18-form Qigong Posture Names

I’m reposting this as several people have been asking about the names of each posture. 

It can be very helpful to know the names of each posture. One reason is that it make it easier to ask your teacher questions about the posture. For example, you can ask your teacher about, “White Crane Spreads It’s Wings,” instead of hoping that your teacher will know which posture you mean when you move your arms about in some not clearly definable way.

  1. Lifting arms through water
  2. Opening the chest
  3. Painting a rainbow across the sky
  4. Separating clouds/taiji closing
  5. Backwards monkey
  6. Rowing the boat
  7. Carrying the ball up to the sky
  8. Gazing at the moon
  9. Pushing palm, turning the the waist
  10. Wave hands like white clouds
  11. Scooping up the sea and gazing to the horizon
  12. Pushing the waves
  13. Dove spreads it’s wings
  14. Punching in horse stance
  15. Butterfly dries it’s wings
  16. Turning wheel round and round
  17. Bouncing the ball, softy, softly
  18. Settling and balancing to close

Another benefit, is that it helps you remember the forms, becoming like a sort of muscle memory nemonic.  Knowing the name, moving the body, remembering and feeling your way become one integrated process.

So, above is my list. Please know that I have played some with the names. Since they arte translated by others from Chinese, I have tried to make them simple, memorable and sensible. They are only my take on it. You may have different and even better ideas. Love to hear them.

I hope you can enjoy learning these postures somewhere. If you are in Chicago, maybe come give Calm Chicago a visit. We are the only qigong, tai chi center on the near south side; convenient for South Loop, UIC, Chinatown and Pilsen residents. 

Till next time, practice well. Enjoy the journey.

Wishing peace and happiness for all.


Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

2 thoughts on “18-form Qigong Posture Names”

  1. I am looking for the Chinese names in characters and in latin alphabet for the 18 moves.
    Any idea where I can find them on the internet? I have searched without results.

    Many thanks from Peru


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