Yi Jin Jing evolved and developed from the Daoyin Fa (method of breathing and physical exercise therapy) and Tuna Fa (method of inspiration and expiration) of the ancient Yangsheng Shu (exercise for health cultivation). It is said that it was created by the eminent monk Damo of the Shaolin Temple in the Liang Dynasty (502-557 A.D.) and Chen Bo of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) in the course of their exercises. It has been one of the methods of physical exercise beloved by Chinese people for centuries. The word "Yi" means change, "Jin" denotes the muscles and bones, and "Jing" signifies method. In other words, Yi Jin Jing refers to one of the health care methods for changing of the weak and withered muscles
and bones into strong and sturdy ones.
Yi Jin Jing is characterized by close combination of respiration with movements, putting forth strength statically (i.e., using internal force), relaxation, nature concentration of mind on Dantian, and mutual help between firmness and gentleness. The common points in the preparatory posture for perfoming the movements of each step are: looking ahead horizontally, clamping the teeth tightly, opening the mouth slightly or closing it lightly, and touching the upper palate with the tongue; no use of strength, no throwing out of the chest, no lifting of the shoulders, and no bending of the back; natural respiration, relaxing of the whole body, concentration on Dantian.
There are many schools of Yi Jin Jing. This book introduces ten steps which are simple and easy to perform. For beginners, every movement can be exercised 8 to 9 times at the start and be increased gradually to 30 times or more according to the status of the body of the exerciser along with the level of skill in practice.
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