Wu qin xi is a classical qigong that was designed by Hua Tuo (110-207A.D.), known as the Father of Chinese Medicine.
Hua Tuo watched the movements of animals in creating these exercises to promote health and longevity. Two of his disciples lived to the ages of 90 and 100!
The exercises are also known as Five Animal Frolics or Five Animal Play and are practised with a sense of play in assuming the different animals' qualities, both physically and mentally; e.g. the fierceness and courage of the tiger, the lightness and gentleness of the deer etc.
The five exercises take one through breathing, stretches, balancing, twists and gestures that thoroughly work the body and help regulate the flow of Qi through all channels and collaterals corresponding to the five yin (Zang) and five yang (Fu) internal organs in Chinese Medicine.
The five animals are tiger, deer, bear, monkey and bird. In the Chinese Health Qigong Association version of five animal qigong taught in fullcircleQi classes, there are two exercises for each animal.