ideally that change is positive and translates to increased strength and resilience.
In my video I flow through the form in full and am so happy I now have the strength and condition to do this. I’ve also demonstrated modifications to five moves, and kept them very simple, as in, do the form in the same way but keep it smaller, closer to the body, and don’t push into the stretches too far. There are many more tweaks and adjustments that can be made, but these really need to be explored in the class setting.
The Yi Jin Jing should be practised with a calm focus and a calm strength extended all the way to the fingertips. Take your time to find the right adjustments for you, so you can enjoy this powerful form to its fullest.
And the music … Like my Ba Duan Jin video, I’ve used beautiful classical music by Greg Dikmans. This piece is by a French composer:
J. B. de Boismortier (1689–1755)
Sonata No. 4 in D minor
Greg Dikmans (baroque flute)
Lucinda Moon (baroque violin)