Rockhampton Tai Chi/Qigong/Balance

Chinese Yoga Staff

Staff routine based on Chinese Yoga with Staff by Grandmaster Shifu Jiang Jianye

  1. Yin-Yang in One
  2. Getting Qi from Four Directions
  3. Dragon & Phoenix flying & dancing
  4. Rainbow dancing and shadow moving
  5. Embracing the moon
  6. Blue Dragon turning head back
  7. Phoenix spreading wings
  8. Double swallows gently brush butterfly
  9. Colored butterflies dancing in the air
  10. Qi sinking to dan tien

I had been practising/teaching tai chi for almost two decades and had been practising a sword routine for roughly half of that time. However handling a full weight sword was becoming difficult due to weakness in my wrists and I started looking for a weapons routine that was less stressful.

I had also started doing a restorative form of yoga with gentle stretches and lunges... so in 2016 was open to exploring a "yoga" staff routine on DVD when I couldn't find any suitable staff routines on Youtube, etc.

I purchased a copy of the instructional DVD: Chinese Yoga with Staff by Grandmaster Shifu Jiang Jian-ye. In 2015-16 the DVD was available through the American T'ai Chi Magazine (, SKU#7673, US$49.99 plus shipping, but the magazine now appears to be defunct.

In his staff form the emphasis is 95% on relaxation through movement, with stretches normally held for 3 seconds, and is about breathing even more than the movement. Over the next couple of years my colleagues and I have adapted the routine... as much to suit my need for restorative techniques as anything... using both staffs cut from electrical conduit and adjustable length walking sticks.

We're learner/practitioners, not Grandmaster class, but since the original DVD does not seem to be available anymore, we have posted some resource materials here in case other yoga/tai chi practitioners are interested in relaxation through movement with a staff.

These exercises are being taught by qualified tai chi/qigong instructors. All care will be taken to ensure your wellbeing and safety. Any instructions given are intended as guidance only and you should not do anything that you consider inappropriate for you. These exercises are not intended as a substitute for medical advice or care. Please consult your medical practitioner before you begin or if you have any questions or concerns about the suitability of these classes. For liability reasons these exercises are not to be downloaded in the USA or Canada.

Remember to check with your GP or other health practitioner before starting any new physical routine, and/or if you have any difficulties when practising the routine(s). And only go as far as is comfortable; the idea is to relax through movement not suffer pain!

The following resources are based on our adaptation of Grandmaster Shifu Jiang Jianye's form. Refer to his DVD for a full explanation of the purpose of each exercise, etc.

  • Illustrated notes (6 pages, 741Kb pdf).
  • A3 Poster. (217Kb pdf)
  • Video: Facing View, initial adaptation (2017, 266Mb). [Our form has been refined considerably since this video was made but it serves to illustrate the intent. Do not depend on hand/foot placement, etc., as shown. Think about what constitutes good form and adapt accordingly.]
  • Garden lesson, 20 June 2020, with Chinese Staff as Qigong exercise, 15:05 mp4. Warmup required before commencing. This routine has been considerably revised/refined from the version above, note the use of repetition and holding with multiple breaths.
  • Check the Resources page for tai chi staff/Bo Yoga staff routines prepared for individual/home use during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Other resources we've found useful:

  • Bo Yoga®, a US-based yoga practice with a free "Balance Bar" (staff) guide book.
  • Classes Resources Balance Bar Class Photos Home

    Site/content copyright © A C Lynn Zelmer or as marked. E-mail: Lynn @ last updated 27 July 2020 [lz].