The Shaolin 'Ba Duan Jin' is perhaps the most famous of Shaolin Qi Gong exercises. Ba Duan Jin translates as Eight Pieces of Brocade, Eight-Section Brocade, Eight Silken Movements or Eight Silk Weaving.
The name of the form generally refers to how the eight individual movements of the form characterize and impart a silken quality (like that of a piece of brocade) to the body and its energy. The Baduanjin is primarily designated as a form of medical qigong, meant to improve health.
The Baduanjin as a whole is broken down into eight separate exercises, each focusing on a different physical area and qi meridian. The Baduanjin traditionally contains both a standing and seated set of eight postures each. In the modern era, the standing version is by far the most widely practiced.
This form of Qi Gong dates back to the Song Dynasty almost 1000 years ago!