I Chin Ching or Yijin jing roughly translates to muscle/tendon change classic or the change of tendon and muscle. The idea is that by tensing your muscles through static holds/stretches and dynamic motions you can build stronger, more flexible muscles and tendons, while achieving better balance and coordination. Thats a lot of promise for just 49 exercises!
There are many legends on I Chin Ching and how it came to be. Some of the legends are vague and some are contradictory so this book will briefly share the legend of Bodhidharma and will focus the majority of the book on the following:
- Providing a simple, visual, step-by-step manual on how to do 49 I Chin Ching exercises with proper technique
- Providing realistic variations to help you build strength, flexibility, and balance so you can eventually achieve some of the tougher exercises
Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk from India, traveled the Himalayan mountains to bring Buddhism to China. As he encountered the Shaolin monasteries, Bodhidharma found the monks to be very weak and unable to sustain long meditations. Therefore he taught the monks several exercises to change their physical bodies and build stronger, more flexible muscles which would result in even stronger minds. These exercises became known as the I Chin Ching exercises.
Many of the exercises are similar to or are exact replicas of yoga postures, perhaps as an influence from Bodhidharmas Indian roots.
Practicing the I Chin Ching exercises has provided significant physical benefits to me and has helped me achieve various fitness goals I have as a martial artist, professional dancer, yogi, and runner. It has taken me over a decade to be able to do all 49 exercises and a few of the really tough onesI can only do for a moment before crashing to the floor! I love the never-ending challenge that these exercises bring me. -Katy Moeggenberg, Author