Ba Duan Jin, referred to most often as the Eight Pieces (of) Brocade, is a very famous and wide spread form of Qigong. This traditional set is named as such in relationaship to the quality of the qigong itself being soft and smooth like silk in the way the breath and movement should be coordinated. The qigong itself is meant to open the channels through the body mainly through the twisting motions of the waist. This qigong, while not a combative qigong like some other "hard" qigong styles, is often used in combination to external martial arts as a balancing system.
Besides the opening sequence, the form has 8 sections. Each sections opens and stretches the body in a different posture. The main focus of the Ba Duan Jin set is to develop ad straight and healthy spine. This is accomplished through soft coordinated twisting postures of the waist and trunk. While there are many differents styles of the Eight Pieces Brocade from different lineages as it has adapted over the years, the roots of the practice stay the same.
Many translated archives have this system to be created sometime during the Song Dynasty. 800 years of medical prescriptions in China have been supplemented with Ba Duan Jin. It is a great soft style to facilitate rehabilitation as the movements are not as demanding as the Five Animal system. This makes it a great pattern to learn and practice at any level or age.